Updated Dec. 3 at 10 a.m.
Curbed Philly, the online publication dedicated to all things real estate and planning in Philadelphia, is shutting down after 8 years.
Vox Media, the NYC-based company that acquired Curbed in 2013, is also closing several other Curbed outposts, including Washington D.C., Seattle and New Orleans, a spokesperson told The Wrap.
Local editor Anna Merriman confirmed the site’s demise on Twitter late Monday afternoon.
“Sadly the Curbed Philly site is no more,” she said, following the announcement with a thread about how much she enjoyed working on the project.
In an email to Billy Penn, Merriman said she wasn’t informed that Vox was shutting down Curbed Philly and only found out when a colleague from Curbed Seattle posted that the Washington-based site was shutting down on Twitter.
Merriman had been guest editing Curbed Philly from out-of-state and started a new job when, in October, Curbed management said publication on the Philadelphia site would be paused. “I didn’t think that meant they would kill the whole site or stop forever,” she said.
“[T]he short answer is: no one told me the site was being closed for good, and I still have no clue why,” Merriman told Billy Penn. “I don’t think anyone had much (if any) notice ahead of time that their sites would be closed… It’s a shame because Curbed has wonderful, brilliant writers. I’m just disappointed in the lack of transparency – both for the editors and the readers.”
A Vox Media spokesperson told Billy Penn the Philadelphia site will be populated with evergreen stories until the end of the year.
“Curbed is prioritizing investment in other cities where we’ve seen strong growth, including Austin and Boston, experimenting in new areas, and focusing on national reports coverage,” the spokesperson said in an email.
Per a Vox spokesperson’s comment to The Wrap, Curbed sites in Austin and Boston will be expanding into full time publications, instead of their current model of a part-time editor and freelance contributors.
Study Hall reported that Vox originally planned to expand all its Curbed sites into full-time operations, but that vision fell through.
Curbed began as a New York City building and development blog. It burst onto the Philly media landscape in January 2012 and was helmed at the time by local journalist Liz Spikol. The gamut of Curbed sites was acquired by Vox Media for between $20-$30 million just over a year after the Philadelphia launch.
At the time Vox was a media startup that owned just three major sites: sports blog SBNation, a gamers publication called Polygon.com and consumer technology site TheVerge.com. Today, the media conglomerate still owns those sites along with New York Magazine, The Cut, city-specific food blog Eater and several other publications. Vox acquired New York Magazine in September.
Remaining Curbed sites are based in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco.