Avenue of the Arts
New condos, new restaurants, and a whole net cachet.
Median home price: $361,400
Increase in median household income (1999 to 2011): 84.4 percent
Increase in number of properties sold (2011 to 2012): 21.3 percent
flanked by the lofty facades of Philly’s most illustrious cultural buildings but punctuated with fenced-off vacant lots, this slender city artery—from Broad to 16th and Callowhill to Lombard—doesn’t exactly jump off the map as fertile real estate ground. But as developers from Carl Dranoff to Bart Blatstein set their sights on infusing new life into long-empty properties along Broad, the Avenue of the Arts has seen a surge of new apartment buildings, condos and townhouses boasting some of Center City’s most high-end units.
The result? Housing values have skyrocketed to Main Line levels, and for maybe the first time ever, this stretch has become the stomping grounds for edgy young professionals (with a little cash). South Broad, in particular, has undergone a residential renaissance over the past decade, notes Dranoff—a trend he says owes itself to the completion of the Kimmel Center in 2001, which made the neighborhood the heartbeat of the city’s cultural pulse. Since then, buildings like Symphony House (featuring the buzzy Sbraga) and the nearby 777 South Broad (which houses Tashan)—not to mention the proximity of public transit and a robust food-and-drink scene—have lured urban sophisticates and their money. Basically, residents pay top dollar now for these Center City digs for three very important reasons: location, location, location.
Avenue of the Arts: Shopping, Socialites, and Hot City Living
- Avenue of the Arts is a hit with … socialites and young professionals with the money to be where it’s happening. Think young doctors and athletes.
- Shopping … isn’t an issue. Start with the cornerstone Banana Republic and work your way west on Walnut.
- Nightlife … Take your pick of stilettos, cocktails and lounge music (Tashan), or more jersey-and-beer spots like Tavern on Broad.
- Schools … Philly School District. Residents tend to set their sights on Center City stalwarts (Meredith, Greenfield, McCall), but a lot of local kids also trek to Columbus Charter, at 10th and Christian.
- Residents’ biggest pet peeve … A decent grocery store nearby wouldn’t go amiss.
- Neighborhood gossip … Since it’s a straight shot from the stadiums, the Avenue is a popular spot for athletes: Keep your eyes peeled for Phillies, Flyers and Sixers.