Morning Headlines: Office High-Rise on South Broad For Sale; Are Condos in Its Future?

Photo via Google Street View.

Photo via Google Street View.

The Horace Trumbauer-designed high-rise at 230 South Broad is on the market, according to Natalie Kostelni at the Philadelphia Business Journal. The 22-story building, which counts the Bellevue and Academy of Music as its neighbors, offers 216,000 square feet of potential office or residential space, an important distinction to make given the slight price disparity between both markets:

A rough estimate of how much it could trade for today pegs a price at about $150 a square foot, or more than $32 million. However, that calculation changes if a prospective buyer eyes the building as a potential residential conversion. It has been considered a good target for a condo or apartment use in the past because of its location, floorplates and layout.

Indeed, just yesterday we reported how Philadelphia’s office market was among the most affordable in the region. However, this difference with the residential market, investment broker Doug Rodio told Kostelni, isn’t a bad thing:

As the office market in the [Central Business District] continues to improve we have seen the price differential shrink between what a converter is willing to pay for a building and what an office owner is willing to pay for the same building,” said Doug Rodio, an investment broker with JLL. “I’d argue that this speaks more to the strength of the office market today rather than a softening of the conversion market.

230 S. Broad St. in Center City hits market [Business Journal]

In other news…

Yet Another Reason Philly is Awesome: Affordable Office Space!

We’ve been having our fun in the spotlight for the past few days, so we’ll just tag this mini pro-Philly tidbit onto the Philly Is Awesome train: Select Greater Philadelphia says we have the lowest monthly rates for office and industrial spaces compared to other Northeast metros like D.C., Boston, and, of course, New York:

For Class A space, Greater Philadelphia square footage is less than 60% of the cost of New York making Greater Philadelphia the best bargain in the largest Northeast metro areas.

The company also claims the Greater Philly Area has the “ninth-lowest median home price among the 15 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.”

Best Value in Office Space in the Northeast U.S. [Select Greater Philadelphia]

Living On a Neverending Cruise: Condo for Sale at the Dockside

All TREND photos via Redfin.

All TREND photos via Redfin.

It’s more than just the cruise ship shadows the Residences at the Dockside casts from certain angles. Inside of this two-bedroom unit for example, the apartment has something of a luxury passenger liner air to it. (We’re sure this lady knows what we mean.)

Perhaps this can be credited to its designers, the unit’s current owners, who have festooned the condo with several upgrades and designer touches. Features worthy of mention include custom window treatments, hardwood floors, chef’s kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel appliances, and carpeting in both bedrooms of which one (the master suite, obviously) boasts a double vanity, spa tub, and separate shower.

Read more »

Projects Bubbling Up in Brewerytown in 2015

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr.

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr.

Looks like Tacony isn’t the only neighborhood fixing for a revival. The Brewerytown boosters at MM Partners recently sent out a report of the projects they have in store for the growing ‘hood. The list, which you can read in full here, includes everything from the upcoming Turnkey Startups co-working space to plans to deck out the area with public art.

But as this is a real estate blog, after all, below you’ll find the developments we’re most looking forward to in the area:

Trinity Tuesday: Toasty 18th-Century Home in Rittenhouse Square

All TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach - Rittenhouse Hotel.

All TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach – Rittenhouse Hotel.

For this week’s trinity pick, we’ve opted to leave Society Hill and hit up the neighborhoods west of Broad Street. Our findings? This charming Rittenhouse residence built circa 1750.

The home, which has had a kitchen renovation within the last few years, has been expanded. Fortunately, endearing traces of its origins remain, most noticeably in the random-width hardwood floors, living room fireplace, and wood-burning stove in the top-floor bedroom (oh man, that sounds super cozy right about now).  Built-in bookshelves and a brand new deck are also included.

Read more »

Before & After: The Main Line Conversion You Have to See

Photo credit: Betsy Barron Fine Art Photography LLC

Photo credit: Betsy Barron Fine Art Photography LLC

Around this time last year we informed you of a special project taking shape in Narberth. If it’s not ringing bell, here’s the jist of it: Main Line reBUILD developers had the idea of turning the former United Methodist Church of Narberth and its parsonage into condos. A new townhouse construction was also in their plans.

The name of this proposed residential site? Narberth Place, which now lays claim to a pristine building called the Barrie House (i.e., the former parsonage) at its site. It’s the before and after photos of the one the Barrie House units that we have here now, and goodness gracious are they worth a look: by golly are they worth a look:

Morning Headlines: Bart Blatstein Has New Plans for North Broad’s “Tower of Truth”

Months after losing out on his bid for Philadelphia’s second gaming license to another contender, developer Bart Blatstein has moved on to to greener pastures, arguably most verdant of which is 400 North Broad: the iconic 18-story white building that was once the headquarters of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

CBS Philly’s Mike Dunn reports Blatstein dropped his appeal of the gaming board’s decision after realizing how time-consuming the process would be:

“The appeal period itself would last, even if successful, at least a year.  Then the license would have to be put out again, which is probably another year, and then another appeal period, which would be another year.  So it would be approximately three years before every legal challenge is exhausted.   And that’s just too long to leave such an important property like that vacant,” he explained.

Instead, the developer instead refocused his efforts on refashioning the former “Tower of Truth” into something else, although he has yet to say what:

“We’re working through each of them now, and it’s going to be something great.  It’s just that I didn’t want to leave such an iconic property fallow like that.”

The developer says he hopes to be able to talk publicly about this plans “within a few months.”

Blatstein Drops Casino Appeal, Says He’ll Move Ahead With Other Plans for Inquirer HQ [CBS Philly]

Meanwhile, in other news…

Spotted: Uber Eco-Friendly Family Townhome in Northern Liberties

Wait 'til you see the inside. Images by TREND via

Wait ’til you see the inside. Images by TREND via

Well all know how new constructions, especially contemporary-designed, can sometimes conjure up images of a bare, cold building. But have you ever heard of a “passive house”? Essentially, it’s an energy efficient home that Passipedia says is actually more comfortable than the average house: “There is absolutely no cutting back on comfort; instead the level of comfort is considerably increased.”

Wow. In that case, consider yourselves lucky as this passive house abode at the newly constructed Stables townhouse development in NoLibs is on the market. The passive house features in this single-family include a solar array (i.e. net zero in energy usage/bills), triple-paned windows, and a 90% reduction in heating, cooling, and energy when required thanks to R34 and R52 value insulation and an airtight building envelope.  (Should someone take this home before you can, here’s another Stable townhouse on the market!)

Other hallmarks are its…

Does the Neighborhood We Grow Up in Determine Our Future Salary?


Image: M. Kennedy via GPTMC

Well, here’s some food for thought. CityLab‘s Richard Florida (who showed us where Philly’s creative class lives back in 2013) recently published an article based on findings from two studies that took a look at how neighborhoods can mark its denizens’ future paychecks.

The first of these studies noticed that the “neighborhood in which one lives for the first 16 years of life” can determine our incomes between ages 30 and 44. It attributed the effect to “the characteristics of neighborhoods,” rather than the long-asserted belief that parental income and education alone were the factors dictating a person’s future income:

Their results are striking. Rothwell and Massey find the neighborhood effect to be 50 to 66 percent of the effect of parental income. This means, as they write, “growing up in a poor neighborhood would wipe out much of the advantage of growing up in a wealthy household.”

Meanwhile, the second study focused more on the home and workplace location to see which had the stronger effect on the incomes of blue collar, service, and “knowledge and creative” workers. It made the following discovery: Read more »

New Listing(s) in Rittenhouse: High-Rise Condo at 220 Asking for $1,399,000

TREND photo via BHHS Fox & Roach - Rittenhouse Hotel.

TREND photo via BHHS Fox & Roach – Rittenhouse Hotel.

If you’ve followed Property long enough, you’ll have noticed the condos at 220 W. Rittenhouse are something of a go-to for us. And how could they not be? They’re located in one of Philadelphia’s choice neighborhoods for shopping and dining, and are in building with a Free Library branch on the first level.

This particular two-bedroom unit happens to have been listed just the other day (for an equally sweet one-bedroom at 220 W. Rittenhouse, check this one out). It is one of two condos on this floor and claims two balconies. According to the listing, it overlooks Rittenhouse Square from the living room.

Read more »

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