Real Estate

A look at the 278-unit apartment building coming to former church site at 43rd and Chestnut

May 21, 2019

Plans for the 7-story apartment building coming to the former site of the Christ Memorial Church at 43rd and Chestnut came before the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee on Monday as part of the civic design review process, the final community-focused step before building begins.

Residents could suggest things like facade materials and types of street trees, but it’s unlikely the plans will change much.  Continue Reading

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Zoning and development round-up: Ahimsa House, Mill Creek Tavern, 4400 block of Chestnut

April 23, 2019

Here are some details on projects and properties that have been discussed at recent zoning meetings in Cedar Park and Spruce Hill.

• Ahimsa House (5007 Cedar Ave.)

                                Ahimsa House

The Cedar Park Neighbors zoning committee will support a variance request from the owner of the Ahimsa House at 5007 Cedar Ave. that would allow the privately owned residence that is used for various community activities to continue to operate. The decision made at its April 16 meeting follows a lengthy zoning committee hearing concerning the property last month.

The variance would rezone the property as a three-unit, multi-family dwelling. The zoning committee’s support includes stipulations that the property owner continues to live at the residence and that the zoning would be rescinded if the building was sold or operated as a non-owner occupied building. Other stipulations include that the variance be renewed after three years and that the owner follows fire and food safety codes.  Continue Reading

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Apartment building aimed at students planned for former Christ Memorial Church site at 43rd and Chestnut

April 2, 2019

Demolition of 19th century Christ Memorial Church underway (October, 2018).

The demolished 19th century Christ Memorial Reformed Episcopal Church building on the northeast corner of 43rd and Chestnut Streets has recently been resold (for a second time) to a new developer, according to reports. Alterra Property Group, the same developer who is currently erecting a 6-story prefab apartment building on the 4100 block of Chestnut, purchased the property for $17 million in February, according to a recent report by, and is planning to build another apartment building aimed at “graduate students, retained graduates, and young professionals” on the site.  Continue Reading

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Ahimsa House – the community space at 5007 Cedar Ave. – seeks zoning to keep going

March 20, 2019

Ahimsa House and community garden (Photo West Philly Local).

Everybody at the Cedar Park Neighbors zoning meeting on Tuesday night lauded the mission of the Ahimsa House, the volunteer run community space on the first floor of a three-story house at 5007 Cedar Ave. The question is, how to make the whole thing “legal”?

The Ahimsa House (“ahimsa” is a Sanskrit word meaning “non-violence”) dates back to 2011, when Meg Ferrigno bought the Cedar Avenue property through the Penn home ownership program. The three-story property had been a triplex and Ferrigno was advised to have it re-zoned as a duplex to qualify. A mix-up at the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) resulted in a single family designation.  Continue Reading

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Historical Commission to consider preservation designation for 41 homes near Clark Park

March 4, 2019

“The Gables” (Photo by West Philly Local).

The University City Historical Society has applied to the city’s Historical Commission for protection of a cluster of 41 Victorian homes near Clark Park on Chester Avenue and Regent Streets.

Well-known 19th century architect Willis G. Hale designed the homes, which include the mansion known as “The Gables” (now a bed and breakfast) and nearby twins on the 4500 block of Chester Avenue and twins and row homes on both sides of the 4500 block of Regent Street. Collectively, the properties would form the “Chester-Regent Historic District.”  Continue Reading

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Iron Stone and Walnut Hill Community Association near agreement on 4601 Market St. project

January 18, 2019

Walnut Hill residents got a chance on Thursday to ask the proposed developers of the Provident Insurance Co. building at 4601 Market Street what benefits the neighborhood would get from the healthcare campus planned for the site.

Iron Stone Real Estate Partners execs presented their plans for the building at a Walnut Hill Community Association meeting aimed at finalizing a “community benefits agreement,” a contract that would reflect community requests on everything from hiring practices to parking to the use of green space in development projects that get public subsidies.  Continue Reading

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