Category Archives: News

Philadelphia news relevant to our local communities.

Deep South Philadelphia revitalization

Expect an increase in investment and property values in South Philadelphia in 2020. Many stakeholders have invested in large projects in the area, particularly around the stadium district and eastern South Philly.

Here are some major projects coming soon in zip code 19147/19148:

Live! Hotel and Casino at 900 Packer Ave in the South Philadelphia

Live! Hotel and Casino at 900 Packer Ave: The $700 million casino and hotel is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The long delayed construction begins in 2019.

Pattison Place by 1100 Pattison Ave in the stadium district

Pattison Place beside Xfinity Live! at 1100 Pattison Ave: The glass-sheathed office tower will encompass at least 200,000 square feet and is the first step toward developing the sprawling property in the South Philadelphia stadium district. Also included in the proposal are 20,000 square feet of street-level retail at the site to the immediate west of Xfinity Live. Find out more on Philly.com.

South Columbus Boulevard centers redevelopment in Pennsport

South Columbus Boulevard center redevelopment, starting with a $12 million renovation of UA Riverview Plaza. The center spans the western side of South Columbus Boulevard, from Washington Avenue to Dickinson Street, in the city’s Pennsport neighborhood. Cedar Realty Trust plans to redevelop the center over 7-10 years in three phases, the first two of which will consist of about 260 apartments and 125,000 square feet of retail. This mixed-use project made up of apartments sitting over street retail will feature some of the finest river views in all of Philadelphia. Cedar anticipate launching this project in the first half of 2019.

South Quarter Crossing in Western South Philly

South Quarter Crossing on the west side of South Philadelphia: Cedar Realty Trust will redevelop and merge Quartermaster and South Philadelphia Shopping Center into a single one million-square-foot shopping and residential complex. Click here to see their leasing plan.

South Philly Stadium Casino: Live! Casino starts construction

Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, an affiliate of The Cordish Companies, has announced that Gilbane Building Company will serve as the General Contractor for the new $700 million project of the Stadium casino located at 900 Packer Avenue between 10th and Darien Streets, in the heart of the South Philadelphia Stadium District.

Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia will transform the South Philadelphia area into an integrated sports, entertainment and casino resort destination. The 1.5-million-square-foot facility will include 2,200 slots and table games, more than 150 table games, a boutique hotel, nationally-recognized restaurants, live entertainment venues, valet parking, and an approximately 2,700 space parking garage.

Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia plans to develop the far South Philadelphia to create significant economic opportunities for local residents and businesses. A Pre-Bid Contractor Information Session will be held on Friday, January 11, 2019 from 10a.m.- Noon at Xfinity Live!, 1100 Pattison Avenue in the South Philadelphia Stadium District. The event is open to the contracting public and will include a project overview, bid package information, and the opportunity to meet with the Estimating Team and representatives from the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) will also be available.

Cordish officials have told the state that demolition of a former Holiday Inn will begin soon, and construction of the new casino and hotel would start January 2019.

Squilla criticized for cutting green agenda

Philadelphia Inquirer’s Inga Saffron criticizes Councilman Mark Squilla’s recent legislative choices as regressive. According to PlanPhilly, Saffron focuses on the measure that “exempts Society Hill from having to comply with a zoning incentive designed to encourage the construction of rain-absorbing green roofs” and references an earlier bill that suspends a program allowing electric vehicle owners to create EV-only parking spots in front of the curbside electrical outlets.

Many philly.com readers agreed with Saffron and criticized the councilman.

Squilla, who allegedly ‘represents’ me, doesn’t represent me or my values. And further, I don’t think most City Council people do. They should be out of development, city planning, and urban design issues, allowing the City Planning Design Office handle these through a robust city-wide effort. The best cities do; as we did many years ago. Unfortunately, the piggish, self-serving representation, turning the neighborhood districts into their own fiefs, is appalling. They haven’t a clue about sustainability, design, urban design, Smart Cities, the progressive initiatives of the Water Department saving the city from potentially billions of dollars of infrastructural replacements, or any other aspect of making cities safe, clean and wonderful places to live.

Personally, I would wish that Mr. Squilla resign. And the rest of Council. The government of this city is not for the people but for themselves, time and again. Short sighted, parochial, profit hungry, and likely still paid on the side.

What happened to Passyunk Post?

Passyunk Post has not been the same since the disappearance of their staff writer Taylor Farnsworth and the website’s subsequent hiatus in February. The difference is clear in the content and depth of their articles. Recent articles seem to lack direction, with more fluff and filler pieces. This begs us to ask the question everyone has been thinking: What happened?

Passyunk Post was founded in 2012 by Albert Stumm, who wrote and published most of the articles a few years back. In recent years, the bulk of the writing obligation has landed on Taylor Farnsworth. Now that Farnsworth has gone missing, an Anthony C has taken over. No explanation has been given. We will just have to wait and see whether this staff writer change is permanent or not.

BalletX Spring Series 2017 at The Wilma Theater

From April 26th through May 7th, BalletX will present 13 performances of its Spring Series 2017 at The Wilma Theater on S Broad St. BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet and resident dance company of The Wilma Theater, has built a repertory of 61 world premieres since its 2005 inception.

BalletX Spring Series 2017 will feature the U.S. premiere of Cayetano Soto’s Schachmatt, the Philly return of Matthew Neenan’s The Last Glass (2010), and a world premiere by 2017 Choreographic Fellow and PHILADANCO! alum, Tommie-Waheed Evans, entitled In Between the Passing…

Behind the scenes | Photo by BalletX

Tickets to Spring Series 2017 at The Wilma Theater are available online at www.balletx.org, by phone at (215) 546-7824, or in person at the Wilma box office at 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Choreographer: Cayetano Soto (2017 Choreographic Fellowship Mentor), Tommie-Waheed Evans (2017 Choreographic Fellow), Matthew Neenan

Dancers: Andrea Yorita Caili Quan Chloe Felesina Daniel MayoFrancesca Forcella Gary W. Jeter II Richard VillaverdeZachary Kapeluck Roderick Phifer Megan Dickinson (Guest Dancer)

Schedule:

  • Wednesday April 26, 8:00 PM
  • Pre-Show Q&A with Artistic Collaborators, 7:00 PM
  • Thursday April 27, 8:00 PM
  • Post-Show Q&A with Choreographers
  • Friday April 28, 8:00 PM
  • Saturday April 29, 2:00 PM
  • Saturday April 29, 8:00 PM
  • Sunday April 30, 2:00 PM
  • Sunday April 30, 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday May 03, 8:00 PM
  • Thursday May 04, 8:00 PM
  • Friday May 05, 8:00 PM
  • Saturday May 06, 2:00 PM
  • Saturday May 06, 8:00 PM
  • Sunday May 07, 2:00 PM

New Bus Shelters in South Philadelphia

There has been a quite a few transportation developments happening in deep South Philly as of late. Septa recently announced that bike racks are coming to their Oregon station on the Broad Street Line. On a larger scale, the Philly Transit Shelter Project, which aims to bring 600 new transit shelters to the city, has started making some moves in South Philadelphia.

Today, we got report of the new bus shelters being put up on the Southwest corner of Broad St and Oregon Ave, where route 7 and G runs.  We received some inquiries last Friday when the old bus shelter was torn down and completely removed. In less than a week, the new transit shelter is up and almost functional.

Transit Shelter Town Down
Old bus shelter at Broad and Oregon was removed last week

Transit Shelter Rebuilt
New bus shelter at Broad and Oregon is almost complete

That is a pretty quick turn around time for this area of the city. Let’s hope the new shelters on the other routes will be built just as quickly.

Jefferson expands in Navy Yard of South Philly

Jefferson Health System announced plans to open a new 70,000-square-foot adult health and  wellness facility in the Three Crescent Drive office building at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia by mid-2018.

The Navy Yard is increasingly becoming home to many businesses, including GSK, Iroko Pharmaceuticals, Urban Outfitters headquarters, Philadelphia 76ers, Tasty Baking Co. and Penn Capital Management.

Public transportation to the Navy Yard feels limited, despite the two free Navy Yard shuttle routes that transports visitors and employees to the Navy Yard from Center City, and AT&T Station on the Broad Street Subway Line. As the Broad Street Line Expansion project seems far from reality, it will be interesting to see if Navy Yard transportation will expand with growing tenants.

Illegal median parking battle divides South Philly residents

There are two major issues that get South Philadelphians riled up: street cleaning and parking. Since the only major criticism against street cleaning is that it requires parked cars to move, the only true issue that troubles South Philadelphians seems to be parking.

South Broad St Parking divide
South Broad St median parking is the South Philly norm (photo by Claudia Gavin)

Illegal median parking on south Broad Street has long been a topic of debate. In South Philadelphia, cars park on the median of Broad Street, Oregon Ave, Washington Ave, and wherever the PPA and Philadelphia police can turn a  blind eye. Other neighborhoods don’t get it, and South Philadelphians don’t really think anything of it. It’s the way it has always been, legal or not.

Since the Democratic National Convention, when median parking ban was enforced, the controversy has only escalated. Median parking practice is technically illegal, but is it also dangerous? 5th Square, a local political action committee, seems to think so. 5th Square started an online petition to ban median parking that has since gained over 900 supporters. The organization recently hosted a fundraiser, “No Parking on the Dance Floor” at our own Dolphin Tavern to support the banning of median parking. According to 5th Square, the funds will be used to “pay for the next phase of the Broad Street campaign, which will include professional planning and design work, and multiple public engagement sessions that empower South Philadelphia neighbors to reimagine what Broad Street can be.”

South Philly Parking Ban
South Broad Street with no cars parked on the median due enforcement during the DNC

Leading the other side of the median parking war are many vocal long-term South Philadelphia residents. Most notably, the administrator of Taking our South Philadelphia Streets Back (TOSPSB), a local pro-police/anti-crime Facebook group, has led a social media campaign to support maintaining illegal median parking in South Philadelphia. The TOSPSB Facebook group is a page for community residents to warn each other about local crime and share events to support the PPD. The Facebook group identifies as diverse, with majority vocal members being traditional, long-term South Philadelphia residents.

Although noncommittal about the issue, Mayor Jim Kenney has encouraged the PPA to start ticketing some of the worst violators, according to Philadelphia Magazine.

“The mayor, the PPA and members of the administration met to discuss the median parking issue a few weeks ago, before the administration met with 5th Square this week,” said Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt. “In that meeting, we agreed that PPA should ticket in the median when a car is fishtailed, in the turning lane, and in the crosswalk. We also agreed that any other changes should be community-driven.”

Mayor Kenney’s compromise, although agreeable to both parties, was criticized by some community members as “weak and noncommittal.” Such criticism has been said of our mayor many times since his taking office in January. Kenney has not pushed to action some of his campaign promises, notably ones that involve a firm stance. Tough decisions often offend, and Jim Kenney is not one to offend. As Kenney is currently involved with scandals and an FBI investigation, perhaps the non-offensive route is his best position.

As polls, action calls, and surveys flood social media, South Philadelphians are split nearly equally between the sides. Should we enforce the law and ban median parking or continue the South Philly tradition and let it be? Will Mayor Kenney’s efforts be enough to peacefully settle this deeply divided issue?