New apartment building proposed near 43rd and Sansom; Community zoning meeting this Monday

September 15, 2019

                   112-114 S. 43rd Street.

The Spruce Hill Community Association Zoning Committee will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 16, and one of the proposals on the agenda is construction of a new 12-unit apartment building on S. 43rd Street between Sansom and Chestnut.

The project involves consolidation of two lots – 112 and 114 S. 43rd St. – into one with demolition of the existing structure at 114, according to a Spruce Hill Zoning Committee announcement. The project envisions the construction of 12 units with four bicycle spaces and no parking. Property is in CMX-4 zoning, which requires four parking spots.  Continue Reading

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The Wine Garden open through October near 50th and Baltimore

September 13, 2019

While the weather is still warm, folks in Cedar Park and nearby areas may be interested to know that there is a new addition to the local drinking establishments scene. A pop-up wine garden, named simply The Wine Garden, which focuses on wine and wine only (no beer), has recently opened at 5019 Baltimore Avenue, in the outdoor space previously occupied by Taco Angeleno. One of the co-owners is Saba Tedla, owner of Aksum and Booker’s restaurants also located on Baltimore Ave.

The Wine Garden offers seating for up to 30 people and serves vintage wines and specialty drinks, plus live entertainment featuring local musicians, according to Philadelphia Magazine. Basically, it’s a great place to relax after a long workday and on weekends.

The Wine Garden is open Monday through Friday 4-11 p.m.; noon-11 p.m. on Saturdays and noon-6 p.m. on Sundays. It will stay open through the end of October. So far, there’s no website or Facebook page, but we’ll keep you posted.

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Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is back this Thursday (rain or shine)

September 10, 2019

September 12 Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll map (click to enlarge).

This year’s second and last Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is happening on Thursday, Sept. 12 and will feature hundreds of $1 items (food, drinks, merchandise, theatre tickets, and more!), as well as live music and entertainment. The event will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. from 43rd to 52nd Streets, and there will also be a special performance at 40th and Baltimore.

Thirty-six Baltimore Avenue businesses and 15 community food and merchandise vendors will participate in the September edition of the Dollar Stroll. Check out this map for more details.  Continue Reading

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Free Ethical & Sustainable Fashion Workshop with designer Keyonna Butler in October (sponsored post)

September 10, 2019

Have you ever looked at a pair of jeans and wished there was a way to upgrade them in order to keep them in your wardrobe? Well, there is a solution for you and it’s called sustainable fashion! Learn how to spruce up your closet while saving money in your pocket and keeping waste out of the environment. This workshop series with a fashion designer and founder of Stellar Design, Keyonna Butler, will teach basic sewing, stitching, and sustainability in fashion.

This free workshop will be held every Saturday in October from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. at Neighborhood Time Exchange (4017 Lancaster Ave.). Email to register. You can also register online. Registrants must participate in all workshop dates.

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SEPTA, officials celebrate completion of Woodland Ave. Bridge Replacement Project

September 9, 2019

On Monday morning, SEPTA, local officials, including mayor Jim Kenney, and community members gathered on Woodland Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets to celebrate the completion of the Woodland Avenue Bridge Replacement Project. The bridge, which carries SEPTA Trolley Routes 11 and 36, and crosses the Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line, has been fully replaced.

The bridge was originally built in the 1920s and had severely deteriorated due to age, weather and traffic. SEPTA partnered with the City of Philadelphia and PennDOT to manage the design and construction of the replacement bridge. Funding for the $7.3 million project was made possible by Act 89 of 2013, which has provided a large funding source for transportation infrastructure improvement projects throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The project began in Spring 2018 and was completed last month. Both trolley lines and street traffic were detoured during construction.

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N2N Festival, feat. Salt-N-Pepa, is this Saturday; Move your car if you’re parked near Cedar Park

September 6, 2019

If you have a car parked along Baltimore Avenue between 49th and 51st Streets, you should move. Same goes for 50th and 51st from Pentridge to Catharine. Cars should be moved by 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6. or they will be towed, according to police.

All of this is for the N2N Festival in Cedar Park this Saturday, Sept. 7, featuring Salt-N-Pepa.

Cars can be parked again on those streets starting 12 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8.

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Car break-ins, thefts from autos still a big problem

September 5, 2019

An uptick in thefts from autos was reported back in May in the 18th Police District, which covers West Philadelphia neighborhoods south of Market Street, and the number of such thefts and car break-ins has remained high throughout the summer, according to several crime alerts from police.

Last Thursday, a string of thefts from cars parked on the 4800 block of Hazel all the way to the 5100 block of Hazel was reported. The thefts took place between the early morning hours of 2 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.. Check out this video:  Continue Reading

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Taco Taco restaurant opens at former Honest Tom’s location near 44th and Spruce

September 3, 2019

A new Mexican restaurant, Taco Taco, quietly opened last month in the former Honest Tom’s Plant Based Taco Shop location at 261 S. 44th Street. According to a recent report, Honest Tom’s longtime kitchen staff members – Alvaro, Maria and Eli – took over the space after former owner Tom McCusker left at the end of July to start a new business, Fruitadelphia.

The new restaurant is no longer vegan, although it still features some vegan items, like BIFF (a walnut-based “meat”) tacos and burritos. The new owners brought back the old menu, including breakfast on the weekends, which Honest Tom’s used to serve before it went all-vegan in the summer of 2018.

Taco Taco is open Monday – Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

For more info, check out their Facebook page.

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Penn Book Center to stay open with new owners

August 30, 2019

Here’s some encouraging news about Penn Book Center, the independent bookstore at 34th and Sansom whose owners Ashley Montague and Michael Row announced last spring that they were struggling to stay in business and would close their doors permanently in May 2019. According to this week’s announcement, the store will stay open thanks to new owners, Matt Duquès and Diana Bellonby.

After Penn faculty and students launched a campaign to save the store, which included a petition signed by more than 5,000 people, the University of Pennsylvania, the store’s landlords, extended the lease for the summer to give Montague and Row time to work out a new plan to stay open. Duquès and Bellonby, who were in the process of moving from Alabama to Philadelphia, heard of the campaign and soon began negotiations to buy the store which was founded in 1962.  Continue Reading

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Parking restrictions in place as crews film in Spruce Hill and near Baltimore Ave through next week

August 30, 2019

Film crews will be shooting in the Spruce Hill neighborhood for the next several days, prompting temporary “no parking” zones on several streets.

The crews are filming scenes for Dispatches From Elsewhere, a 10-episode anthology series that is set to be released on AMC in 2020. Jason Segel created and will star in the series. Other cast members include Sally Field, André Benjamin (André 3000 from Outkast) and the English actor Richard E. Grant.

Several actors were spotted filming the series in Rittenhouse Square late last month.  Continue Reading

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Neighbors prepare list of requests before meeting with developers of property near 51st and Spruce

August 29, 2019

Neighbors turned out at the First Corinthian Baptist Church on Monday to hear about plans for the property at 303 S. 51st St. (Photo by West Philly Local)

Neighborhood organizers have put together a list of requests for a developer who plans to build a 30-unit apartment complex on a lot tucked away at the end of a small alley near 51st and Spruce. They plan to present the requests during a meeting with the developer, Callahan Ward, next month.

About 70 people attended Monday’s meeting, which was hosted by Neighbors for Healthy Community Development (NHCD) at the First Corinthian Baptist Church at 51st and Pine, intended to gauge community support for requests related to safety, overbuilding on the lot and the inclusion of affordable units.  Continue Reading

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Creative Happenings in West Philly! September 1-7, 2019 (Advertisement)

August 29, 2019

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Oooooo Baby Baby!: Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte to headline annual N2N Festival in Cedar Park

August 28, 2019

West Philly community members will have a chance to see legendary female rap and hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa perform at the annual Neighborhood-to-Neighborhood (N2N) Festival. This year’s festival celebrates women in hip-hop and will take place at 50th and Baltimore next Saturday, Sept. 7.

Salt-N-Pepa, who have broken barriers and opened doors that were once closed to women in hip-hop, are set to headline the 2019 N2N Festival, performing their hit songs. MC Lyte, one of hip-hop’s pioneer feminists, and Angie Stone who rose to fame as member of the hip hop trio The Sequence before starting her solo career are also performing. There will also be live performances by local Philadelphia artists.

The free festival will be hosted by legendary radio host Lady B from Classix 107.9 FM, and comedian, Skeet. More than 5,000 people from across the region will enjoy the free festival throughout the day.  Continue Reading

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Woodland Avenue Bridge reconstruction project completed; Trolleys 11, 36 to resume regular service this Wednesday

August 27, 2019

After more than a year of detours and shuttle bus service due to the Woodland Avenue Bridge reconstruction project at 47th and Woodland, SEPTA is set to resume regular service for trolley routes 11 and 36. The project has been completed, and the trolleys will resume regular operation on Woodland Ave. between 49th St. and Chester Ave. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, SEPTA has announced.

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Parks On Tap returns to Clark Park this week

August 27, 2019

Parks on Tap, Philadelphia’s traveling beer garden, is returning this Wednesday to Clark Park at 43rd and Baltimore. The program is a partnership between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy, and FCM Hospitality. It provides beers on tap, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and fresh food at different parks throughout the city all summer long.

Parks on Tap is family-friendly and offers a variety of programming, including free yoga in the park with Roots2Rise. Dogs on leashes are welcome.

Parks on Tap will be in Clark Park from this Wednesday through Monday (Labor Day) during the following hours:  Continue Reading

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Residents to present alternative plan to ‘by right’ construction near 51st and Spruce

August 26, 2019

Last month, a group of concerned residents held a community action meeting to draw attention to a proposed development at 303 S. 51st Street. Developer Callahan Ward is planning to build three luxury apartment buildings with 33 units and three ground-floor commercial spaces on the site of a former mechanic’s shop, located in the backyard of many homes and only accessible by a narrow alley. The lot is zoned CMX2, which allows 33 units by right, but the neighbors are opposing the development due to many concerns, including environmental contamination, overcrowding, fire hazards, and more.  Continue Reading

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Design of first two Schuylkill Yards towers unveiled

August 23, 2019

Brandywine Realty Trust has unveiled the architectural designs of the first two high rises in Schuylkill Yards, the $3.5 billion 14-acre development project near 30th Street Station.

The two towers will be located at 3001 (East Tower) and 3025 (West Tower) John F. Kennedy Blvd. The 512 feet tall East Tower features a unique stacking design, 34 floors of office space, 7,000 square feet of retail, and a dedicated amenity level on the 14th floor.

The mixed-use West Tower will offer 9,000 square feet of retail, 219,000 square feet of residential, 200,000 square feet of office space and covered parking. Both towers will be sitting atop a foundation of fluted pedestals, forming a series of archways (see rendering below). Continue Reading

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The Bank’s Walls Call for Artists (sponsored post)

August 22, 2019

It has been almost three years since the Parklet at The Bank building asked community members to reimagine the use of a parking lot and take advantage of additional outdoor space in their neighborhood.

This Fall, the People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation (PECCDC) is seeking six professional West Philly-based artists to help them continue to beautify the Parklet. In collaboration with community members, artists will create one in a series of permanent murals on the half-walls surrounding The Bank, the repurposed United Bank building, on Lancaster and Powelton Avenues.

Go here for more information and to register. Registration deadline has been extended until Sunday, Sept. 9, 2019 11:59 p.m. The Artist Pitch – Open Mic Presentation – will take place on Friday, Sept. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Neighborhood Time Exchange (4017 Lancaster Ave.).

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Zoning committee encourages medical marijuana dispensary applicant to move forward

August 21, 2019

The inside of an Ilera Healthcare dispensary, which company officials told the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee will be very similar to one proposed for 4237 Walnut Street (from Ilera’s website).

The Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee encouraged officials from a medical marijuana dispensary to formally apply for zoning for a location near 43rd and Walnut after an informational meeting this week.

Ilera Healthcare wants to open the dispensary at 4237 Walnut St., a property that has housed health-related businesses for several years. It would be the first medical marijuana dispensary in West Philly and the company’s second in the region.  Continue Reading

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