July 22: Gillen on 2300 South | Uber and DUIs revisited | $1000 squarefoot milestone | Rental conversion bonanza

Mayoral candidate Terry Gillen is running on economic development, but that hasn’t always been the case when it’s in her own backyard. City Paper’s Ryan Briggs looks at Gillen’s involvement in the opposition to developer Jason Nussbaum’s proposal for 2300 South Street. Nussbaum had proposed a five-story building with ground floor retail on what would later become the Grays Ferry Triangle pedestrian plaza. The project had a lot of fans among politically-active Millennials in the neighborhood. 

Emily Badger at WaPo’s Wonkblog followed up on the ride-sharing and DUIs issue, with Pennsylvania-specific charts from Uber showing ridership spikes on Saturday nights after last call. 

Rental conversions are big business in Philly these days, and there’s more on the way: “Barzilay is one of several local developers taking advantage of what the real estate investment firm Marcus & Millichap is calling “a course of steady property performance” in the region’s multifamily market this year, “created by projected hiring across an array of established industries and favorable demographic trends.”

Here’s a real estate milestone to note: Philly finally broke the $1000/square foot barrier for residential space. Granted, this is three condos on the 19th floor of Rittenhouse Hotel and Condominiums we’re talking about – one of the nicest views in the city – but it’s one of many signs of Center City’s growing land values.

Speaking of central cities rebounding, while annexing suburbs used to be high on the political agenda for folks interested in regionalism politics, these days a lot of suburbs aren’t looking so hot, fiscally speaking, and that’s leading to a diminished appetite among city leaders for city-suburb municipal mergers.

Dr. Paul Tranter, author of the forthcoming book, “City Cycling” makes an interesting argument about the time cost of car commuting – it’s not just the time lost in traffic, but the time lost working: ““For car drivers, a significant (and usually ignored) time cost is the time spent at work to earn the money to pay for all the expenses associated with the mode of transport.”

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