This Flashy Bi-Level Condo in Fairmount Has All of the Lights

Image via Postlets

Image via Postlets

From its hardwood floors to its pedestal sink, you’d think this bi-level condo in Fairmount was one of the more conventional properties we’d feature here. Instead, though, we’re given the tiniest of surprises in the form of tinted cove lighting, which – and maybe we’re wrong here; it’s a judgment call – gives the home an unexpected club vibe.

This quirky detail aside, the home includes a granite-topped kitchen with stainless steel appliances, new cabinets and patio access; bedrooms with walk-in closets; and a basement common area with a coin-operated washer & dryer. Specs and photos below.

Also, here’s a completely gratuitous music video we thought would complement the home.

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Main Line Monday: Historic $1.6 Million Residence by William Lightfoot Price

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

First, there was the beautiful Schoenhaus Estate, a property originally owned by William Penn before passing down to an Arts and Crafts Movement community headed by architect William Lightfoot Price who rehabilitated its historic buildings. Then, we told you about the restored, castle-like Lower Merion manse Price designed in the late 1800s.

And now? Well, now we’re going to introduce you to another one of his fine works.

Price, a would-be “giant” in the world of architecture were it not for his untimely death at age 55, teamed up his brother to start own firm early in his career. One of their first commissions was with real estate developers Wendell & Smith who tapped them for several projects, among them Overbrook Farms and various residential developments in St. Davids and Wayne. This home in South Wayne came about from such a partnership.

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Property’s Photo of the Week: Dog Days at Devil’s Pool

A photo posted by NJ | PA | Beyond (@r.zntch) on

With the dog days of summer soon to run off into the sunset, we thought it fitting to feature one of Philadelphia’s best open secrets of the season: Devil’s Pool.

Being that it’s located along the Wissahickon Creek, we must say, it’s one of Philly best kept open secrets because even we didn’t know about it. It’s eternal lure, however, is well-known among those who have dipped into its murky waters on scorching days.

Recently, there were murmurings of its potential closure, with police divers, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and members of Friends of the Wissahickon proposing it be filled in with rocks. The measure would be in response to the sometimes fatal plunges visitors take from atop nearby high-points. Naturally, the idea was derided by some (of course) and, thus far, the city hasn’t voiced any intention of going along with such a plan.

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Farmhouse Friday: Incredible Pond-Front Retreat in Birchrunville

Photo credit: Nina Lea Photography

Photo credit: Nina Lea Photography | Listing with Eve Marberger, BHHS Fox & Roach-Exton

Exquisite in the truest sense of the word, it was a no-brainer when it came to choosing Stoney Ridge Farm for today. A beautiful property parked atop 6.9 acres in Birchrunville, Chester County, the scenic estate features a tree-lined driveway leading to an early 1800s stone colonial home with historically correct additions. Moreover, it’s got a generous offering of manicured gardens and pastures, plus a pond, stone barn and spring house.

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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Sustainable North Philly Building Named “Project of the Year” by U.S. Green Building Council

Photo courtesy of Wallace Roberts and Todd

Photo credit: Wallace Roberts and Todd

It seems there’s always more that can be done when it comes to efforts intended to make a city more sustainable,  but it goes without saying Philadelphia has really been trying. One development in particular got its due credit earlier this week, we’re happy to report.

On Tuesday the U.S. Green Building Council announced the winners of its LEED for Homes Awards, which recognizes those trailblazing the way for innovation in residential green building. In addition to developers and homebuilders counting as recipients, multi- and single-family residential and affordable housing projects are also considered, according to a press release.

Among this year’s seven winners is the Paseo Verde apartment complex in North Philadelphia, which was crowned “Project of the Year.” The development, which first broke ground next to Temple University Station in February 2012, is a mixed-use, mixed-income building with LEED Platinum certification and consists of 120 rental units, landscaped terraces, green roofs and community service space. Paseo Verde also includes photovoltaic solar panels and energy efficient building envelope and water heating systems, among other sustainable features.

This is the project’s 8th award. Previously, it received the Willard G. Rouse Award for Excellence by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Urban Land Institute; an Honor Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects; and the Regional Excellence Award for the Regional Land Use Project of the Year from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, among others.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Divine Lancaster Residence Inside Former Church

All images via Zillow.com

All images via Zillow.com

Rejoice and be glad, our real estate prayers have been answered! Months after spotting that unimaginably cool Bucks County home inside a gothic church building, our search for a similar residence has ended. (For now, anyway.) Formerly a Gothic Revival church erected in 1893, the space has been converted into two very unique loft homes*. This one, our appointed Jaw-Dropper, is the larger of the two.

In keeping with its ecclesiastic roots, the unit vaunts a two-story living area with a cathedral ceiling and overhead church lighting. This along with a hard to miss stained glass window is original to the property and has been restored. Meanwhile, in the midst of all this is a bevy of custom woodwork in the form of mahogany doors, beams, columns and more. The listing notes there’s also a neat two-way mirror, framed and quietly concealing the home’s entertainment system.

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iStar Announces Multi-Billion Dollar Waterfront Renewal in Asbury Park

From left clockwise: 1101 Ocean, the Asbury, Monroe | Renderings via Asbury Park Waterfront

From left clockwise: 1101 Ocean, the Asbury, Monroe | Renderings via Asbury Park Waterfront

iStar, real estate investment trust extraordinaire and prospective Jersey Shore dream makers in the making, has embarked on a massive redevelopment plan that is sure to elicit a head-turn or two. Their venture, which involves more than twenty projects all together and will have a multi-billion dollar price tag attached, is to give a 1.25-mile tract of the Asbury Park waterfront in New Jersey a complete restoration and upgrade.

According to a press release, the plan will add 2,100 new homes and 300 hotel rooms to the area, while also working on a series of mixed-use and infrastructure projects intended to restore the town’s shoreline attraction. These developments will include The Asbury, a 110 key boutique hotel; Monroe, a 34-unit luxury condominium; and 1101 Ocean, a, quote, “landmark mixed-use hotel/condominium/retail project” set to be in one of the tallest edifices along the Jersey Shore. Asbury Lanes, a historic bowling and music venue, will also get a refresh.

Joining iStar in their effort are creative lead Anda Andrei, former Director of Design at the Ian Schrager Company; David Bowd, the visionary behind the SALT hotels brand; architects Chad Oppenheim and Gary Handel, among others; and renowned landscape designer Madison Cox. More importantly though, iStar is partnering with several Asbury Park businesses, cultural institutions, entrepreneurs, artists, and community groups to give the renewal an authentic touch.

“Asbury Park has a soul that makes it unique in America,” says Andrei in the press release. “There’s a love for that behind this project.  We’re mining the incredible history and one-of-a-kind character to amplify what’s already here.”

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Rebuffed Old City Project Slips Past Planning Commission

Rendering of 401 Race | Image via Phila.gov

Rendering of 401 Race | Image via Phila.gov

Looks like the would-be “great goddamn building” that Architectural Committee panelist Cecil Baker wanted from Priderock Capital Partners, the developer behind a proposed 216-unit residential complex at 401 Race in Old City, won’t be getting the design changes that would have made it “great” by the committee’s standards.

So, what happened? According to PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey, the Planning Commission voted in favor of recommending the developer’s current plan this past Tuesday. During the meeting, Commission chairman Alan Greenberger said he had no qualms with the height and loading variances Priderock is hoping to get.

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Back On the Market: Sylvan Edge Listed for $1.225M

Sylvan Edge | Image from a former listing.

Sylvan Edge | Image from a former listing.

Let’s swing by a home we haven’t heard from in awhile, but know you’re dying to see once more: Sylvan Edge, that stately manse off Ashbourne Road and Park Avenue in Elkins Park. Goodness knows its (in)famous neighbor sort of took up the spotlight last time, but this time around, Sylvan will definitely be the star.

First point of interest? It’s got ties to a historically certified Center City edifice by way of its builder. According to Dennis Cook, current owner of Sylvan Edge, a fellow by the name of Joseph Greenberg developed both 1616 Walnut, these days known as the ICON building, and Sylvan Edge. The latter, which was constructed in 1928 for the sole reason of serving as Greenberg’s home, was “recognized by Architectural Digest and the University of Pennsylvania for its commanding design and craftsmanship,” Cook tells us.

What’s most remarkable about the property, however, is that you’re looking at a successful comeback that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for a neighbor who grew up fascinated with the home and feared seeing it meet the same fate as Lynnewood Hall.

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Today’s First-Time Homebuyers Are Late Bloomers Compared to Those From Decades Ago

Know any millennials still on the rent bandwagon and with little to no aspiration to buy a house any time soon? It would be surprising if you don’t. According to a new Zillow report, first-time homebuyers tend to rent for an average of six years before signing off on a mortgage and are likely to be older, single, and spending a larger portion of their income compared to first-timers in the 1970 and 80s.

Indeed, if you want to get number-specific, first-time homebuyers from the 1970s rented for an average of 2.6 years, almost three times less than they do now. Moreover, they bought homes for about 1.7 times their income, while their millennial counterparts go for houses that cost 2.6 times their annual income. Age-wise, the 1970s and 80s saw its first-timers at 29 and 30 years old; today, the average first-time homebuyer is 33.

So, what exactly is behind this postponement by today’s young grown-ups? Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, attributes it to a general slowing down in life milestones:  “Millennials are delaying all kinds of major life decisions, like getting married and having kids, so it makes sense that they would also delay buying a home,” she says.

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