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You are viewing 114 articles by the author Jake Blumgart

    • 1810 Liacouras Walk proposed addition, March 2017

Temple wants a skyway over Liacouras Walk, Architectural Committee does not

Temple University’s continuous expansion is butting up against one of Philadelphia’s historic districts. At Tuesday’s Architectural Committee meeting, the university unveiled its plans for expanding the Fox Business School and, in…

    • Cameron Square: 19th and Wylie streets, March 2017 | ISA

Development proposal revived, revised for Francisville's largest vacant property

Redevelopment for Francisville's largest vacant property, a 1.5-acre site across from Francisville Rec Center where a paint factory once stood, could move ahead after a years-long wait. Last week the Philadelphia City…

    • Tacony community meeting about 'sex-positive community center' on March 23, 2017 | Jake Blumgart/PlanPhilly

Proposed 'sex-positive community center' gets fair hearing from Tacony residents

Thursday night’s community meeting in Tacony went better than anyone could have expected. A proposal to open a private sex-positive club in the midst of a residential neighborhood would likely stir…

    • City permit desks in the Municipal Service Building | Steve Ives, EOTS Flickr Group

Council supportive of higher city permit fees, funds to support L&I, Historical Commission

The Philadelphia City Council is considering increasing fees across the board for most licenses and permits. That might seem like a potentially contentious proposition, inspiring pushback from the business community. Instead,…

    • Zoning notification diagram, 2016 RCO Fact Sheet

Councilman Henon proposes changes to RCO requirements and zoning notice

On Thursday Councilman Bobby Henon introduced legislation to tweak the regulations governing the city’s Registered Community Organizations (RCOs). A product of the 2012 zoning code, RCOs are geographically-specific organizations that developers…

    • North District Plan: focus area map, March 2017 | courtesy of Philadelphia City Planning Commission

Planning Commission updated on North District plan, supports West Poplar and TOD zoning changes

Tuesday’s meeting of the Planning Commission unfolded briskly, with all of the bills considered by the commission getting recommended—with the exception of an “urban topiary encroachment” on 3rd Street just north…

    • Eviction hearing in City Council, March 20, 2017

Council hearing examines evictions, substandard housing, and possible solutions

William Church didn’t look at ease in City Council’s high-ceilinged chambers. The 65-year-old former Marine experiences what he calls “extreme anxiety,” he informed the gathered politicians deliberately. Church also needs an…

    • A protested eviction in Germantown, July 2012 | Bas Slabbers for NewsWorks

North Philly couple suing landlord’s lawyer over right to evict

In 2013, Gerrell Martin and Curtis Sampson rented a property in North Philadelphia for their large family. The family is low-income and they have six children. Their two-year-old child suffers from…

    • Landlord-tenant court in the Widener Building

To reduce unfair evictions tenants need lawyers

In a city with a staggeringly high eviction rate, landlord-tenant court is one of the busiest corners of Philadelphia's municipal judiciary. To get to the court, walk into the lobby…

    • Tacony Music Hall (file)

Will Tacony Music Hall turn into 'sex-positive community center'?

The Victorian redbrick Tacony Music Hall is an icon of this working class riverfront community in the lower Northeast. The stately bulk of the building is breathtaking, standing out from its…

    • Oliver H. Bair Funeral Home, Sansom Street | Jake Blumgart / PlanPhilly

Historic Oliver H. Bair Funeral Home to be demolished for Rittenhouse tower

With Friday’s meeting of the Historical Commission, the fate of 1918-20 Sansom Street—formerly the Oliver H. Bair Funeral Home—seems to be sealed. The body voted unanimously to grant the petition for…

    • Former Fifth Dutch Reformed Church | Google Street View

Live/work reuse ahead for Fifth Reformed Dutch Church in Fishtown

Historic preservation is a calling that trends towards tragedy. Advocates are often outgunned when it comes to financial resources and political support. Submitting a designation for addition to the local historic…

    • The View II | The Goldenberg Group, Niles Bolton Associates, March 2017 CDR

Design Review for student housing near Temple focused more on parking than design

When it comes to new student housing around Temple University, Civic Design Review may as well be Civic Parking Review. On Tuesday, the Goldenberg Group presented its plans for The View…

    • 8th and Race parking lot

Competing visions for ‘social impact’ development at 8th and Race

On Monday night, the battle lines formed around the last large undeveloped lot in Chinatown. The oceanic parking lot at 8th and Race, which also hosts a little used subway stop…

    • 31st and Market SEPTA elevator rendering, March 2017 Art Commission

New elevators for SEPTA's 30th Street trolley and El station

Big changes are coming to 30th Street Station. The ambitious Schuylkill Yards project will transform the area, and SEPTA has plans to refurbish one of its busiest stations in tandem with…

    •  Philadelphia Housing Authority's three and four bedroom Ludlow Home developments located on the 1300 block of Marshall Street.

Housing advocates hope budget negotiations will unlock more resources

Mayor Jim Kenney’s budget speech at City Council today covered a lot of ground. From his central policy priority--the Rebuild Initiative—to bravura capital projects like capping I-95 and announcing a much…

    • Rendering of 'Chorus Dawn' by Brent Wahl and Laynie Brown

Utility pole public art for Rail Park gets conceptual approval

Municipal meetings that feature poetry readings are rare, even at the Philadelphia Art Commission. But on Wednesday morning, at an unveiling of the percent for art installation proposed for the Rail…

    • Penn's Landing rendering, park looking east | Hargreaves Associates & redsquare

Kenney budget puts $90 million toward Penn's Landing park capping I-95

Funding for a large new waterfront park at Penn’s Landing will be tucked into Mayor Jim Kenney’s budget address this Thursday. The mayor plans to announce a $90 million city commitment…

    • Stations for Recommended TOD Overlays

Council proposes zoning changes to drive transit-oriented development

When Philadelphia adopted its new zoning code in 2013, policymakers included an overlay provision meant to encourage denser development around transit stations. In theory, it meant that developers could build more…

    • New Year's Eve fireworks | NewsWorks (file)

City Council considering increased fees for permits and licenses

On Thursday Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez introduced a bill to retool the Department of Licenses & Inspections fee regimen. The bill would modestly increase many fees across the board, ranging from…

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