"University City"

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

Posted on 27 April 2016 by Mike Lyons


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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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Community meetings with 18th District police this Thursday; other meetings Saturday

Posted on 14 October 2015 by

DistrictMapThumbnail-18thThis is a reminder that monthly community meetings with the 18th Police District officers will take place on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. Residents are invited to bring their questions and concerns about crime in their area. There are three units in the 18th Police District, and each unit has its own meeting scheduled:

• Lt. Brian McBride of the University City Division of the 18th Police District and representatives of University City District will meet with community members at the Calvary Center for Culture and Community (48th and Baltimore).
• The community meeting for the PSA 2 area residents (see map) will be held at the 18th Police District headquarters at 5510 Pine St.
• Lt. Sean Cobette will meet with residents of the PSA 1 area at the Christian Compassion Hall located at 6130 Cedar Ave.  Continue Reading

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University City Dining Days return next week. Reservations now available

Posted on 10 July 2015 by

DiningDaysUniversity City Dining Days, a popular annual event helping drive traffic to local restaurants during slow summer months, will return on Thursday, July 16 and you can make your reservations now. This event is a great chance for those who like to eat out, but can’t always afford it, or want to check out some new restaurants in the area. As always, the event is based on the concept “3 course, 3 prices” – a pre-fixe three-course dinner special for $15, $25 or $35.

Thirty three restaurants, including craft beer bars, cozy BYOB’s, celebrity chef and ethnic restaurants, are participating in this year’s Dining Days. Six restaurants are participating in the event for the first time: 48th Street Grille, Hai Street Kitchen & Company, St. Declan’s Well, Wahoo’s Tacos and More, William Street Common, and Zavino University City.

See the full list of participating restaurants, menus and prices at Please note that prices are for dinner only and do not include tax, gratuity or alcohol. Reservations should be made directly through the participating restaurant.

The event runs through July 26.

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Large “Philly is Baltimore” rally today; expect traffic delays

Posted on 30 April 2015 by

large rally in response to the events in Baltimore is planned for today (Thursday, April 30) at 15th and Market Streets near Philadelphia City Hall. The “Philly is Baltimore” rally is set to start at 4:30 p.m. and is expected to draw at least 1,000 protesters.

Due to this event, traffic delays are expected throughout Center City as well as the University City area beginning around 3:30 p.m. today. Penn Public Safety will be in the University City area to assist with traffic flow.


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