Venice Island Community Center

Work will soon begin on the long awaited facelift of the Venice Island Recreation Center in Manayunk.  The Philadelphia Water Department recently awarded a general contract on the $45 million transformation of the underused playground to Keating Construction.  The current plan for the center will replace the old swimming pool with a sprayground, create a 250-seat performing arts space, upgrade athletics courts and include 195 parking spaces.
A key feature is a sewage overflow storage tank needed for storm-water management on the flood prone strip of land between Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River. The center will more likely serve more as a civic performance space than a playground for kinds.


Philly Lives Goes Up!

The long anticipated South Philadelphia development, "Philly Live" has finally begun construction of the first phase of the project. Developers, Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment firm Comcast-Spectacor, and world-renowned developers The Cordish Company, have teamed up on this project, proposing a destination retail, dining and entertainment district at the Philadelphia Sports Complex.  The 300k plus sqft. entertainment complex will host the largest sports bar in the world.  The first phase will contain several restaurants, retail and the mega sports bar.  Comcast Spectacor expects the construction of phase one to be complete in time for Opening Day for the Phillies in April, 2012.  Construction on the rest of the project, including a hotel has not been determined and depends heavily on the economy.

Photo courtesy of Nakedphilly.com


G8 Updates!! 2200 & 2400 Amber, 2061 E. Susquehanna

rogression not recession is what I say is going on in the 19125! G8 is swiftly breezing through the construction and renovation of its most recent projects in New Kensington; 2200 Amber 2400 Amber and 2061 E. Susquehanna.  The amber street residences are stuccoed out and waiting for cement board installation, drywall is up, plumbing and electrical are in, the homes should be ready for finishing touches in a few weeks.  2061 Susquehanna is looking pretty handsome! Give it a clean shave and a splash of the good stuff and you're ready for occupancy!   The Bamboo out front is a nice touch too, a neat alternative to the usual street tree.  These buildings, once complete, will compliment the existing and new developments respectively, solidifying the evolving character of architecture for this up and coming zip.

2200 Amber

2400 Amber

2061 E. Susquehanna


600 N. Broad gets a Facelift

Its not often or to most people ever a time when you hear the words mixed use development or world class restaurant uttered on the Northern fringes of Broad Street.  Thankfully, the development dry spell has come to an end for this historic section of the city.  At 600 N. Broad Street, real estate developer Eric Blumenfeld, who has long been working to turn the stretch of North Broad Street between City Hall and Temple University into a sort of artistically gentrified urban playground, will feature the projects of two restauranteurs and one caterer boosting the aesthetic appeal of this hopeful trendy hotspot.

Stephen Starr, who has plans to launch at least four new restaurants in 2011, will be building a seafood restaurant known as Route 6 on the site, which was most recently home to the Wilkie Chevrolet-Buick Subaru dealership.  Marc Vetri, will open a beer bar known as Birreria 600, and Joe Volpe of the Cescaphe Event Group, will open a 700-capacity catering venture.  100 new apartments are also planned for the project.  The project is expected to be complete by October 2011.

Project Cost: $43 million
Public Funding: $18 million


Temple University Building Greener

The university has recently completed construction of its LEED Gold Certified Temple I North 16th Street Project.  The project has rehabilitated 22 historic town homes totaling 58 units, implementing key sustainable measures allowing them to achieve Gold status.  A public ceremony will take place on June 14 to celebrate the end of construction and award a plaque for the LEED Gold Certification.  The units were developed by the 1260 Housing Development Corporation, a non-profit on a mission to provide high-quality, affordable housing to low-income individuals.

The sustainable design elements implemented include: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified lumber, no volatile organic compound-emitting adhesive materials, high efficiency plumbing fixtures, recycled content building materials and Energy Star mechanical systems.  A white roof system is used to reduce the "heat island effect" cause by heat absorbing surfaces in urban areas.  During construction, all site work was conducted in a manner to minimize disturbance of any and all native vegetation and soil.  Also, a construction waste recycling program diverted 85 percent of the waste from landfills to recycling facilities.

Owner: Arch V Temple N. 16th St, LP
Developer: 1260 Housing Development Corporation
Architect: Kramer/ Marks Architects