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Archive | June, 2017

Catch public art on display, new parklet on Lancaster Ave this summer

Posted on 30 June 2017

Ten artists were selected by local community members this Spring to create a series of public art pieces and installations to be on display through September along Lancaster Avenue. Each piece of art will explore progress, change, and invisibility.

                Photos courtesy of LoLa 38.

The work of four installation artists is currently on display at the former United Bank building at 38th and Lancaster and on the fence surrounding the site of the former University City High School (UCHS).

Melanie Booth, whose work can be seen on the fence, is a visiting exchange student at Drexel University from Sydney, Australia. Her piece is a Nylon 5’x8’ American Flag with embroidery titled #notmypresident (pictured above). Oluwafemi’s pen and digital print piece, Collective Conscious, is in the Bank’s parking lot windows and is best seen at night.  Continue Reading

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Reminder: SEPTA fares to increase starting July 1

Posted on 29 June 2017

Here’s a reminder that SEPTA fare increases will go into effect on Saturday, July 1, 2017, the start of the new fiscal year. Fares will increase across all modes of transportation and methods of payment.

SEPTA cash fare will go up to $2.50 from $2.25; single rides with a token/SEPTA Key Travel Wallet will increase to $2.00 from $1.80. Transfers will remain at $1. Here’s a summary of changes to some of the most widely used fare payment methods. The full details are available on the SEPTA website.

• Cash Fare/Quick Trip: Increase from $2.25 to $2.50
• Discounted single ride with SEPTA Key Travel Wallet/Token: From $1.80 to $2
• Disabled Fare: From $1 to $1.25
• Paratransit/Shared Ride: $4 to $4.25
• Weekly TransPass: From $24 to $25.50 (up to 56 trips for one customer)  Continue Reading

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Developer of multi-billion-dollar ‘Schuylkill Yards’ pledges funds for affordable housing, job training, minority businesses

Posted on 28 June 2017

The developers of Schuylkill Yards, the $3.5 billion commercial and residential development near 30th Street Station, announced this week that they will spend $5.6 million on community initiatives, including affordable housing.

Brandywine Realty Trust’s “Neighborhood Engagement Initiative” will focus on local job creation and training, supporting local and minority-owned businesses and building affordable housing. The firm pledged to provide $3.1 million toward housing and job training in the first phase of Schuylkill Yards development, set to begin this summer.

Curbed Philadelphia reports that the $3.1 million will go into a community fund to be shared between the nearby Powelton Village and Mantua neighborhoods for housing projects. Brandywine will also provide $500,000 to the Enterprise Center to help develop minority-owned businesses. Other plans include providing funding for the Construction Apprentice Preparatory Program to help local workers prepare for jobs in the construction industry.

Schuylkill Yards will include 6.9 million square feet of new commercial, retail and residential space on 14 acres stretching from 30th Street Station west to 33rd Street and from JFK Boulevard south to Chestnut. It is scheduled to be completed in two phases over the next two decades.

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Construction on Trolley Portal Gardens begins near 40th and Baltimore

Posted on 27 June 2017

The much anticipated construction of Trolley Portal Gardens, the project that will include a remodeled 40th Street Trolley portal, a public space and a restaurant, has begun. Philadelphia general contractor Domus will begin excavating the building foundation as early as the end of this week, according to Chris Richman, Communication Manager for University City District.

The work will spread to a larger area, called “the apron,” after the Trolley Tunnel Blitz concludes in mid-July.

The groundbreaking ceremony for Trolley Portal Gardens was held in December 2016, but it took some time to obtain necessary building permits. The last remaining permits were finalized earlier this month, according to the project websiteContinue Reading

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‘Seeds of Sovereignty’ Festival to celebrate 52nd Street Corridor, Black-owned and operated businesses (updated)

Posted on 23 June 2017

Community members are invited to celebrate the 52nd Street corridor’s historic legacy and to support Black owned and operated businesses at the Marketplace “Seeds of Sovereignty” Festival. The festival will be held on Sunday, June 25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (the event has been rescheduled due to rain in the forecast for Saturday), between Walnut and Spruce Streets and will feature vendors, a children’s village, performances, food, fashion shows, and workshops.

One of the goals of the festival, organized in collaboration with the African Cultural Art Forum (ACAF), Philadelphia Assembled Collaborative, Philadelphia Association of CDC’s and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is to set the stage for collaborations that will promote a sovereign society and to engage sustainable economic development opportunities in West Philadelphia and around the world.  Continue Reading

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Old West Philly High School, now ‘West Lofts,’ to welcome first tenants next month

Posted on 23 June 2017

West PhillyWhile graffiti still covers the front of the old West Philadelphia High School building and it may seem like not much work has yet been done on converting the early 20th century building at 48th and Walnut into loft apartments (the project was first announced in 2012,) a part of the building, now called West Lofts, is ready to welcome its first tenants next month, according to reports.

The first 35 units have been leased for July 1 move-in, and more units are currently for lease for August and September move-ins, according to a report by Philly Curbed.

Upon completion, West Lofts will have 268 studio, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments, many of them bi-level, ranging from $995 to $2,430. The building will also include a restored gym, a co-working space and a coffee shop, according to Philly Curbed.

If you want to see photos from inside the building (they may surprise you!), go to Philly Curbed.

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