Planning Commission supports YWCA redevelopment, hears about Blue Horizon and sign controls; Umbria Village’s new name; Grubb & Ellis bankrupt; area home sales up

Yesterday’s Planning Commission meeting kept PlanPhilly busy. Kellie Patrick Gates reports that commissioners weren’t pleased with the materials proposed for the redevelopment of the old YWCA Annex property at 2017-23 Chestnut Street. Despite concerns that the materials will look cheap, the commission voted to support the 12-story project. Commissioners had a bit more enthusiasm for Mosaic Development Partners’ plans to redevelop Blue Horizon as Hotel Blue on Broad. Among their concerns at Blue Horizon: parking, legislative variances requested through City Council, and building materials. The hotel project, which includes space for a supper club and venue, will be on next month’s agenda for a vote.

Jared Brey reports the Planning Commission also heard about the draft sign regulations that will round out the new zoning code, which prompted a lengthy discussion. How many signs can a single business have? What kinds of signs are okay where? Where can signs advertise things not related to the property? The new draft regulations aim to answer these questions and more. You can read the draft sign controls here.

Why did the proposed transit-oriented development once called Umbria Village get renamed “The Station at Manayunk”? It’s at the Ivy Ridge SEPTA station in Roxborough, not Manayunk, and a NewsWorks reader thinks the name is a bit deceptive. Amy Z. Quinn looked into the renaming and learned that developer Petrucci Residential is trying to draw a connection to its similar development “The Station at Bucks County.”

Real estate brokerage Grubb & Ellis has filed for bankruptcy and will be taken over by BCG Partners, the Business Journal reports. Grubb & Ellis has 41 local brokers and 130 employees.

While Philadelphia area home sales are up from this time last year, the median price for those homes is a bit down, reports the Business Journal, citing the Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors HomExpert Market Report.


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