Friday, August 30, 2013

Want Business in Pennsport?

I've had many people reach out to me with a simple phrase, "We need more business in Pennsport!"

As you already know, I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment - especially well maintained shops run by local people, in other words, our neighbors.

The example below is the perfect recipe for how to NOT attract business to the neighborhood. 

Plus this:
Yields this:

Here we have two local and established businesses (Guerilla Ultima and Buttercream Cupcakes) discussing the tough times they've had in Pennsport. Both of these business owners live in the neighborhood and operate food popular food trucks. Buttercream operates a bake shop on Moyamensing near McKean Street and Guerilla Ultima is actively looking to bring his killer BBQ to Pennsport by way of a shop.

Granted, I can't claim to know the exact circumstances of each situation, the vandals may not even be from the area, but it spells doom for anyone looking to kick start a business in Pennsport. The quote from Mellody Brewing spells it out. Here is a local guy having second thoughts about bringing a brewery to Pennsport (read that again - a brewery to Pennsport). If this behavior continues and this sentiment becomes the norm, it would be very difficult to attract new business from outside the neighborhood, let alone people who live amongst us as neighbors.

You want that cool new spot to come to Pennsport? It's time to welcome local business and be supportive to people trying to move the neighborhood forward by investing in its bright future. See someone messing with your neighbors' home, car, or business? Call the cops immediately. See a glass bottle or trash on the sidewalk? Pick it up.

It's time we start treating our neighbors like neighbors and our neighborhood like a neighborhood again - get to know each other and pitch in!

Let's put the pride back in Pennsport - together.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PHL Bike Share is Coming - Would You Use It?

Want PHL Bike Share in Pennsport? Send in some suggestions

Urban Transportation is a hot topic these days. Whether it's SEPTA finally getting with the program or new studies showing that Philly is becoming less dependent on cars, the way Philadelphians get to and fro is changing.

This brings us to Bike Sharing in Philadelphia.

Various cities have some sort of bike sharing program. New York has Citi Bike and Washington DC has Capital Bikeshare - it's been on the docket in Philadelphia (check this pic from 2008!) for a few years and is set to launch in the Summer of 2014. Using a bicycle as a primary mode of urban transportation is a growing trend and extremely popular in Philadelphia.

In his article for Next City, Jon Geeting explains:
Philly has the highest rate of bike commuting of the 10 largest U.S. cities, with bicycle mode share twice as high as that of the next-best city, Chicago. Neighborhoods in Center City and South Philly are in the same league as all-stars like Portland and Minneapolis for bicycle ridership. With bike share allegedly rolling out next year, and car share networks gaining popularity, it’s only going to get easier and more convenient to live car-free.

As the Passyunk Post has reported, the latest map outlining Zone 1 of PHL Bike Share now includes various parts of South Philly. Unsurprisingly, Pennsport isn't one of those areas. Disappointed by this news? You have the chance to change it.

PHL Bike Share is looking for suggestions for docking locations. You can see from the interactive map that some of these suggestions have started to pop up in the Pennsport area - specifically around the developing Piers 53 and 70. These would be perfect locations for these bicycle docks as the Southern Wetlands Park looks to become the primary source of future foot traffic in the neighborhood. Docking stations that bookend Moyamensing Avenue at Washington and Snyder Aves. would also be particularly smart placement.

The big question remains: would you participate in the program by, you know, paying to rent a bike from time to time? What dock placement works for you?

I would love to hear your feedback on bike sharing. Leave a comment or continue the discussion on Twitter, Facebook, or through email.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Future of Pier 53 Offers a Chance to Explore Your Past

Latest rendering of Pier 53 (via PlanPhilly)

Renderings of the future plans for Pier 53 (Washington Avenue Green) were recently released through the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. The new image offers a glimpse in to the bright future of the Pennsport waterfront while reiterating the goal set forth by the DRWC of keeping the stretch of land from Pier 53 through Pier 70 as a wildlife trail full of lush vegetation with the ability to "touch the water."

Back in April, you read on this very blog that Washington Avenue Green was "the beginning of something big" - not only for Pennsport but for the development of the waterfront in general. The brilliance of this project lies in the fact that it's much different from the Race Street Pier and is being treated as such. The natural habitats that have developed along the water are important and deserved to be showcased and preserved. However, the exciting part of this project will be how it blends this natural landscape with its fascinating past and how it tells the story of the immigration station once housed on Pier 53 - a place where nearly one million immigrants first came in to America.

That's where Susan McAninley and the Friends of Washington Avenue Green come in.

Susan, who is heavily involved in the Friends of Washington Avenue Green, is developing a project that looks to fuse the majestic natural environment of the Delaware River with the rich history of Pier 53 as an East Coast hub of immigration. The goal is to spark a connection to the personal story of the people who came through Pier 53 and set up roots in the nearby neighborhoods.

"The history of the Pier is the history of Philadelphia" explained Susan. "Pier 53 has been kept intact  because non-native plants have planted their roots firmly into the rubble that had been used as fill when the pier extension was first built about 140 years ago. Residents of the nearby neighborhoods reveal that same adaptability, continuity and tenacity, and this should be celebrated."

Through the Pier 53 Project, Susan (in conjunction with the DRWC) is looking for help from nearby neighbors who believe their ancestors may have come in to America through the Port of Philadelphia.  After an "immigration list" is compiled, research will begin at the Historical Society of Philadelphia to determine precise information of the ship, the year, and the steamship line of each person on the list. From there, participants will fill in a more detailed family history of their ancestors  to help solidify the neighborhood connection to the pier. To further add to the experience, an "identification tag" representing a single name on the immigration list will be created and subsequently given to visitors of the newly developed Pier 53.

Rendering of Southern Wetlands Park - Pier 53 to Pier 70 (via DRWC)

The recent renderings of Pier 53 combined with its natural habitat and fascinating history make the all encompassing Southern Wetlands Park an exciting chapter for the waterfront in Pennsport. Given the recent housing boom, the emphasis placed on making Pier 53 a destination for future generations of Philadelphians (and visitors of the city) is extremely important to the continued growth of the neighborhood while providing a beautiful amenity to those who already call Pennsport home.

Looking to participate in the Pier 53 Project?
Please contact Susan McAninley directly at or visit their Facebook page. Participants and volunteers are needed.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Large Scale Projects Starting to Take Shape

"The Summer of Enormous Residential Project" is firmly upon us. We warned you about it back in May and each project is starting to take shape in one way or another. Whether they are replacing neighborhood landmarks or have flashy names like "Metropolis" - they're here and the neighborhood will be changing. The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog gives us an in-depth look at each project.

Constitution Court:
Constitution Court - former site of Saint John the Evangelist (via Phila. Real Estate Blog)
The Rundown: Situated on the corner of Moyamensing Ave. and Reed St. this puppy comes in a almost 45' high.
"The three-bedroom, two-bathroom residences at 3rd and Reed streets will include roof decks, one-car garages with dog washes, and hardwood floors throughout."

Metropolis in NoLibs? No, Pennsport. (via Phila. Real Estate Blog)
The Rundown: Metropolis is at 2nd and Wharton. This project is proof-positive that the neighborhood is changing.
"Residents will enjoy roof decks and balconies, both of which will be included with each residence. Metropolis, which will run along Wharton Street from 2nd to Hancock streets, will be punctuated by a courtyard running between the two sets of houses that will provide access to the parking garages."

Second and Reed Street:
Second and Reed St - Fits Right In (via Phila. Real Estate Blog)
The Rundown: I believe we were the first to bring you the news of these project in March. These seems to meld a more traditional approach with contemporary nuances. Smaller lot with less houses and no curb cut? - I say "sweet!"
"Construction of six townhouses in a currently vacant lot in Pennsport is scheduled to begin in September. The homes will go up at 2nd and Reed Streets, and will be three stories tall with roof decks. Each townhouse will include four bedrooms, including a master suite with bathroom and den, or three bedrooms and a second den. As well, each unit will offer a garage, a basement family room, and a kitchen and dining room on the first floor."

Not that you necessarily care about my opinion but I think it's good that the neighborhood is starting to see it's own revitalization. It is sad to see local landmarks razed but new people will be moving in. However, questions do remain - will business follow and will these larger homes (built for families) be sold without backbone institutions like public elementary schools.

Hell, schools in general.

The good news is that Pennsport consists of two of the most popular zip codes in regards new housing sales. It speaks to the quality of the neighborhood and shows that Pennsport is definitely an area people are seeking out when it comes to buying a house. The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog lists it as a "trendy" neighborhood. Lack of business and schools could hinder the progress we've seen recently and slow the overall growth of the neighborhood.

One thing is certain, soon there will be upwards of 30 news condos on the market for house hunters to choose from - question remains, will they?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Rundown - Get Outside This Week

The weather is finally turning in our favor - so what better way to enjoy your neighborhood than to get outside, have some fun, and meet some of your neighbors. This is the perfect week as the parks of Pennsport offer you some exciting opportunities to do just that.

Here is a rundown of all the happenings at our beautiful neighborhood parks for the week of 8/5:


Come out for Movie night this Tuesday at 8pm for an outdoor showing of Ghostbusters. Do yourself a favor and bring your favorite snacks and blanket or a chair to enjoy one of the greatest comedies of all time in the friendly confines of Dickinson Square Park.

If you can't make in Tuesday - pick up your favorite produce at the Dickinson Square Park Farmers Market. Held every Sunday from 10am to 2pm, the market features a variety of local goodies and usually a local food truck.


Mayor Michael Nutter will kick off Philadelphia's Night Out Against Crime on Monday at Sacks Playground at 4th and Washington Avenue. The event is in conjunction with National Night Out.

If Ghostbusters isn't your type of flick (I'm sorry to hear that) - head over to Jefferson Square Park (3rd/Washington) and take in an outdoor showing of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Tuesday at 830pm. It's a great chance to sit outside and enjoy Jessica Rab - I mean Roger Rabbit, under the beautiful trees at JSP. Bring your chairs or blankets and some snacks.

If you have kids chomping at the bit to get outside and run around - turn off Dora the Explorer and head over to Jefferson Square Park for KIDZ NITE. Held every Thursday around 630pm (weather permitting), there are a bunch of fun things for the kids (and parents). It's a great time to get let the kids get their sillies out while meeting some neighbors.


Thursday's are a wonderful time in Pennsport. Not only do you have KIDZ NITE at JSP every Thursday in the Summer, but the Mummer Museum offers FREE STRING BANDS UNDER THE STARS as well. Only a block from Jefferson Square Park, the Mummer Museum hosts a new String Band every Thursday in a block party event only Pennsport can give you. Come out for refreshments around 730pm and grab a good seat as the show begins at 8pm. Where can you get some cheap food and beer with some great entertainment for the whole fam damnly? You know the answer - it's Pennsport, baby.

Did I miss anything or have an event coming up? Drop me a line - and I'll updat the post accordingly.