"University City"

High number of gunpoint robberies reported in University City; UCD issues special crime alert

Posted on 31 January 2017 by

The University City District has issued a special crime alert for the area residents due to a high number of armed robberies reported in the western edge of the neighborhood in the past 10 days. Ten robberies with a gun have been reported since Saturday, Jan. 21, mostly occurring between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. in the areas between Chester Avenue and Pine Street and 47th and 49th.

Here are dates, times, locations and some more details for robberies reported in the past week (via Spot Crime):

− Jan. 27, 8:28 p.m. – 4800 block of Sansom St.
− Jan. 27, 9:06 p.m. – 800 block of S. 49th St.
− Jan. 28, 8:14 a.m. – 900 block of S. 46th St.
− Jan. 28, 9:11 p.m. – S. 49th St. and Springfield Ave. A wallet, iPhone, and headphones were taken in this robbery. Suspects are described as three black males 18-21 years old, wearing jackets and jeans.  Continue Reading

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The State of University City: More bars, restaurants, apartments and students

Posted on 17 November 2016 by Mike Lyons


University City District (UCD) President Matt Bergheiser captured the mood of the moment during the annual The State of University City Report release event last night. There has been a 24 percent increase in food and beverage establishments in University City since 2009, according to the report.

“And to get through the next four years, we might need as many [beverage establishments] as we can get,” Bergheiser said.

Officially released today, the glossy The State of University Report highlights the flurry of ongoing and soon-to-begin commercial and residential building projects, particularly along the Schuylkill River that we have reported on over the past year – like Schuylkill Yards, uCity Square as well as a heap of new academic buildings popping up.  Continue Reading

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What locations need more bike racks? Help UCD bring additional bike parking

Posted on 27 June 2016 by


University City District (UCD) is planning to install more bike racks in the area and needs help identifying places that need bike parking or additional bike racks.

Currently, UCD is accepting photos showing overcrowded or out-of-repair bike parking or bikes locked to trees, railings, etc. along commercial corridors and at other neighborhood destinations in University City.

You can share these photos on Twitter using #UCbikeparking or email them to: Please include the date, time, and location. This information will be used to help select future bike rack locations.


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A whole lot of runners (and traffic): Penn Relays start Thursday

Posted on 27 April 2016 by Mike Lyons


Photo via

The oldest annual track and field event in the nation, The Penn Relays, kicks off this week at Franklin Field (233 S. 33rd Street), and that means there will be a lot of additional traffic on the east end of Penn’s campus.

The 122nd edition of The Penn Relays starts Thursday and runs through Saturday. If you have the scratch, the events are worth attending (information on tickets is here). Some 15,000 athletes participate, some of whom you will likely see at this summer’s Olympic Games in Brazil.

Otherwise, it’s a part of town to avoid for a couple of days if you’re trying to get somewhere else. Expect heavy delays around the stadium all day Thursday through Saturday. On Saturday, 33rd Street from South Street to Walnut Street will be closed from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

If you make the trip to Franklin Field, here’s some info on what you can take in with you.

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More jobs, fewer kids and a lot of bike commuters: ‘The State of University City 2016’ report released

Posted on 20 November 2015 by Mike Lyons

The University City District’s recently released “The State of University City” report confirmed the worst-kept secret this side of the Schuylkill: The Meds-and-Eds juggernaut that fuels this part of the city is gaining speed.

StateofUCity2016The report, released every fall, tracks everything from rents, to occupancy rates in office buildings to the number of bike commuters in the University City District defined as the Schuylkill River to 50th Street, south to Woodland Avenue and north to Market Street and, in the Powelton neighborhoods, north again to Spring Garden Street.

According to this year’s report, a whopping 77 percent of the jobs in the area is in education and health care with “entertainment, hospitality and retail” in second with 8 percent. The University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine alone now account for more than 40,000 of those jobs.

The report shows that all of those good-paying jobs are attracting a lot of young, well-educated people. About 40 percent of the area’s population is between 20 years of age and 29. The number of children (5-14) in the area has dropped steadily since 2000.

Rents have also increased in most neighborhoods. The steepest increases have been in the Powelton Village neighborhood, where the median rent is just over $1,500 per month. The highest rents are in the “Central University City” area (roughly east of 38th Street and south of Market Street), where the median rent is just over $2,500 per month.

Median home prices grew from about $100,000 in 2000 to $300,000 in 2006, but have remained at that level since then, according to the report. But, of course, real estate prices vary widely by neighborhood. Prices in Spruce Hill, which includes the Penn Alexander School catchment, are just over $375,000. That’s a slight decrease compared to 2009 prices. The lowest median prices are in West Powelton at about $200,000.

Many residents’ fear of a loss of economic and racial diversity has followed the economic gains in the area. Philly talked to Seth Budick, senior manager of policy and research for UCD, ahead of the report’s release. “Prices are going up. The social consequences of that I don’t think we’re going to comment on too much,” Budick said. “For the most part, though, if you look at that rent figure … you’ll see a huge diversification.”

Here are some other tidbits:

• The population has steadily grown since 1990 and now stands at about 51,000.

• Well over 50 percent of people have at least a bachelor’s degree, while in the city as a whole that number is closer to 24 percent.

• University City District residents are three times as likely to commute on foot, bike or transportation than by car. Only 23 percent of residents reported commuting by car, compared to 59 percent of Philadelphians in general and 86 percent of all Americans. That number has remained steady since 2000.

• Occupancy rates for office buildings in the district are among the highest in the region at about 97 percent, according to the report. Developers, of course, have noticed and new office buildings are under construction or in the works.

Mike Lyons

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CityLife opens two clinics in West Philly, holding open house at its University City clinic

Posted on 23 October 2015 by

CityLifeUCCityLife Neighborhood Clinics, which focuses on providing comprehensive care to seniors, opened the doors of its University City clinic (37 S. 40th St., 2nd Fl) last week, the third CityLife clinic in the city to begin welcoming members in recent weeks. Another West Philly-based CityLife clinic recently opened in the Spruce Hill neighborhood – at 4237 Walnut Street. The timing of the clinic openings coincided with Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage, which kicked off on October 15.

CityLife recently announced the addition of Philadelphia native Dr. Marisa Gefen, a primary care physician, as its Practice Team Leader. In addition to seeing patients and leading an integrated primary care team at CityLife’s University City location, in her new role, Dr. Gefen is responsible for setting clinical standards and protocols for CityLife’s three Philadelphia clinics in University City, Spruce Hill, and The Avenue in North Philadelphia.

“CityLife’s model represents a new type of care – one that is designed for the member and built on teamwork, relationships, and service,” Dr. Gefen said in a statement.

CityLife’s three Philadelphia clinics care for members through a holistic model of team-based primary care. Primary care teams are comprised of CityLife members, their families, a doctor or nurse practitioner, nurse, clinical and administrative assistants, and medication and health guides. Clinics offer convenient hours, access to staff 24/7, walk-in and same-day care, and transportation.  Continue Reading

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