PlanPhilly | A new plan for Chinatown

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335 N 10th Street Philadelphia, PA Copyright © 2013, Bob Bruhin. All rights reserved.

BY JAKE BLUMGART

For years, the area north of the Vine Street Expressway, now most commonly known as Callowhill but considered Chinatown North to many, hosted many small factories and warehouses servicing the historic neighborhood’s many restaurants.

“Connecting Chinatown North to the historic core has always been the challenge for this Chinatown,” said Kathryn E. Wilson, Associate Professor of History at Georgia State University and author of the 2015 book Ethnic Renewal in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. “There was always Chinatown North [of Vine Street], but the expressway really cut off the top part of that community. A lot of what neighborhood planning has done since then is try to bridge that.”

That challenge is different than it used to be. Callowhill is undergoing a renaissance.  The increasing number of old factories and warehouses being converted into condos and apartments,  has led some developers to aspirationally call it “the Loft District.”

Source: PlanPhilly | A new plan for Chinatown

Azavea CEO on Amazon HQ2: ‘A chance for Philly to land this would be fabulous’ – Technical.ly Philly

Azavea CEO Robert Cheetham.

When we wrote about Callowhill as a possible site for Amazon’s HQ2 projectAzavea CEO Robert Cheetham chimed in wearing his other hat: that of board member on the Callowhill Neighborhood Association.

“There is an enormous amount of land that is largely unused and the connections to the rest of the transportation network are stronger than the Navy Yard,” Cheetham wrote on the comments section. “It would be a unique and extraordinary place for their headquarters.”

Of course, we had to hear more, so we caught up with the B-Corp boss at Azavea’s Callowhill HQ (on the 5th floor of 990 Spring Garden) to hear his thoughts on the project that dozens of cities are vying for.

Read More: Azavea CEO on Amazon HQ2: ‘A chance for Philly to land this would be fabulous’ – Technical.ly Philly

5 things to know about Philly’s future Rail Park

Atop phase one of the Rail Park construction site between Broad and Noble streets and 11th and Callowhill. CONTRIBUTED TO BILLYPENN.COM BY ROBERT HAKALSKI

Bryan Hanes, designer of the first phase of the Rail Park, likes to think the highly anticipated park will give visitors a glimpse of Philadelphia they’ve never seen before. The same way developments near the rivers have brought residents to places where only industry once stood, the Rail Park will do the same above the ground.

Read more: 5 things to know about Philly’s future Rail Park

Here’s what Philly’s Rail Park looks like from above – Curbed Philly

Construction on the Rail Park is ahead of schedule. Photos by Philly by Drone for Lawn and Garden Landscaping

Construction on the Rail Park is shaping up quite nicely, according to these new drone images and videos that captured the train line-turned-future-park from above.

Source: Here’s what Philly’s Rail Park looks like from above – Curbed Philly

Here’s what the North Broad poles look like after $57K enhancements – Curbed Philly

The improved North Poles on North Broad Street have upgraded LED lighting. | Courtesy of Urban Engineers

The “North Poles,” as they’re called, have spent the past few months undergoing some tweaks and enhancements, long after the city first installed the 55-feet-tall masts in late 2016. The newly-formed community and economic development group North Broad Renaissance was tasked with hiring a contractor to install upgraded LED lights for the poles—the initial lights were too faint for the naked eye—and maintain general upkeep of the 2.5-mile art installation between Wood Street and Glenwood Avenue.

Source: Here’s what the North Broad poles look like after $57K enhancements – Curbed Philly

At the Divine Lorraine, the grand lobby’s return awaits – Curbed Philly

The historic Divine Lorraine’s full facade has been unveiled. | Photos by Melissa Romero

At the Divine Lorraine on North Broad, the two iconic lights atop the apartment building have been shining since November, and residents have been moving into their new homes in the historic building since January 1. Now, all that’s really left for the $44 million restoration project is the return of its grand lobby.

Source: At the Divine Lorraine, the grand lobby’s return awaits – Curbed Philly

Surprise! Phase One of the Rail Park, Philly’s High Line, will open soon

Thanks to our warm winter months, Philly’s own version of the High Line is almost ready.

The first part of the Rail Park will be complete in January 2018, said Sarah McEneaney, president of Friends of the Rail Park. Originally, this phase was slated to be completed in late 2018; the date was then moved up to spring 2018. Now it’s looking like we’ll be able to walk around on the refurbished tracks of the old Reading Viaduct in a few months.

“Because of the mild winter we are on schedule and maybe a little ahead,” McEneaney said. “They work late some days when the weather is perfect.”

Source: Surprise! Phase One of the Rail Park, Philly’s High Line, will open soon