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Movie Tavern to Open New Theater Complex in Flourtown

19 Jun 2014, 1:59 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate editor

Three years after opening its first location in the Delaware Valley, dinner & cinema chain Movie Tavern announced plans to expand its footprint in the area with a second theater in Montgomery County’s Flourtown, a small community in North Philadelphia.

“We are very excited to bring Movie Tavern to Flourtown, as part of our plan to increase our presence in the Philadelphia market after we found such tremendous success in Collegeville,” said John H. Hersker, president and CEO of Movie Tavern. “We look forward to providing families in Flourtown and surrounding cities the movie-going experience they deserve with offerings that merge both cutting-edge technology and modern convenience with great value.”

Movie Tavern - Collegeville location

Movie Tavern – Collegeville location

The Dallas-based entertainment company broke ground on an eight-screen theater facility at the Flourtown Shopping Center located at 1842 Bethlehem Pike. According to a previous report by the Montgomery News, the site was formerly occupied by a Giant supermarket that relocated into a larger building behind the shopping center in December last year. The 36,000-square-foot new Movie Tavern is set to open at the end of 2014. The movie complex will have a capacity of 1,000 seats, with four screens located in the front of the location, four in the back, and a promenade down the middle. Just like the Movie Tavern Providence Town Center in Collegeville, the theater will feature a full-service bar and restaurant area located at the entrance, as well as luxury reclining loungers in every auditorium and all-reserved purchase seating.

Located at the intersection of Bethlehem Pike and West Mill Road, the 160,000-square-foot Flourtown Shopping Center has been owned owned and managed by Federal Realty Investment Trust for more than three decades.


Image of Collegeville location courtesy of Movie Tavern

Philadelphia 76ers will Finally Have Their Own Training Center, But in Camden

12 Jun 2014, 12:53 am

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The Philadelphia 76ers will break ground on a new practice facility and headquarters building along the Camden waterfront in New Jersey.

The team, which is one of the oldest franchises in the National Basketball Association and yet the only team that doesn’t have a dedicated practice facility, has been training in a rented space at the College of Osteopathic Medicine in West Philadelphia since 1999. As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sixers’ initially wanted to build a 55,000-square-foot facility with two basketball courts, locker rooms, lounge space and broadcast center at the Philadelphia Navy Yard where the team has administrative offices, but that plan fell through.

After having investigated other relocation options, the Sixers eventually decided on a site located near the Adventure Aquarium and the Susquehanna Bank Center and filed for incentives with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). Following EDA’s unanimous decision to grant $82 million in tax credits over the next ten years, the Sixers announced this week they will break ground on their very own training center in October this year.

At 120,000 square feet, the new practice space will become the largest and most advanced facility in the NBA, and will house the team’s basketball and business operations staffs. The massive development project is scheduled for completion in June 2016.

“It is imperative we are able to provide our players, coaches and staff with the resources necessary for success,” said Sixers co-Managing Owner David Blitzer. “This facility—the size and scope of which will be unmatched in the NBA—will allow our team to make great strides on and off the court as we work to join the league’s elite.”

According to the Sixers’ announcement, the new training center in Camden will be developed by Philadelphia-based AthenianRazak, while INTECH Construction will serve as the project’s construction manager. Jacobs Global Buildings Design is listed as the architect of record, and Threesixty Architecture will be the consulting design architect.

The Sixers are not the first team to train outside their home city. Last year Commercial Property Executive reported that the NFL’s Washington Redskins opened a $10 million training center in Richmond as part of an economic development between the city and Bon Secours.

Taller Puertorriqueño to Build New HQ Facility ‘El Corazón Cultural Center’

6 Jun 2014, 2:00 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

El Corazón Cultural Center

El Corazón Cultural Center

Taller Puertorriqueño, a community-based multidisciplinary arts group that has been supporting the Latino and Puerto Rican culture in the Philadelphia region for almost four decades, is looking to expand in a new headquarters facility in the Fairhill neighborhood of eastern-north Philadelphia.

Known as El Corazón del Barrio or “the golden block,” the area spans several blocks between Huntingdon Street and Lehigh Avenue that house Latino businesses, community organizations, retail and restaurant space. Taller Puertorriqueño’s new multipurpose building, which has already received approval from the City Planning Commission, will be called El Corazón Cultural Center and will replace a 2.3-acre surface parking lot located at the corner of North 5th and West Huntingdon. The City of Philadelphia transferred the 2.3-acre site to Taller Puertorriqueño in December 2007.

Taller Puertorriqueño currently operates in two separate buildings totaling 10,000 square feet on

El Corazón Cultural Center

El Corazón Cultural Center

North 5th Street that are two blocks away; with the new cultural center, the organization hopes to create a more visible space in a single location that will accommodate Taller’s existing programs while introducing new programs and activities that will reach a broader audience in the Latino community.

The 24,000-square-foot cultural facility was designed by Philadelphia’s Wallace Roberts & Todd Architects (WRT), with Antonio Fiol-Silva and Modesto Bigas- Valedón, serving as principal architects. According to Taller Puertorriqueño, El Corazón Cultural Center will include a larger gift shop, a more spacious and more flexible exhibition gallery, seven classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology, as well as dance and theater studios that can combine into a 5,000-square-foot event space with 220 seats. The cultural center will also feature an expanded bookstore, a café, a family/community gathering space, children’s play area, administrative offices, a patio and 100 parking spaces.

According to PlanPhilly, the project is estimated to cost up to $11 million, of which Taller Puertorriqueño has already secured $6.6 million. The project is eligible for $3 million in New Market Tax Credits, which leaves the organization with a $1.5 gap that the group is trying to close by running fundraising campaigns and offering naming opportunities for specific spaces in the El Corazón Cultural Center.

Rendering courtesy of WRT Architects

65-Unit Affordable Housing Community to Replace Old Knitting Mill Site in Burlington

28 May 2014, 4:02 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Apartments at the Mill - Burlington NJ

Apartments at the Mill – Burlington NJ

The City of Burlington and Ingerman Development Group, a real estate development company based in Cherry Hill, NJ, this week celebrated the official start of construction of a new affordable housing project located only 20 miles from Philadelphia. Dubbed “Apartments at the Mill,” the residential project will be built on a vacant, 2.4-acre site and is part of a larger redevelopment plan to transform the derelict Knitting Mill Area into a new, dynamic neighborhood that is expected to ease the strong housing demand in Burlington County’s oldest city.

Overall, the new apartment complex located at 505 Mitchell Avenue will have 65 affordable rental units in a combination of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that will be housed in five, three-story multifamily buildings constructed at the site. According to the Burlington County Times, construction at the Apartments at the Mill will be completed this fall. Leasing of the units is expected to begin in spring 2015, with monthly rents ranging from $300 to $1,000 depending on the income, the news source said.

Knitting Mill Structure on Mitchell Avenue - Burlington NJ

Knitting Mill Structure on Mitchell Avenue – Burlington NJ

The development site includes an abandoned, 11,000-square-foot textile mill (pictured at right) that was last occupied by the Raffino Knitting Corp. Once renovated, the building will house a community center and office spaces on the ground floor and 11 apartment units on the remaining two floors.

As reported by The Courier-Post, the $15 million project was financed through a mix of affordable housing credits from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, Wells Fargo and the Burlington County HOME program.

Project rendering via the City of Burlington on Eventbrite

Failed Marina View Project on Columbus Blvd. Comes Back to Life as 250-Unit Residential Building

22 May 2014, 4:06 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

One Water Street

One Water Street

PMC Property Group plans to revitalize 230 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, one of the many vacant parcels near the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing District. According to PlanPhilly, the lot has a decade-long history of failed redevelopment projects that have been revolving around Marina View—Lou Cicalese’s plan to create a residential and commercial building on Philadelphia’s Central Delaware Waterfront.

The final version of the Marina View tower that was OK’d by the City Planning Commission in late 2012 called for a 14-story building with 180 apartments built on top of a three-story podium base of structured parking with retail space. However, the developer never went forward with his controversial project and, as previously reported by the Philadelphia Business Journal, sold it for around $5.5 million to an entity affiliated with PMC Property Group.

The new owner has renamed the project One Water Street and hopes to break ground on a 16-story building with 250 rental apartments this July. Designed by Varenhorst Architects to seek LEED certification, the project will also include 73 parking spaces, a fitness center, bike storage room, a green roof and two public green spaces along Columbus Avenue designed by Land Collective’s landscape architect David Rubin. As reported by PlanPhilly, the two public spaces will encompass approximately 11,600 square feet, or 20 percent of the development site.

Though One Water Street is not included in the Central Delaware Master Plan, it received positive feedback from the Central Delaware Advocacy Group which pledged to send a letter of support for the project to the Civic Design Review Committee.

If One Water Street gets the green light for construction, PMC Property Group hopes to complete the project in about 18 months.

Rendering credits to Varenhorst Architects via PlanPhilly

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