Community organizations ask for clarity on future of ‘white elephant’ – 4601 Market St building

Posted on 18 August 2017

Former Provident Mutual Life Insurance building at 4601 Market St (archived photo).

Three West Philly neighborhood organizations have written to Mayor Jim Kenney to express their disappointment with the decision to pull the plan to move police headquarters to the old Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building at 4601 Market St, calling the decision “stunning.”

In May, the city canceled plans devised during the Nutter administration to relocate the police headquarters. Instead, it will reportedly move to the former Philadelphia Inquirer building at 400 N. Broad St. The city has spent about $50 million to purchase and renovate the 90-year-old Provident building.

The community associations of Garden Court, Spruce Hill and Walnut Hill neighborhoods also asked that the city continue to renovate the building and include the community in decisions about its future use.  Continue Reading

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Report: Amazon warehouse to open at 41st and Chestnut

Posted on 11 August 2017

The old two-story brick building at the corner of 41st and Chestnut may soon become home to an Amazon warehouse, according to a recent report by Naked Philly. The approximately 35,000 square feet building with a large parking space was purchased in 2011 by Campus Apartments, but has been sitting vacant since then. Before the purchase, the building had been occupied by Graphic Arts Inc. for decades.

No more information is currently available, like what type of warehouse it will be (general storage or Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service) and when it might open. We’ll keep you posted when we have more details.

Just a reminder that Amazon also opened a pickup store on Penn’s campus last year.

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Burned-out building at 46th and Spruce to be demolished to make room for mixed-use development

Posted on 07 August 2017

The one-story building on the southeast corner of 46th and Spruce, the former Transition to Independent Living Center, will be demolished soon, six years after it was gutted by a fire. A permit for the demolition of the building was issued on July 19, 2017.

The proposal for construction of a mixed-use apartment building in that location was approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustment in June 2016. The developers presented their plan to build a 21-unit, mostly two-bedroom apartment building at 4534-36 Spruce St. in a series of public meetings with the Spruce Hill Zoning Committee in early 2016. According to the proposal, which was approved by the ZBA, it will be a four-story building, with a roof deck and three ground-floor retail spaces. You can see the building rendering in this photo:

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And another one’s gone … demolition of historic homes continues

Posted on 02 August 2017

Two more historic homes are being demolished this week and at least one is to make way for student housing.

• Demolition continued this week on two Victorian semi-detached homes – at 620 and 622 S. 42nd. Located a stone’s throw from the University of the Sciences campus, the adjoined structures were built in the 1870s. The parcel’s zoning is RM-1, meaning a multi-unit structure will likely be built there with no zoning oversight.


• An Italianate mansion was demolished at 41st and Sansom to make way for student housing. The demolition recently drew citywide attention from Inga Saffron in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The building that will replace it will be built “by right,” meaning no zoning oversight is required.  Continue Reading

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Apartment building proposal for 4045 Baltimore Ave. parking lot back before Spruce Hill zoning for third time

Posted on 01 August 2017

A revised proposal to build a 49-unit, 6-story apartment building on a parking lot at 4045 Baltimore Ave. will be considered at an upcoming Spruce Hill Community Association zoning meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 2. Officials from New Horizon Housing, which owns the lot, presented the previous proposal at the Spruce Hill zoning meeting on June 16, but it wasn’t approved by the City’s Zoning Board of Adjustment. This Wednesday will be the third time the construction project will be presented to Spruce Hill residents.

Community members are invited to the meeting to learn more about the design alterations for the building.

“[There was] some trouble with the design [of the] entryway and elevator shaft prominence,” according to Spruce Hill Zoning Committee Chair Barry Grossbach. Also, the initial plan of having a commercial space in the building had to be reconsidered because the space is limited.

Wednesday’s zoning meeting will also consider an application for a commercial operation in a newly constructed residential building at 43rd and Sansom (123 S. 43rd St). The meeting will take place at the SHCA office at 257 S. 45th Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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Demolition of Wilson School building at 46th and Woodland underway

Posted on 31 July 2017

Demolition of the Alexander Wilson School at 46th and Woodland is well underway, and the University of the Sciences expects to have a new residence hall and courtyard complex there by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

The Wilson school was one of more than two dozen public schools closed in recent years. The USciences bought the building and land in the fall of 2014 for a reported $2 million. The university unveiled plans in the spring of 2016 for a 4- to 5-story dormitory over ground-floor retail and an open courtyard along Woodland Avenue (see rendering).

Photos West Philly Local


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