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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

SoPhilly Spotlight: Proper Noun edition

For this week’s SoPhilly Spotlight, we trudge to the the fringe area of 7th and Wharton (1302 S. 7th St.) halfway between East Passyunk and Pennsport. The 3-bedroom, 2-bath house is a fine specimen of a South Philly rehab and well worth $279,000. New everything, roof deck, Brazilian hardwood, dual zone HVAC, eight years left of a tax abatement in 1,346 square feet. Small rooms, but still…

They are nice floors
But the Craigslist notice is a least as notable for the writer’s penchant for capitalization as it is the amenities. Here’s a sample of the Realtorspeak:
The one on the right. We bet that
neighbor doesn’t know he’s online

Retreat to the 3rd floor and enjoy the luxury of the Master Bedroom Suite with Large Custom Tiled Master Bathroom in your own private quarters. This Penthouse Escape also comes with a walk out roof deck to enjoy a relaxing night in The City. This home also offers a Large Family or Entertainment Theatre Room in finished basement for entertaining. The basement is protected by a French Drain and Sump Pump System.

Ooh, private quarters, Theatre Room. Maybe “The City” sounds more elite in a reader’s head than “the city.” But what does this mean?

This house is 95% GREEN and environmentally friendly.

Is the remaining 5 percent a coal mine or something?

On another note, we’re kidding about calling this location the “fringe area.” Four blocks in either direction could add $100k onto the asking price, so the value is there, and that part of South Philly is going to be the next big thing. We’d snap that place up in a hot minute if we were looking to buy now. Especially since Garage is opening two blocks away.
Not bad, maybe a little tight
Is that the master? No other bedroom pics, so it must be
They really like the overhead shots
Could be a sweet TV room/office
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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Salt & Pepper’s out, but it’s actually great news

Michael Klein at the Insider reports that chef Christoper Lee will join Salt & Pepper owner Joe Massara to collaborate on a new concept at 1623 E. Passyunk Ave. S&P hasn’t yet closed, but it will.

From Litter Box on Philly Speaks, right before they opened

From Klein’s post:

Right now, Lee told me, they’re in design phase and it’s unclear when the restaurant will close and then reopen. He said the concept is still being fleshed out but would be a neighborhood place with “great food, tasty drinks, and friendly service.

Lee was last in Philly at Stephen Starr’s incarnation of Striped Bass, where he got a four-bell review from Craig Laban in 2005, the same year the James Beard Foundation named Lee the Rising Star Chef of the Year. He decamped for New York in ’06 and earned two Michelin stars.

Joe Massara, via philly.com

All this effusive foodie-geek talk is a way of saying this is great news for East Passyunk. Combined with Chris Scarduzio’s move into the corner storefront where Artisan Boulanger is, plus the news that Chicago chef Joncarl Lachman was scouting for an EPA restaurant, this means we’re getting some real heavy hitters of the food world. That third valet stand can’t come soon enough.

To those who are mourning the loss of a neighborhood business: Sorry, but it was time for a change at S&P anyway. When it moved to Passyunk from Queen Village nearly two years ago, it was one of our favorite neighborhood spots – decent food, if not flashy, with moderate prices and healthy wine pours. Then they got dogged by lukewarm reviews, including a 1-bell kick in the gut from Craig Laban. Their response was to make everything more expensive – the menu got more creative but the food never got much better.

OK, enough with the griping. This is a good day. Here’s to success with the new venture, Joe.
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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Green Eggs updates its menu

South Philly brunch favorite Green Eggs Cafe has added items to their breakfast and lunch menus while still holding on to the classics that made them famous.

Thanks to dragonballyee.com

New lunch items include two brand new “Kitchen Sinks,” a Turkey Pot Pie and Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, and a California Panini. For breakfast, you can now stop your heart with Chicken and Waffles Benedict and Tiramisu French Toast

They’ve also updated their website (who knew they threw private parties?) Check it out. Now if we can just get them to start taking credit cards.
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An explanation for all those little parks around the city

Dozens of parking-spot sized parklets are going to be popping up all around the city tomorrow, including three in South Philly.

The ephemeral, tiny parks are part of Park(ing) Day, a one-day statement against using cars in the city (just don’t tell some South Philly folk). Participants decorate the spots with plants and benches or artwork and hang out all day in the street.

She looks like she’s having fun – last year at 2nd and Market

“By turning parking spaces into instant parks, [National] Park(ing) Day is a creative way to demonstrate the real need to create more parks in our cities,” Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Land (not the TV cowboy), said in a news release.

Down south, they’ll be installed at Broad and Snyder, the 900 block of Wharton, and 15th and Mifflin. Check here for more information and who’s running them all around town. The miniparks are partially what inspired the University City District to create three permanent parklets in their neighborhood. Maybe this could encourage the East Passyunk BID and PARC to do the same down here. In front of Plenty, maybe?

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

South Philly’s 1st coworking space opens this week

Forget what the sign outside says, the South Philadelphia Co-Op Workspace was scheduled to open this week in a former corner store at 11th and Peirce streets. The shared office space is targeting all those homebound freelance workers in the neighborhood who miss daily small-talk with coworkers (or semi-regular, depending on the membership level).

Co-founder and architect Ian Toner, Say hi to your potential coworkers, Ian

The office is about 700 square feet on the first floor and has six desks (may expand to eight), plus it offers a conference area, kitchenette, basement storage and free Wifi and utilities.

Co-founders Ian Toner, an architect from the hood who will work full time there, and Terence Buckley, a bookkeeper who will pop by occasionally, sunk about $7,000 into sprucing up the rented storefront. The tables, storage shelves and kitchen counter were made out of wood reclaimed from a relative’s barn. They will also install a keypad so members can access the space 24/7.

The website is still an early version, but it lists these rates: $300/month for full-time use; $200/month for three days a week; $85/month for one day a week; $25/day drop-in rate. The rates are month-to-month, so no lease, and there’s no deposit. Toner said they’ve gotten interest from about 10 people, though all were waiting for the final approvals to commit.

Bustling workforce to come
The conference area and kitchenette
The main workspace. Chairs have since arrived.

So far as the sign goes, they’re in the process of determining whether the existing one was fully permitted to begin with. If it was, changing it will be easy. If it was slapped up there in the dead of night, then changing it will be a longer, costlier process. Either way, Toner says they hope to use the time in between to settle on an official name. They might even wait to find out what members end up calling it (SouCo? SoCOW?). Maybe someone with branding experience can barter for a month’s membership.

Hey, that’s not the 11th Street Food Market

The utilitarian space lacks the flash of the more well-known Independents Hall in Old City and the upcoming 3rd Ward on 4th Street just above Girard. But it is the first to open in South Philly, joining a growing sector across the city that also includes Venturf0rth near 8th and Callowhill and Benjamin’s Desk at 17th and Walnut. SPCOW’s rates are about on par with the others, or even about 20 percent less in some cases.

This development is great news for the neighborhood, which has been experiencing a nice little boomlet in office spaces, which we noted last week. Now we just have to get them to take care of that ungainly name. Anyone have any suggestions?

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

KOJ developer adding floor of office space – now with new rendering

UPDATED: This post has been updated from an earlier version

Developer Max Glass, who planned 12 apartments and retail over four floors of the King Of Jeans building, will present an updated version of his plans tomorrow night at an EPX civic zoning meeting. He’s seeking support for an additional floor of commercial office space, either on the second or fifth floor, extending the height to the allowed maximum of 55 feet for the entire building and adding an elevator. The height is allowed “by right” in the zoning code.

New, taller proposal

Also on the agenda for tomorrow night is a proposal to allow outside seating at Lucky 13. The meeting begins at 7pm at the EPX Center @ 1729 S 11th St. (Enter through gate on 11th St. just north of Neumann-Goretti H.S./Moore St. Office is in 2nd yellow-brick building on left.) Show up to show your support.

Glass said in an email that one reason he opted for adding the office space was because it would make adding the elevator economically feasible.

“The additional of commercial office made the addition of an elevator possible,” he said. “And this would significantly improve the quality of the apartment living. I chose to go this route so that these would be more accessible units with broader appeal and positioned to stand the test of time.”

The office space, about 3,000 square feet, will have an open floor plan and could be broken into smaller spaces. “Should be beautiful and have lovely skyline views from the top floor,” Glass said. He didn’t disclose pricing but said the space was already available for lease. Contact him at 484-410-1710 or max@glassproperties.com or his commercial leasing agent Jacob Cooper at 215-568-2600 or jcooper@salove.com.

Given the handful of professionals who have recently given up their Center City offices for South Philly space, the KOJ offices is incremental advance toward East Passyunk becoming a mini employment center. More on that tomorrow, actually.

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