Challenges on the Parkway, a New Whole Foods, and Home2Suites’ Gets Reviewed

This week’s edition of Capstone Law’s Philadelphia Real Estate Trends begins by focusing on the challenges and possibilities of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This long diagonal roadway, modeled on the more successful grand urban boulevards of Paris, never truly connected with the surrounding urban tapestry. The Parkway’s highway-like structure often forces pedestrians to play a real-life game of frogger as they try to cross intersections while frantically darting between speeding cars. The City of Philadelphia, however, recently determined to transform the Parkway experience by creating a denser and more pedestrian friendly environment that will hopefully better engage with the walkable city surrounding it.

Developers in the Fairmount area hope to construct a new multi-use building containing a new Whole Foods supermarket to replace the chain’s current Fairmount area location. Unlike the current Whole Foods, this new store would be similar to Whole Foods’ large urban mega stores like the one located in the Time Warner Center in New York. As a former Upper West Sider, I wholeheartedly believe that this development will be a major boon for Fairmount area residents.

On the other side of town, Philadelphia Inquirer architectural critic Inga Saffron delivers an unfavorable review of the city’s newest hotel. She argues that despite government subsidies, the new Home2Suites’ bland design adds little energy to the neighborhood surrounding the embattled Pennsylvania Convention Center. On the bright side — or not so bright side depending upon your point of view — Home2Suites will house Center City’s first Panera Bread, bringing a taste of suburbia to the city.

Until next time, have an amazing week!

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