"University City"

UCD unveils new social seating at 36th and Lancaster

Posted on 13 March 2015 by


Photo courtesy University City District

The University City District is continuing experimenting with new “social seating” structures in the area. Last year, they introduced the Looped In structures in various locations, and earlier this week, a custom public transit stop seat was installed at 36th and Lancaster Avenue.

The new seats are designed to “provide seating and information to passengers waiting for public transit… the latest in a series of social seats designed to be functional, versatile, and unique to University City.”

The 3600 block of Lancaster Avenue was selected as a high-volume transit area where there is a strong need for seating. The location is a popular stop on the Route 10 SEPTA line; it serves mostly Drexel students and patrons of local businesses. UCD plans to install two more in other similar areas in University City and is currently evaluating additional locations.

The idea of these new seats was conceived by UCD’s Policy and Research Manager Seth Budick, and Capital Projects Manager Nate Hommel designed them and oversaw their production.

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West Philly Earthship and other development news from around West Philly

Posted on 13 January 2015 by

Here’s a roundup of some development projects going on in West Philly neighborhoods.

West Philadelphia Earthship


The Earthship is being built from recycled materials. (Photo from West Philadelphia Earthship IndieGoGo page).

A vacant lot at 675 N. 41st Street will soon become the location for the first ever urban Earthship, a completely sustainable building built from recycled materials, reports. The idea of an urban Earthship was proposed by Rashida Ali-Campbell, founder of Yeadon-based nonprofit Love, Loving, Love, Inc., and the lot owner, Thomas L. Miller, liked it so much that he donated the lot to the cause.

The West Philadelphia Earthship will house a Philadelphia branch of Love, Loving, Love, Inc., which specializes in holistic health education. The organization is planning to offer healthy-living workshops and other free community activities in their new Earthship office, according to

The foundation of the Earthship has already been laid, and the main construction is planned to start in February. It will take about six weeks to complete, but it depends on how successful the fundraising campaign for the project is. To support the West Philadelphia Earthship, go to this IndieGoGo page. For more information about this project, read’s article hereContinue Reading

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UCD reports spike in robberies, burglaries

Posted on 12 November 2014 by

A recent crime update distributed by the University City District is a reason for concern. After several calm months, UCD is reporting a “substantial spike” in robberies and residential burglaries in the area last month. Overall, 47 serious crimes were committed in the UCD service area in October, according to the report (see map below). Arrests related to 10 of these crimes were made.

There were 11 armed and 12 unarmed robberies and 23 residential burglaries in October. Most of the burglaries took place in Spruce Hill (between Spruce St and Baltimore Ave). Arrests were made in relation to four of these burglaries. It’s worth mentioning that the previous worst month in terms of residential burglaries this year was March when over 30 burglary incidents were reported.

In addition to serious crimes, UCD also reports a large number of thefts from vehicles last month, which may be tied to several large events being held in the area.

Since days are getting shorter and most of robberies happen at night, please stay alert when walking or running after dark.


Serious Crimes in October, 2014 (courtesy of UCD).

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Cranes explained: UCD releases new ‘State of University City’ report

Posted on 16 October 2014 by Mike Lyons

StateofUCThese days it seems like you can’t walk more than a block or two near Penn and Drexel’s campuses without seeing some sort of major construction project. Cranes are becoming about as common around here as coffee shops.

Some 32 building projects have been or will be completed in the area around the universities between last fall and next summer or so, according to the 2014/2015 State of University City report, which was released by the University City District (UCD) yesterday afternoon during a reception at World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut St.). These include about 1.3 million square feet of new building space dedicated to medical and biomedical research, a key field driving development of this part of the city.

The majority of all new office construction in the city is happening in the patch between 38th street to the west, Market street to the north and the Schuylkill River to the east and south.

All of this building and investment has created what doctor-turned-entrepreneur Keith Leaphart, a lifelong Philadelphia resident, called an “ecosystem for ambition” during yesterday’s reception. Leaphart owns the design and print firm Replica Creative, which opened a café amid all the hubbub last year at 3711 Market St.

Residential space is increasing as well. Two new residential high rises, at 36th and Market and 3737 Chestnut, are slated to open next summer and fall respectively. The UCD is forecasting that the number of new apartments will increase 60 percent by 2016. Many of these are aimed at graduate students and millennials, the fastest growing demographic category in the district.  Continue Reading

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Armed men break into, rob fraternity house near 42nd and Baltimore

Posted on 28 August 2014 by


Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity house. (Photo West Philly Local)

Police are searching for two armed men who forced their way into and robbed a fraternity house at 42nd and Pine near 42nd and Baltimore Wednesday morning at around 2 a.m.

The fraternity members in the house, the University of Sciences students, were hosting a birthday party at the time, NBC10 reports. Students at Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity house answered a knock on the door. The gunmen ordered the students to the ground, took cash – much of the fraternity’s newly collected dues from a safe in the house – and fled, according to police. One of the students was also attacked during the invasion as he told NBC10.

Penn and the University of Sciences planned to issue safety alerts to their students today.

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Love Vape e-cigarette shop opens on 4700 block of Baltimore Ave

Posted on 25 August 2014 by Mike Lyons


Nelson Ngo, foreground, and Chy Kan man the counter at the newly opened Love Vape University City. (Photo by Mike Lyons/West Philly Local)

A fully stocked vape shop has come to Baltimore Avenue.

Love Vape University City opened earlier this month at 4714 Baltimore Ave., the former home of the Talking Headz salon.

“It was a good spot,” said Stephanie Ngo, one of three employees on hand when we visited on Saturday. “There’s a little bit of night life here.”

“Vaping” is the slang term for the “smoking” of e-cigarettes, which turn special flavored liquids (sometimes with a bit of nicotine) into vapors through the use of a battery powered device.

The new shop, which is one of four Love Vape locations around the city, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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