What 676 Bridges Look Like Now, Parkway Developments and the Growth of Franklin Town

What 676 Bridges Look Like Now, Parkway Developments, and New Business

I hope you’re having a great day. Recently I found myself at the formerly known as the Top of The Tower, now known as Sky Philadelphia. Sky Philadelphia has a popular weekend brunch, and on the 51st floor is the popular beer garden run by Brauhaus Schmitz called SkyGarten.

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I noticed there were dozen or so stories of interest from this view, in and around the Parkway area

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These three blocks of residential sum up the growth of Franklintown.
1900 Hamilton Street, the low rises with gray roofs facing us were built in the 90s,
then in the early 00s the Tivoli Condos were built I always felt sorry for Hamilton Court losing their view. Then in this decade The Granary Apartments were built, blocking their view of the City.
bridges (Custom)What 676 looked like before the replacement bridge project. Many of the openings are now capped as you will see.


Look how amazing the Vine Street Expressway looks now that the overpasses have been completed, or are
finishing up construction.
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In front of the old family court house and the Library you can see the matching ovals which is the new Aviator Park, they’ll be new benches
as beautiful landscaped gardens. I bet the annual Book Festival will be that much better with these new parks. It’ll be interesting to see what
they’re going to do with the newly capped area (on left) across from the Franklin Institute. Maybe another green space.
ParkwayHere’s one of the last bridges being replaced the 22nd street bridge, next to Park Town.

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Here’s what the NFL Draft stage looked like last Monday. They’ve progressed much further in this are with
staging since then. Parkway

Another favorite mural bites the dust.

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This one was on the side of the former Children’s Crisis Treatment Center at 17th and Callowhill.

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Which has now been torn down to build a micro brewery and residential mix used according to OCF Realty
“According to public record, the City owns the property. But clearly a developer has purchased the property from the City. And wouldn’t you know it, at a PAID meeting about a year and a half ago, the City agreed that it would sell the property to Orens Brothers. At that meeting, the developers indicated that they had an LOI from Callowhill Craft Brewing for a microbrewery and possible restaurant, which would be a cool addition to the neighborhood.” (OCF)


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The gray building in the center, is the new Dalian on the Parkway apartment building, the new Whole Foods is located on the first floor
as well as a CVS and a bank. The views from the apartment building are amazing, but for some reason they’ve been slow to move rentals. Personally I think they could have had more roof top access where the pool is located. Unfortunately the space is being used for a “green roof” which is nice, but you’re not allowed to walk on it.


In the foreground is the former Whole Foods building, which is now going to be a Target. I sure hope they are going to bring better quality merchandise than what they’re selling in Center City. Well at least they’ll have produce and other groceries for a reasonable price. You might still have to go to AC Moore for photo frames, which oddly the Target’s in Center City don’t carry.
Target, request is for an exception to allow a larger signage than  allowed. The zoning limitation allows for 16 square feet of free-standing signage; the request is  for an exception of up to 40 square feet. Though larger than allowed by zoning, the footprint of  the proposed signage is very similar to the existing sign by Whole Foods. The signage theme is  the signature and somewhat iconic red Target logo with illumination of the logo.

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The Mormon Campus is nearly done. And it so gorgeous, what a really remarkable addition to Philadelphia.
The highrise on the right is The Alexander, a residential 32-story, 490,000 square-feet apartment building where Mormon’s and non-church members can live
as long as they abide by the rules of good living dictated by the Mormon faith of no drinking, no smoking, no cursing, or consumption of caffeine.
There’s also a 12,000 retail section on the first floor of the apartment building. Retail has to abide to all the same rules, except I hear if a restaurant takes a space, the eatery can have a liquor license, no coffee though. The mall, like the one they have in Salt Lake City, was developed by a partner developer is not affiliated with the Church, so some venues will be open Sundays and serve alcohol. It’s an interesting way they go around the rules of the church.

The residential tower was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects in New York City, supported by BLT Architects in Philadelphia, the PRI spokesman said, and “inspired by Philadelphia’s strong tradition of brick-and-masonry Georgian and Federal architecture.”

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All this development couldn’t have happened without the contributions of the Rendell, Street, Nutter and Kenny administrations.
We have become that first class 24/7 City that Paul Levy has talked about for the last two decades. Thanks.