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North Philadelphia Station: (unfulfilled) promise to be a future Hub

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North Philadelphia Station area: (unfulfilled) promise to be a future Hub

 

"De-Hubbed" in 1933, this area is seeking a revival

This place is very rich in transport links,

Many of the taller buildings near it are empty, abandoned or underutilized.

 

If jobs keep flowing into Philly, it could become a hotspot for future development.

But right now, it still looks decidedly cold - but big plans on now on the drawingboards on NYC-based investors.

 

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Parking Lot at North Philadelphia Station: Crickets!

But I did see a few pedestrians boarding trains, and waiting on platforms

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Platform - not totally deserted

 

North Philadelphia station is an intercity rail and regional rail station on the Northeast Corridor, located on North Broad Street in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's (SEPTA) Regional Rail Trenton Line and Chestnut Hill West Line account for most of the station's service; five Amtrak trains also stop each weekday, three in one direction, two in the other.

The station opened in the 1870s and was known as New York Junction and Germantown Junction. A new station, which ushered in the Beaux-Arts style for large train stations, was built from 1896 to 1901. After a 1912–1915 enlargement, it was renamed as North Philadelphia. Despite several other renovations, its use declined in the mid and late 20th century; in 1991, Amtrak constructed a smaller replacement station across the tracks. The building was renovated once more in 1999 and is now used as commercial space. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places the same year.

Decline
North Philadelphia continued to grow during the early 20th century as a popular residential area for the nouveau riche rejected by old money society. In 1928, the Broad Street Subway was opened with a station at North Philadelphia, offering more frequent service to Center City. Its northern entrances were located at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and North Broad Street, with an underground passage offering an easy connection to the PRR station. The Reading Company replaced Huntingdon Avenue station with North Broad Street station, a massive Classical Revival structure rivaling the PRR station in grandeur. 30th Street Station opened in 1933, reducing North Philadelphia's importance for north-south services. However, North Philadelphia continued to serve heavy commuter traffic and east-west long-distance trains.

 

New station and reuse
In 1991, Amtrak constructed a rectangular concrete and glass station building on the north side of the tracks, in front of the passenger tunnel. Access from the south was blocked off. In 1999, the original station building was renovated at a cost of $7 million for use as commercial space. The front parking lot was expanded on a slope to the west; it covered much of the ground level (similar to the station before 1915). The mechanical building and the covered ramp to the trolley station were removed. A strip mall was built just to the east, with balustrades and archways referencing the historic station. The passageway from the subway station, long closed, was likely buried at this time. The 1901-built station building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 8, 1999.

The Amtrak ticket office was closed in April 2001 as part of austerity measures. Vandalism also forced the closure of elevators. The same year, SEPTA proposed closing the station because it served few inbound commuters. However, advocacy from the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers, which showed that the station was more heavily used by commuters from the Chestnut Hill West Line changing to SEPTA Trenton Line trains and Amtrak Clockers to Trenton and New York, succeeded in persuading SEPTA to keep the station open for the time being. By 2005, no official decision had been made to permanently keep the station, but SEPTA planned repairs to the deteriorated platforms.

In 2010, a renovation of North Philadelphia subway station was completed. This included restoring the Glenwood Avenue headhouses, closed for decades before, which improved connections to the mainline station
==
> wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Philadelphia_station

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Almost all the larger buildings in the area are for sale or for lease (based on For Sale signs)

 

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North Station center

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Zero in on the Green sign- you will see: "Available 50,000 SqFt, Divisible (215) 627-0900" - Posel Management

 

In the late 1990s, Philadelphia’s Posel Management Co. unveiled a new $7 million shopping center, anchored by a suburban-sized Pathmark grocery store, just outside the station’s entrance. That Pathmark store is now a vacant box, shuttered by the 2015 bankruptcy of A&P, its parent company.

 

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XXX Building at the NE corner of Lehigh & Broad Street

 

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xx

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XXX Building at the NW corner of Lehigh & Broad Street

 

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xx, former home of Joe Frazier's gym

 

MORE PHOTOS coming below

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Ambitious Project ideas for the area are announced from time to time

- Like the North Station plan which is now moving forward (apparently):

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Is this the holy grail project that could jump-start revitalization of North Philadelphia ...

 

Mar 20, 2017 - Jacob Adelman, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. ...

Development Plans Near North Philadelphia Station ...

The group envisions up to 1.7 million square feet of residential, office, and retail space at full build-out, ...

 

Real estate magnate Ziel Feldman’s properties are in some of Manhattan’s poshest neighborhoods.

Now, he wants to build in one of Philadelphia’s most destitute.

Feldman’s HFZ Capital Group is part of a consortium of New York investors planning a complex of homes, offices, labs, and start-up work spaces in what is now an enclave of vacant warehouse properties and empty lots around Amtrak’s North Philadelphia station.

The $162 million first phase of North Philadelphia District LLC’s proposal calls for two new buildings on what is now the train station’s parking lot, and the renovation of a hulking dilapidated factory site nearby, said Michael Shenot, who is leading the project as a managing director with the real estate services firm JLL, in an interview Friday.

Work could begin before the end of the year if the investor group is granted its request for a $20 million state redevelopment grant to cover parts of the project, said Shenot, who previously participated in developing the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. He is now working on an expansion of New York’s Penn Station involving a historic postal building to its west.

If the group’s plan is successful — no sure thing in an area that has shown few apparent signs of readiness for revitalization — its impact on this North Philadelphia neighborhood could be enormous, said Harris Steinberg, who directs Drexel University's Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation.

The site could capitalize on the train station’s citywide access via SEPTA’s Regional Rail system and its Amtrak link to New York, as well as its location barely a half-mile north of Temple University’s main campus and just a few blocks south of its Health Sciences Center complex, Steinberg said.

“This could be the holy grail that could jump-start revitalization in North Philadelphia,” he said. “Whether the market is there for this kind of development is another question.”

==

> http://www.philly.com/philly/business/real_estate/commercial/HFZ-mixed-use-development-temple-north-philadelphia-amtrak-station-district.html

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Development Plans Near North Philadelphia Station

 

The North Station proposal includes a mix of uses complementary to nearby university campuses, including apartments aimed at young professionals and work spaces for those in technological and creative fields.

“You’ve heard of Oakland being hot, you’ve heard of Brooklyn being hot,” Shenot said. “There’s no reason these same trends wouldn’t apply in North Philadelphia, particularly given the existing institutional investment in that neighborhood.”

 

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SOURCES: Investor presentation; Pa. Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant application; Michael Shenot, JLL; aerial image by Google Earth Pro
Staff Graphic

The “North Station District,” as its planners call it, would sit within the fifth poorest of Philadelphia’s 46 zip codes, where the median income is $23,380, according to 2015 U.S. Census estimates.

 

Later phases of the project are seen in an investor presentation reviewed by the Inquirer to include an area now occupied by dozens of individually owned rowhouses — some of them vacant, windowless shells — and empty parcels on the 2900 blocks of Hicks and Sydenham Streets.

 

At full build-out, the development footprint also is seen as including what is now a cluster of vacant lots and industrial properties under private and city ownership east of 16th Street south of Indiana Avenue and a portion of Posel Management’s shopping center.

Shenot declined to discuss any possible further land acquisitions. A spokeswoman for Philadelphia planning and development director Anne Fadullon had no immediate comment on the plan.

Marsteller said seeing the project through could pay off for the development team, which likely sees Philadelphia as a respite from the competition among international investors that is making real estate deals less lucrative on their home turf in New York.

“They’re getting a higher return based on the risk here than they would be able to at one of their condo developments in Manhattan,” he said. “They feel this asset will appreciate over time.”

. . .

The group envisions up to 1.7 million square feet of residential, office, and retail space at full build-out, bounded by Broad Street and 17th Streets, between Glenwood and Indiana Avenues, according to its application for a state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant.

 

The grant is for work on nonresidential portions of the project’s first phase, which would center on a roughly four-acre parking lot north of the train station that was acquired from Amtrak and SEPTA for $2.1 million, Shenot said. About $7 million had been spent by the group over several years on site surveys, engineering studies, and other preconstruction work prior to the acquisition, he said.

Planned for the site are a six-story, 105-unit apartment building and a 21-story tower with 128 apartments on nine floors above about 214,000 square feet of offices, Shenot said. Both buildings would feature ground-floor retail spaces that open onto a pedestrian plaza.

 

Also part of the initial phase is the transformation of the 180,000-square-foot decayed industrial building on an adjacent parcel to the west into work spaces for start-ups and light manufacturers. The developers have that parcel under agreement, Shenot said.

Improvements to the station itself include the restoration of an underground tunnel linking it to SEPTA’s Broad Street Line subway platforms just to the south, he said.

Completion of the apartment building and factory rehab are envisioned in September 2019, with the residential-and-office tower being finished in October 2021, according to the grant application.

Jackson Marsteller, a New York real estate market analyst with the CoStar Group, said the buildings’ apartments could attract tenants from among the physicians and others working at Temple’s Health Sciences Campus, while also appealing to a broader base of area residents unable to afford high-end living spaces in pricier parts of Philadelphia.

“You’re right next to the train, which then takes you straight to work,” said Marsteller. “Why not be in a nicer place that’s a little bit edgier?”

==

> http://www.philly.com/philly/business/real_estate/commercial/HFZ-mixed-use-development-temple-north-philadelphia-amtrak-station-district.html

 

Read more by Jacob Adelman

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Amazon's Plans : are a big Talking point in Philly right now

 

Here are all the cities near Philly vying for Amazon's new HQ

With Amazon on the hunt to build a second headquarters, cities like Philly are hoping to win the e-commerce giant over.

But Philly already has some stiff local competition.

Location?

Philly wants to bring Amazon’s HQ here. But where?

 

9 prime places in Philly for Amazon’s HQ2, mapped

#7 North Station District

In the Curbed Philly poll, North Philly came in third with 20 percent of the vote for Amazon’s new headquarters. One reader wrote, “Perfect location and cheaper than downtown and South Philly.”

Why it could work: North Broad is already undergoing some much-needed revitalization, and developers are eyeing areas up past Temple, where there are lots of abandoned warehouses and vacant land up for grabs. Its location makes it a prime spot for a transit-oriented mixed-use development, says Philadelphia 3.0.

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Kenney: Philly would be Prime location for second Amazon HQ ...

www.phillyvoice.com/

Sep 7, 2017 - Amazon is on the hunt for a second home, and Mayor Jim Kenney thinks Philadelphia would be a Prime location.

The announcement is certain to create a scramble among cities and states vying to make the short list. Cities have until next month to apply through a special website, and the company said it will make a final decision next year. It gave few hints about where it would land, but did say it is looking at metropolitan areas with populations of more than a million that have the potential to attract top technical talent.

That could put Philadelphia in a good position to make a serious bid, which Kenney assured the city would do, on Twitter Thursday morning.

 

Amazon is bursting out of its Seattle headquarters. The new location would be close to transit, with plenty of space to grow.

It didn't hint about where it might land, but its requirements could rule out some places: It wants to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and wants to be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

 

 

/ 2 /

Why Amazon Should Put Its Next Headquarters In Philadelphia - Forbes

Sep 10, 2017 - As a dedicated Pennsylvanian, this economist makes an unabashedly biased, full-throated case that Amazon should choose Philadelphia for ...

 

What’s important to know about Philadelphia is that it is booming over the last few years. Employment in the city was flat for almost a decade, but since 2013 it has been booming and over the last few quarters has outpaced the U.S. overall. Philadelphia has momentum, and if you look at the past 10 years of data like the NYT did you’ll miss this.

 

fredgraph-8.jpg?width=960St Louis Fed

Fred Graph

The momentum in Philadelphia is not just limited to the job market, but is if anything more stark in building. As of July, there were 30 high rise buildings under construction. In the center city core alone, there was 4.4 million square feet of commercial and mixed use construction either completed or under construction in 2016. This is on top of another 9 million of residential/mixed use. And all of this is in the dense core of the city, where for many other big cities that have been booming for longer there is less room to grow.

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