Gentrification & Caffeination In Fishtown

 

The owners of Lola Bean in Fishtown | Photo by J.R. Blackwell for Philadelphia Weekly

The owners of Lola Bean in Fishtown | Photo by J.R. Blackwell for Philadelphia Weekly

This week’s Philadelphia Weekly tours the city’s burgeoning coffee culture. The recent proliferation of coffee shops in Fishtown since 2010 is the focus of one article in particular, adding credence to a University of Massachusetts sociological study from 2011 that empirically tied the industry to gentrification trends as a whole. Far from over-saturation, cafés offer urban millennials the chance to form a new identity within a java-centric community. That should explain the optimism of Erica Zito and Mary Button, whose Lola Bean coffee shop on the 1300 block of Frankford Avenue is about to get a new neighbor: the flagship location of Philly’s own La Colombe.

City Councilman Jim Kenney is lobbying for the inclusion of a formal skatepark in the looming redesign of LOVE Park, reports CBS Philly. Parks and Recreation commissioner Mike DiBerardinis promises to leave the option on the table, but pointed to the construction of Paine Park by the Art Museum as the City’s main effort to placate the skateboarding crowd. That’s not enough, says Kenney, who argues that the city would be wise to take advantage of the established connection between LOVE and the global sport.

The Inquirer reports that the developers of the proposed 23-story Eastern Tower at 10th & Vine has figured out a way to get the final $33 million necessary for its construction. Supposedly, 66 prospective Chinese immigrants would be guaranteed green cards for them and their families in exchange for a loan of $500,000 each. Officials are confident that the plan is feasible, as the federal government’s EB-5 program has proven popular in recent years for East Asians.

A new study shows that Philadelphia has the second-highest tax burden of all American cities, at 17.6%, relates the Philadelphia Business Journal.

About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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2 Comments


  1. Too many coffee shops, what the hood really needs is grocery and the return of the corner store..I suspect that there will be a coffee shop fallout as rents rise and operators realize profits are not covering expenses. The Fishtown area is reaching its saturation point as far as milennial coffee craze is concerned..

  2. The tax study was based on completely bogus data, as has been pointed out already. It’s clearly just pushing an agenda and trying to pass it off as fact.

    Also, I couldn’t possibly disagree more with Jim Kenney. They have Paine’s Park, not to mention the actually built by Philly people FDR. I was skating and building ramps in parking lots and driveways when many of these suburban skaters were still looking down on skaters, and I fully support the idea of keeping skaters out of LOVE Park except as part of an event like the XGames or something. I’m also probably younger than many of those skaters.

    If you’re a real Philly skater, then you don’t need anybody catering to you. What’s next, dirt jumps on Dock St? Basketball courts on Broad? Why such a need to be catered to?

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