The UA Riverview Plaza movie theater in Pennsport, South Philadelphia is expected to receive a $12 million renovation starting Spring of this year. This is the beginning of a larger plan by Cedar Realty Trust to transform the aging Riverview Plaza strip mall in South Philly into a waterfront row of luxury apartments, retail shops, and lively restaurants, anchored by the center’s soon-to-be-transformed movie theater.
The real estate trust plans to redevelop the center over 7 to 10 years in three phases. The first two phases will consist of about 260 apartments and 125,000 square feet of retail. The redevelopment will start at the shopping center, which spans the western side of South Columbus Boulevard, from Washington Avenue to Dickinson Street, in the city’s Pennsport neighborhood.
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.
Last Friday, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority placed 26 city-owned properties on the market and took their first step towards a resolution for the backlog of undeveloped, municipally owned land that pocks the city’s neighborhoods.
The properties going out for competitive bid include 24 vacant lots and two empty buildings within City Councilman Mark Squila’s First Council District, which runs along the city’s eastern edge along the Delaware River between South Philadelphia and Port Richmond. The parcels are clustered in sections of Kensington and Fishtown and in the Whitman and Lower Moyamensing sections of Squilla’s native South Philly.
The people behind Bubblefish in Chinatown have opened Ginza Sushi and Ramen Restaurant in Pennsport in South Philly. Ginza is a multi-concept Japanese BYOB restaurant that serves locally sourced fare of sushi, sashimi, poke, and various noodles like ramen and udon.
Ginza Sushi and Ramen
1100 S Front St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 534-4046 ginzaphilly.com
Mexican dining on Passyunk with attentive staff and good service? Count us in!
Pistola’s Del Sur, the East Passyunk edition of Casey Parker and Joe Gunn’s popular modern Mexican hot spot serves fusion tacos, Mexican flatbreads and more creative fare by chef Adan Trinidad. The buzzy restaurant & bar serves inventive Mexican eats, beer, tequilas & more in a lively and intimate setting.
Pistola’s Del Sur
1943 East Passyunk Avenue
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.
Otis & Pickles Speakeasy, a craft beer and cocktail bar in the Whitman/Pennsport neighborhood of South Philly, is expected to open its doors January 2017.
Located at the former Cooley’s Bar at 2500 South 3rd Street, Otis & Pickles is a new bar that will be inclusive of new Philadelphians, without alienating any of the old residents. The owner, Collazo, suggests the bar will uphold the fun and rough essence of South Philly, without tolerating any “douchebaggery” of pretension. Otis & Pickles will be “a bar where you can have some fucking fun.”
The vacuum repair shop has closed and is transitioning into Valena’s Simple Cafe! Pennsport and Whitman neighborhood have been sorely lacking in independently owned coffee shops. This new cafe, opening right at the border of Pennsport and Whitman, will be located at the corner of Front st and Snyder ave.
There are two major issues that get South Philadelphians riled up: street cleaning and parking. And since the only major criticism against street cleaning is that it requires parked cars to move, the only issue that truly troubles South Philadelphians seems to be parking.
Illegal median parking on south Broad Street has long been a topic of discussion and debate. Cars park on the median of Broad Street, Oregon Ave, Washington Ave, and wherever it the PPA and Philadelphia police 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 dangerous? 5th Square, a 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.”
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.
“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.”
Polls, action calls, and surveys are flooding Facebook, with South Philadelphians split nearly 50/50 between the sides. Enforce the law and ban median parking or continue the South Philly tradition and let it be? Is it simply a battle of new residents vs old residents? Will Mayor Kenney’s efforts be enough to peacefully settle this deeply divided issue?