Homage to earlier residents (Instagram/@postcardsfromsouthphilly)

Fancy condo sales lag on Broad, remain strong in Rittenhouse 

Arthaus, the sleek new residential tower on South Broad, has only sold 15% of its million-dollar condominiums, according to an Inquirer report. That’s partially because of high interest rates, sure — but it’s not true everywhere in the city. The Laurel, which opened two years later on Rittenhouse Square, appears to be more than half sold. 

Still, Arthaus developer Carl Dranoff told the paper he isn’t worried, calling the high-end luxury condo industry “a marathon, not a sprint.”

The Arthaus luxury condo tower on South Broad Street’s Avenue of the Arts. (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

Tina Fey’s ‘Mean Girls’ opens in Philly with local connections

Recent Philly high school grad Ethan Jih-Cook was surprised he scored a starring role as Damian in “Mean Girls,” the teenage angst comedy from Delco native Tina Fey. He was thrilled to learn there’s a real-life inspiration behind the role, Damian Holbrook, now 54 and living in Haverford.

Billy Penn spoke to both men and found other local connections as the popular movie-turned-musical opens on the Avenue of the Arts. Continue reading…

Ethan Jih-Cook playing Damian Hubbard and the National Touring Company of Mean Girls (Jenny Anderson)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• Drug overdose deaths in Philadelphia increased 11% last year, to 1,413, including a 20% jump among Black residents. The new stats show the problem is not just in Kensington, per Health Commissioner Bettigole. [WHYY]

• Former Philly DA Seth Williams, who pleaded guilty to corruption in the middle of a 2017 federal bribery trial, has completed his supervised release — and now says he was targeted for prosecuting the Catholic Church. [BP 2017/@newsethwilliams/Inquirer$]

• The new riverfront park coming to Bridesburg will include a forested area, walking trails, restrooms, a meadow, and a lawn. Target opening: 2025. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly]

• Remembrances of local journalist Josh Kruger came from far and wide, including mayors, senators, and friends. [Billy Penn]

• Injured Phillie Rhys Hoskins, who missed the entire season, made an emotional return to throw out the first pitch in last night’s win vs. the Marlins (corrected link!). If the Phils win tomorrow, it’s on to the next round. [Phillies Nation/Billy Penn]

Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)

We publish this report each week in partnership with the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting.

• About two dozen people in their teens and 20s attended a Philly gun violence summit with city leaders last weekend, discussing solutions like more funding for grassroots youth programs and after-school options. [WHYY]

• Wondering why you almost never see ads for firearms? They’re not officially banned, but there’s a consensus among companies that gun advertisements are dangerous, so many platforms eschew the money. [Trace]

• Groups of volunteers doing late-night peace patrols as “Operation Hug the Block” are determined to continue, despite isolated verbal threads. They invite city lawmakers and residents to join their walks. [WHYY]

• On the first anniversary of Nicholas Elizalde’s death, Roxborough High School students and teachers planted crocuses in memory of the 14-year-old, shot and killed after a football game. [BP 2022/Chalkbeat]

By the numbers in Philadelphia

  • 22: Shooting victims recorded last week, vs. 26 the week prior. [PCGVR]
  • 1,340: Shooting victims this year so far, down 27% vs. this time last year. [PCGVR]
  • 334: Year-to-date homicides, down 18% vs. last year’s pace; up 31% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]

MAYOR WATCH: Oct. 4, 2023

Mayor Kenney joins other officials at a South Philly health center to announce details of a pilot of the Zero Fare program, which automatically enrolls some residents living near or below the poverty line for free rides on SEPTA (10:30 a.m.).


🦤 Artist Susan Hagen hosts a free opening reception and walk to view “The Bird Ethic,” her installation of sculptures at the Schuylkill Center in Roxborough. (1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7)

🌍 Free workshops on climate resilience and sustainable entrepreneurship join a vendor showcase and musical performances at WURD Radio’s annual Ecofest in West Philadelphia. (12 to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9)