Azalea Gardens, a graduate student housing complex, is the latest proposal in a long-contested battle over how to redevelop a historic Italianate mansion located at 400 S. 40th St., which is owned by Penn.
Way back when. Image from Phillyhistory.org
Last month, developers from Equinox Management and Construction presented preliminary plans to preserve the mansion, knock down the concrete wings that were added when it served as nursing home, and construct a five-story L-shaped residential building, to members of the Spruce Hill Community Association. The project would target grad students, and offer 99 apartments with mostly studios and 1-bedroom units. One notable feature of the project is that it doesn’t include parking. Hopefully, proximity to campus and easy access to the 40th St. Trolley Portal will allay fears from neighbors that the project…
Between Farragut & Market Streets in West Philly, onions and tomatoes will soon be joined by people relaxing. That’s where a community park is just about finished being constructed by The Enterprise Center, where it will couple with the already existing Walnut Hill Community Farm.
Park slash farm
According to the West Philly Local, new features include solar paneled lighting and various new seating configurations designed to offer a relaxing environment- as relaxing as it can get next to the El.
The addition of the park might be the first of many TEC improvements to this area. Back in December, TEC demolished a string of homes, apparently to make for Enterprise Heights, its multi-million dollar project that’s been stalled for more than a decade. Before that, in the…
One of the three businesses that closed after a Christmas Eve fire at Elena’s Soul at 49th & Baltimore will reopen by mid-August, according to the West Philly Local.
The block in question
Last fall at Cedar Park Café, business was better than ever in the months leading up to the fire. After this unfortunate event, the community came together, raising money for the businesses that suffered as a result. Last year, a few new businesses opened on the block, and this year Little Baby’s Ice Cream opened across the street. And in the past couple of months, we’ve talked so much about the 5000 block of Baltimore, you might think it was the only part of West Philly. On that block, plans for new a juice and coffee bar, a restaurant, and a…
It’s been over a year since we first told you about it, but now it’s official: a new Fine Wine and Good Spirits is coming, likely by midsummer, to 43rd & Chestnut in University City. Two spots in a shopping center that were last occupied by a check cashing store and Risque Video will be combined into a single retail space for the liquor store. The store will feature a more diverse collection of offerings than many other Pennsylvania State Stores.
Future liquor store
“I think the group who will be most excited about it I think, frankly, are the students at the University of Pennsylvania,” said Barry Grossbach, Spruce Hill Community Association chair.
The group that might be less excited is the folks who contested the opening of the store when it was first announced last…
One of the seeds on the budding Baltimore Ave. commercial corridor suffered a tragic end on the afternoon of Christmas Eve when Elena’s Soul burnt down just shy of 50th and Baltimore in West Philadelphia.
The hope is its neighboring businesses, Gary’s Nails and the Cedar Park Café, can survive the structural stress created by the demolition of Elena’s, which was declared unsafe by L&I. Felled debris during demolition caused severe damage to Gary’s Nails, which itself might also have to be condemned, according to excerpts from a letter written by the owner of Elena’s, published in the West Philly Local (WPL).
Store next door
The fire originated in the kitchen at Elena’s, most likely above the ceilings, according to an initial inspection by the…
One of the most appealing off the main thoroughfare neighborhood parks we’ve encountered in a while, sits in West Philly at the corner of 48th and Chester streets, locked up and largely unused.
Squirrel Hill Falls Park was envisioned by local artist Danielle Rousseau Hunter. It’s a cozy forest-like corner pocket lot with a waterfall mural on its back wall. From the mid-80s until the mid-90s, Rousseau Hunter spearheaded efforts that corralled resources of neighbors and city and state offices, to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, including donations to design and complete the park. But its use ultimately became a neighborhood saga, according to this 1996 City Paper article.
The article describes Rousseau Hunter as a community activist who was tough against blight and big on transforming properties.…