June 2: The Schmidt’s Commons | Society Hill Playhouse in flux | Uber gets $3.5B

Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has a plan to make The Piazza great again, says Sharon Lurye, and it involves a more laid-back programming mix, and filling the high-turnover retail spaces with businesses that will appeal more to the influx of new office workers coming to WeWork’s first Philadelphia location. Kushner Companies has renamed the complex The Schmidt’s Commons, reflecting the new vision for the central space, and neighbors can look forward to a summer without the massive rowdy concerts. “”You can’t [have] regular events where some group of people … is confronted with 5,000 people drunk off their asses and incredibly loud music, which is what it was in the past,” said Northern Liberties Neighbors Association president Matt Ruben.

Toll Brothers has dropped their plans for two apartment buildings on the Society Hill Playhouse site, reports Sandy Smith. Read more about the backstory on PlanPhilly. 

The Garces Foundation is one of six new tenants coming to the former Bok Technical High School building, reports Alison Burdo. “The additions push the property, located at 1901 S. 9th St., to just over 10 percent occupancy of its approximately 216,000 square feet of leasable space,” according to owner Lindsey Scannapieco.

Philadelphia’s famous block party culture gets a shout-out in national foodie magazine Saveur from local writer Sara Grey. “Six thousand city blocks. Six thousand plastic kiddie pools sloshing onto the sidewalk. Six thousand grills filling the air with charcoal smoke and the scent of dripping beef fat. Six thousand Frisbee games in six thousand streets emptied of cars. In 2015, the city of Philadelphia issued six thousand block-party permits, more than Chicago and more than twice as many as New York City.”

A one-story strip mall structure with parking in front is coming to 1338 Spring Garden Street, steps from the Spring Garden Street BSL station, according to a listing on the commercial real estate website LoopNet. The site is zoned CMX-4, the second-most permissible mixed-use zoning classification, which goes to show that denser zoning doesn’t always guarantee higher density. 

Uber announced they raised $3.5 billion from Saudia Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, in one of the fund’s largest-ever investments in a private company, the Guardian reports. The ride-hailing firm is now valued at $62.5 billion.  

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