Thursday, September 15, 2016

Liberty on the River

Last night was the first presentation, of many, from K4 Associates to Pennsport Civic Association in regards to their mega project on Columbus Boulevard (which including its newly appointed name, has entirely too many AKA's in my opinion) between Washington Avenue and Reed Street.  They met previously in February with the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, which was covered by Jacob Adelman from in this article.  He was also present at last night's meeting, so expect a more thorough recap from him at some point soon.

I was not able to get any pictures last night, but here are the highlights:

  • Barton Architects is doing the design, presentation last night was by Seth Shapiro (they've done 1919 Market and are working on the National in Old City and the SOKO project in Kensington)
  • Gilbane was mentioned as the contractor
  • They gave 9.5 acres to the DRWC, so that the river trail may be maintained.
  • Looking to create multiple connector pathways along the Columbus Blvd face.  These pathways would not cross the Blvd, but they are meeting with Penndot about creating better walkways.
  • Overall project looked to have 10 towers total including four towers on the two piers that are on their property
  • Will be a phased project, with the first phase including a rental tower of approx 268 units, a hotel, and most importantly in my opinion most of the open space entrance they presented which connects at the off ramp from 95.
    • From the renderings that main connector will be a plaza with first floor retail that opens into the river trail
    • Additional phases depend on absorption of the units
    • They currently do not have possession of the sheet metal building itself, which from the renderings would be townhomes along Del Ave.
  • All of the towers have above ground parking that doesn't impede on the open areas, the renderings showed residential/retail along the facade faces and they made note of parking being behind it.  They are shooting for a .5 parking ratio, which exceeds the .3 in the code.  Also noted they are exploring mechanical parking options as well.
  • They are looking to go for a zoning ordinance to get relief on zoning height, which they plan on doing by creating a new overlay for their property.
  • Pending zoning approval, they hope to start within a year.
General consensus from the people who saw the presentation was positive, however the biggest issue that kept coming up was how to connect the neighborhood of Pennsport to this new project with the barrier that is 95 and Columbus Blvd.  PCA offered to give assistance and K4 seemed amenable to multiple avenues.  Hopefully they are true to their word and help us create a project that we want to come to but also don't have to risk our lives to walk to.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Pastries Replace Pastor

Here at the Pennsporter, we make no bones about our love of good mexican food.  So it was a bit of a disappointment earlier this year when we noticed that Pancho Villa, which is on the border of Pennsport & Dickinson Square West at 4th & Moore, seemed to be closed.  Luckily we have no shortage of options here in south philly, but we wondered what would come of the space.

That question was answered as we scrolled through the feed on the Nextdoor app.  For those of you who do not know what that app is, Nextdoor is a social networking app for locals in any area for classified, recommendations, events, etc.  You are able to set up your feed to be as restricted as just Pennsport or can include as many surrounding neighborhoods as you want.  It can be a useful tool for neighbors.

But we digress, thanks to a tipster (Francisco Stoll) over on the Nextdoor app, he noted and uploaded pictures of a french pastry shop opening up in the Pancho Villa spot!  It is called Creme Brulee Patisserie and looks as though they'll be serving up pastries, sandwiches, coffee, juice, etc.

From what we've gathered from the original post and the comments, they are in the process of getting outdoor seating and removing the old Pancho Villa sign.  One commenter even compared it to Artisan Boulanger Patissier, which is bold and since that commenter more then likely isn't Craig Laban we will leave it up to you to pass judgement.

from Francisco S on Nextdoor

Either way, these pictures look fantastic and this is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.  Stop by and say hi!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Right on the heels of an amazing weekend at Jefferson Square Park's Parks on Tap, which was incredible for anyone who missed out and we hope they return again next year, we got huge news from another travelling group.

Probably not the first to break this as it came to me through the Food Trust's email chain, but they've just announced that on 9/1 the night market is coming to Pennsport!  Can't think of a better way to kick off Labor Day weekend then this.  They will be using the parking area under 95 from Front Street to Snyder and it looks as though they are doing this in collaboration with the Goldenberg Group who is the owner land of the box stores.  Heard about their wanting to get involved in turning this area into something amazing in our previous civic meetings, and this is a great place to showcase what it can be.  So MARK YOUR CALENDARS.

Oh other news, the last one will be at the navy yard.  Which will obviously also be awesome, just not in Pennsport, so less awesome.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Big Week for Jeff Sq Park

One of my favorite things about our neighborhood is that we have not one, BUT TWO, amazing parks!  We are extremely fortunate in that regard.  This week Jefferson Square Park will be on display.

Over the last few years, the amount of beer gardens in this city has grew in leaps and bounds.  Pennsport is finally getting the beer garden treatment, even if its only for a week.  Parks & Recreation teamed up with the Fairmount Park Conservancy to create a travelling beer garden, called Parks on Tap, that has made stops at 14 parks throughout the city.  It is run through FCM Hospitality, who is also responsible for another fantastic outdoor space Morgan's Pier among other venues. It will be open the following hours:

WED + THURS: 5 - 10 PM
SUNDAY: 12 - 10 PM

Whats great about this is there are a handful of other events put on through the Friends of Jefferson Park that were also scheduled for this week as well, so we think the park will be full of friendly neighbors all weekend.  Here is the schedule for this week, thanks to the Jeff Sq newsletter:

Events at Jefferson Square Park:

8/3 - Friends of Jefferson Square Kids Night 6 to 8 pm | bring the whole family out for picnics, treats and some sprinkler fun

8/4 - Friends of Jefferson Square Park Fundraiser 5 to 7 pm | 50% of proceeds will go directly back to Jefferson Square Park!

8/4 - Major League Bocce 8 pm | Stay after the happy hour and gaze at the action of the night glow bocce tournaments

8/6 - Maha Yoga at Parks on Tap 12 to 1 pm | Pay What You Can

8/6 - Instameet with Pennsporter 11 am | Starting at the Washington Avenue Green park, stroll through Pennsport with Pennsporter and end up at Parks on Tap to toast your discoveries


Oh yeah, and whats that last event?  Oh that's just a walk around that I am doing with John Cruice who takes amazing photos regularly.  We are going to walk down the river walk from Washington Square Green to the Pier 68 Fishing Pier and then back through the neighborhood to the Parks on Tap event! Seems to me to be a great way to get some amazing photos and work up a appetite/thirst for the beer garden.  So come out and visit the park and tell all your friends to come see just one of the reasons why we love Pennsport so much.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Retail Roundup

Some new retail has shown its face on the northern edges of the neighborhood.  First off at the intersection of League St & Washington Avenue, in what was a Summit real estate office, Pennsporter noticed some work happening to the storefront and a fancy new sign in the window.

Technically not Pennsport, but on our count it.

Looks like it will be replaced with a custom cabinetry company called Goldenhome Kitchen.  Not much in the way of domestic information on the company but it looks as though they do a lot of international business.  This adds some life to this strip of Washington Avenue with Society Hill Beverage a few doors down and B&J Flooring as well as Washington Kitchen & Granite on the next block.  Best of luck to this new company, although would have been great to have another concept here, especially with the green space at the end of the building, other then another building supply store.

Also of note is something we found the other day on the Passyunk Post, and its in regards to a new facial spa & massage store called Hand & Stone opening up next to Beer Heaven in the Riverview Shopping Center.  Hours of operation & other information can be found here.  I see a massage/beer/pho triple play in my immediate future.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Old Champp's site is getting up off the canvas

While at the civic meeting on Wednesday, which for future reference are always on the second Wednesday of the month (done for the summer months, will resume in Sept.) someone mentioned that they saw some action happening down where Champp's Bar was.  For those who aren't aware where that is, its the corner pad site at Columbus Boulevard & Snyder Ave next to the Longhorn.  This restaurant closed back in 2014 and has been vacant since.  

Being the inquisitive type, we made our way over there to find that there was some serious work happening on that building.  Site fence was up, facade has been cleaned off and prepped for some work, interiors looked to be being worked on.  

A Liquor Control Board poster was posted at the sidewalk along the Blvd which led us to determine that Miller's Ale House would be the new tenant.This is a national chain that is based out of Florida.  Seems to be in the same vein as the restaurant that preceded it in terms of offerings, you can find the menu here and just as important the drinks here.
Alas, as I and the original Pennsporter opined, this will not be the non national chain entity we wished for the neighborhood (looking at you Iron Hill or Tired Hands) but it will definitely add to the options for everyone.  Welcome to the neighborhood!

We've reached out to the owner for additional information and an opening date.

Monday, April 4, 2016

New Construction: Monarch Townhomes

Slowly but surely getting underway over here.  Want to first and foremost thank Jim Jennings for starting and growing an awesome local blog that provided a fantastic service to the community.  I can only hope to continue what he started, be forewarned though, I am a novice.

Going to start off with an update from a familiar developer.  Pennsporter has been updating you on their progress since Day 1.  From the same company that completed the Metropolis project on 2nd & Wharton, we now have a new project called The Monarch Townhomes of Moyamensing from Rock Construction
Manages to be regal and continue the development alliteration....Metropolis, Monarch
 5 luxury townhomes with 2 car garages will be taking the place of the lot that sits at the corner of Wharton & Moyamensing and the LRC Services cleaning company that used the single story garage next to it.
Will update this story with more information as we get it.