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Bella Vista / Italian Market : In The News

16 Bella Vista / Italian Market Articles | Page: | Show All

A couple more big projects come to Washington Avenue East

Two new mixed use projects have been announced for the stretch of Washington Avenue east of Broad Street -- one at 12th Street and one at the triangle where Passyunk Avenue meets 8th Street. (These are in addition to the proposed building at 9th and Washington.)

Naked Philly on 12th and Washington: A post on the Washington Avenue Associates Facebook page tipped us off that the City has issued a zoning permit for the demolition of the building and the construction of a five-story project with 48 apartments, 15 parking spots, and a sizable commercial space. Remember, when we shared the listing, it came with a recommendation for a similar project, albeit with an additional level of apartments. The Facebook post also included a very simple elevations drawing of what we can expect to see built here. This property is zoned CMX-3, and the project is being done completely by-right.

On 8th and Washington: You probably don't remember, but we told you about this property way back at the end of 2011. Yikes, we've been doing this awhile. The property was available for sale for a couple years for $3M, but had come off the market at that point. While any 8,000+ sqft parcel near Center City sounds exciting, a $3M price tag was a little too dear, especially back then. Earlier this year, the property came back on the market at half the price, and was unsurprisingly snatched up in short order. Like the folks at 12th & Washington, these developers appear to be pursuing a by-right project. According to their zoning permit, they're planning a five-story building with ground-floor retail and sixteen apartments...The building will have a rear yard on its southern side, but will also have an open courtyard in the middle of the building. Not only will this provide for additional windows for the units, but it will also allow the project to meet its open space requirement. Whoever thought this project through has designed something pretty clever on a uniquely shaped property. Good for them. And good for the people who live nearby, who will see this long-underused property get redeveloped. And to think we thought they already had it made, living so close to the Center City Pretzel Company.

Original source: Naked Philly

Five-story mixed-use project proposed for contested Bella Vista lot

A sure-to-be-contested project has been proposed for the long-vacant triangle-shaped lot at 6th and Christian Streets, right at the nexus of Bella Vista and Queen Village. The main issues are height and parking.

Developers are hoping to build a 5-story apartment building with a ground-floor restaurant on a vacant, triangular property...Neighbors spent years trying to get the property dedicated as a park. The property’s owner, Stuart Schlaffman, had previously allowed neighbors to clean up the property and plant flowers and shrubs there, though he says that he’s always intended to sell it. The Redevelopment Authority briefly made moves to try to acquire the property from Schlaffman, who also owns Condom Kingdom on South Street, but those plans were never realized...

Now, two developers really are hoping to build on the property. Dan Rosin and Raphael Licht met with near neighbors to discuss the proposal last week, according to Sam Olshin of Atkin Olshin Schade, the architects for the project. The purpose of that meeting was to get early feedback from the most-affected residents before a formal presentation to Bella Vista Neighborhood Association scheduled for next Tuesday.

Renderings of the proposal show a 57-foot building, rising to 64 feet at the top of a pilothouse, with glassy restaurant space on the ground floor. A commercial kitchen is included in the floor plans. The renderings don’t include a number of residential units, but a zoning appeal says the developers are hoping to build 12 apartments. No parking spaces are included.


Original source: PlanPhilly
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Huge 9th and Washington project moves closer to reality

The Planning Commission has approved rezoning for this potentially transformative development in the heart of the Italian Market. PlanPhilly has the scoop:

The Planning Commission voted on Tuesday to recommend a bill that would allow a 70-unit apartment complex to rise at 9th Street and Washington Avenue in the Italian Market.

The project, a 5-story ditty with 18,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and two levels of underground parking, was presented to Passyunk Square Civic Associationearlier this year. The developers, Midwood Investment & Development, are planning to hold another meeting with the community group before the bill goes to a committee hearing in City Council, probably sometime next month. The project would replace Anastasio’s, a seafood restaurant that Midwood says it will try to bring back as a tenant in the new building, and the largest vacant lot in the Italian Market.

In recommending the bill, which rezones the lot from CMX-2 to CMX-3, the Planning Commission mulled over the following questions.

Does the project reflect the direction that residents and planners think the neighborhood should be headed while respecting the surrounding environment?


Yes, the Commission reasoned. There seems to be general if not universal consensus that Washington Avenue could handle a bit more residential and commercial density, and there’s even greater consensus that the Italian Market could handle a bit more parking capacity, especially if it’s placed below ground. The project is 5 stories at the southeast corner of 9th Street and Washington Avenue, with commercial space along the ground floor of both frontages. It steps down to some lower townhomes along Darien Street, the eastern boundary of the site, to fit in with the existing homes on the other side of that street.

Original source: PlanPhilly
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Huge Italian Market development project proposed for 9th and Washington

Hearts leapt with delight at this proposal for a long vacant parcel at 9th and Washington -- it has character, retail, residential and PARKING.

At last night’s Passyunk Square Civic Association zoning meeting, conceptual plans were presented for a 5-story mixed-use building that would have 18,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, 70 apartments, 8 single-family trinities and approximately 150 parking spaces in an underground lot.

Midwood Investment and Development, the group that is responsible for the recently-completed Cheesecake Factory location on Walnut Street, is behind this development. Though don’t worry, they called this project the “anti-cheesecake project.”

In order to blend with the existing retail on 9th Street, there would be awnings on the street-level to mimic the historic style of the Italian Market. Having those awnings would mean that the retail locations that would be tenants of this building would be able to bring some of their merchandise out onto the street, just like the other vendors in the Italian Market. During the presentation, they expressed that they’d like to keep the street level “alive” and “interactive.” A total of 18,000 sq. ft. of retail space along 9th Street and Washington Avenue is currently in the plans.


Original source: Passyunk Post
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'Finding your tribe' on review sites

A New York Times writer looks at the different travel-and-review sites, and emphasizes the importance of "finding your tribe." Yelp helped her find a hidden Philly gem.

When searching for a hotel or restaurant, you don’t want everybody’s opinion. You want opinions from people who share your taste and travel goals. But how to cherry-pick those travelers from the multitudes of citizen-critics on sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp and Hotels.com?

...More often than not I agree with Yelp reviews. Take a recent afternoon in Philadelphia. Craving a Mexican snack yet deterred by unenthusiastic restaurant reviews, I ended up in the Italian market area in Bella Vista where inside the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Tortilleria San Roman, Yelpers advised picking up “dirt-cheap” hot tortillas, fried chips and, as one reviewer put it, “mean fresh green salsa.” Delicious — and I got to stroll through the market.


Original source: The New York Times
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Nomad Pizza featured in New York Times

Nomad Pizza was included in a run-down of Jersey's mobile pizza trucks; they also have a brick-and-mortar space in Bella Vista.

Before Mr. Lombardi and Mr. Goldblatt opened their own business, they worked at the Nomad Pizza Company in Hopewell, a Neapolitan pizza restaurant with a second location in Philadelphia. Nomad opened its first restaurant in Hopewell in 2009 after two years of working out of a converted 1949 REO Speedwagon with a 3,000-pound wood-burning oven shipped from Italy. It continues to cater parties and sell pizza from the truck at street festivals.

Original source: The New York Times
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From scrub time to prime time: Excitement abounds for The Roots mural

Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter got busted for graffiti as a Philadelphia teen. Now he'll be the subject of public art with The Roots mural planned for South Street, reports the Associated Press.

"They remind us why we love art, why art is so important, why art is a lifeline, why art can be transformative and why we need it," said Jane Golden, director of the city's Mural Arts Program.

The energetic Golden literally jumped up and down with excitement in announcing the eight-month project, which will include soliciting mural design ideas, creating a storefront art studio for community workshops and developing a "Roots 101" arts education curriculum for students.


Original source: Associated Press
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Philly's finest farm-to-table offerings

Local restaurants are getting a reputation for farm fresh ingredients, according to OffManhattan.

To taste the freshest produce in the region, you can shop one of the city’s many farmers market, haul your selections back home, and crack open a cookbook. Or you can take the effortless route, and settle into one of the top farm-to-table restaurants in Philadelphia.

Uniquely positioned between ‘Jersey Fresh’ territory and Amish Country, Philly offers its chefs an impressive variety of local, seasonal ingredients from which to craft their award-winning menus. And diners will be excited to know that much of this produce makes its way from farm to plate just one day after harvesting. Yes, the peppery radishes and buttery greens in your appetizer salad may have been plucked from the dirt just hours ago.


Source: OffManhattan
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Gay plays take over Shubin Theater this month

This month, Philadelphia GayFest! presents four GLBT-themed plays and a reading at the Shubin Theater, according to Passport Magazine.

August gets very gay in Philadelphia with the debut of GayFest!, a new GLBT theater festival presented by Quince Productions. With four plays running in repertory and a staged reading of a new gay play, the event promises to make the tiny Shubin Theatre a hotbed of gayness.

Source: Passport Magazine
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NYT picks Philly's top coffee shops

Oliver Strand names six Philly coffee spots he loves as much as our sports, art and culture, according to the New York Times.

Philadelphia has plenty going for it: the best four-man rotation in baseball, art worth fighting over, a ruin so elegant and haunting it feels like Berlin. It also has superb coffee. Recently, I went on a coffee crawl that took me to a handful of shops where the baristas aren't just tremendously skilled, they're disarmingly sweet-natured. I found an energetic scene thriving outside the gravitational pull of the hometown giant La Colombe Torrefaction.

I was in Philadelphia to check out the local Thursday Night Throwdown --TNT to insiders -- a monthly cappuccino-off where 32 baristas compete for glory (the winner gets his or her initials embroidered on a strip of denim) and a decent-sized kitty (from the entrance fees). The evening was three hours of steaming milk in front of a crowd plied with pizza and beer. A news crew taped the throw-down, maybe because one of the judges was Winston Justice, offensive tackle for the Eagles and co-owner of Elixr Coffee, the host of the contest. Later, a good number of the competitors and spectators adjourned to a dive bar with a drag show -- the $7 cover included a can of beer and a shot of Jim Beam. Fun town.

Source: The New York Times
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Irish travelers: Philadelphia, here we come

The travel section at Ireland's Herald.ie is high on Philadelphia for a variety of reasons, imploring the Irish to visit for our safe downtown, good eats and arts and culture.

It's puzzling why Philly isn't on most Irish people's radar. It's more historic than Boston, as Irish as Chicago, 30pc cheaper to live in than New York and has a food culture to match San Francisco.

The city centre proper, (known as Center City) is thriving, unlike many US urban areas. Sections of 15th Street are hubs of restaurants and nightlife, while the area's aptly titled Avenue of the Arts is the local equivalent of London's West End or New York's Broadway theatre districts. The best bit? It feels perfectly safe to walk around, by day or night (don't try this at home, kids).

Original source: Herald.ie
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Pew: More people moving to Philly than moving out

A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts indicates an encouraging trend of more people moving into Philadelphia since 1993, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

According to the Pew report, the number of people moving into the city has increased steadily, up from 31,837 in 1993 to 42,250 in 2008.

Overall, the number of people moving out of the city is growing less rapidly, increasing slightly from 47,291 in 1993 to 52,096 in 2008.


"I would say the trend is looking as if we may be seeing a reversal of long-term decline in city population," said David Elesh, sociologist and demography expert with the Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project at Temple University.

Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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St. Louis loves Philly for what it really is

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch travel section mentions booing Santa Claus but quickly moves on, digging deeper than most national media last week to reveal the insider's view of Philadelphia.

Once you get beyond the fighting fašade, Philadelphia is a city of tiny secret gardens, a diverse art and theater scene, a crazy diverse food/pub scene and a thousand walkable historical monuments and museums. Also, it's cheap as can be. You've got to work to spend $15 on a martini.

I moved here six years ago from St. Louis. The things I loved about St. Louis are the same things I love about Philadelphia--people are friendly, the streets have the same names (you copycats!) and there's no need to go to any chain restaurant ever.

Original source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Jassi Chadha enriches entrepreneurial ecosystem with TiE-NJ/Philadelphia

Wildly successful entrepreneur Jassi Chadha has brought his expertise to TiE-NJ/Philadelphia, a newer chapter of the global entrepreneurship organization, reports SiliconIndia.

TiE NJ-Philly is an offshoot of TiE Tristate. New Jersey and Philadephia had quite a lot of entrepreneurs who would often find it difficult to make it to New York for various events of the Tristate. Hence the need for a chapter in this geographic area became a necessity. Today under the leadership of Chadha, the TiE-NJ-Philly Chapter is helping the budding entrepreneurs in this geography to realize their goals and dreams by conducting various events, providing mentoring, and networking opportunities.


"There are aspects of entrepreneurship like optimism, excitement, energy, and a sense of adventure that is inspiring to read and get excited. It also drives people to do more and pursue big dreams. However, the path of entrepreneurship is often lonely, hard, and the journey hectic with challenges of different sorts. That's why entrepreneurs need to be supported and find the right support in programs that TiE offers," says Chadha.

Original source: SiliconIndia.
Read the full story here.


Connecticut arts panel looks at Philadelphia murals for inspiration

Members of the Norfolk Arts Commission visited Philadelphia last week to get a close-up look at some of the thousands of works of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Programs, reports The Hour.

"I was blown away by how these community murals in Philadelphia brightened the neighborhoods. It's inspiring to hear the stories of how these murals got made, and how it brought the community together," Becker said. "This is how to revitalize neighborhoods and instill a sense of pride, something I see Norwalk needs help with."

Launched in 1984 to combat graffiti, the city of Philadelphia Mural Arts Programs now bills itself as the largest public art program in the United States.

Original source: The Hour
Read the full story here.
16 Bella Vista / Italian Market Articles | Page: | Show All
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