Stop What You’re Doing: 1910 Rittenhouse Square Just Hit The Market

Photos by Jay Ratchford via Allan Domb Real Estate

Photos by Jay Ratchford via Allan Domb Real Estate

Are you sitting down? Please, take a seat–a rare piece of Philadelphia real estate just hit the market. Listed for $7.5 million, 1910 Rittenhouse Square is so gorgeous that it was once dubbed “Philadelphia’s Most Extravagant Townhouse” in a video done by Plum TV.

While the video was merely a showcase of the stunning home, you can now own the 4-story gem that’s a few steps from Rittenhouse Square. In fact, it boasts unobstructed views of The Square and so much more.

Trust us, you’re not going to want to miss this gallery.

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Report Finds Philly Is Among the Best Markets for Renting to Millennials

Millennials have no doubt been the source of several headlines these last few years, and it looks like the Generation Y-talk won’t be stopping anytime soon.

Case in point, a recently released RealtyTrac report which, in addition to examining the best U.S. markets for buying residential rental properties in the first quarter of 2015, takes a look at the best markets for renting to millennials.

The results? Well as you can see from the chart below, the Greater Philadelphia Area, which saw a 25 percent increase in its millennial population between 2007 and 2013, has one of the country’s highest annual rental returns thanks to an 18.78 percent annual gross yield.

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Either/Or: Two Condos at The Ayer

All TREND photos via Redfin

All TREND photos via Redfin

Nothing like a good face-off between luxury condos at the Ayer for that mid-afternoon lull, am I right? For this Either/Or edition, we’ve chosen two single-bedrooms for you to pick over the other. Both have wood floors, an additional study area, and one-and-a-half bathrooms. The one thing that does set them apart though is that the second home,

The one thing that does set them apart though is that the second home, unit #2SW (pictured left) has both a terrace with views of Washington Square and stone bathrooms.

But before you get to voting (poll after the jump), don’t forget to take a look at the gallery and price details!

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Chestnut Hill’s Skyspace Will Be Open on Valentine’s Day

Photo credit: Flickr user camera_obscura

Photo credit: Flickr user camera_obscura

Here’s an unorthodox (but still good vibes-inducing) idea for February 14th: go to Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting’s Skyspace for a relaxing view of the sky at dusk.

If you’ve never been, here’s how Liz Spikol describes her first experience at the Skyspace:

This morning, for example, there was a sunrise viewing. Visitors (myself included) lay down on the floor in sleeping bags or on the pews with blankets looking up at the ceiling. A square in the ceiling was revealed — a skylight without any glass — so that the cold air came in and we were looking directly at a fragment of sky. That fragment changed colors from bright blue to deep green to yellow to almost white — not because the color of the sky was changing, but because of the shifting colored light projected onto the walls around the skylight. Picture the Rothko Chapel if the paintings kept changing colors as the sun rose.

Of course, the Valentine’s Day Skyspace event is scheduled for 5:35pm, but we’re guessing it’s not so different from a morning viewing.

WHAT: Skyspace at Chestnut Hill Friends
WHEN: Saturday, February 14th, 5:35pm (arrive 15 minutes early to get a good spot!)
WHERE: Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, 20 East Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118
REGISTER: Free, but registration is required and donations are accepted

Zillow Confirms That Starbucks Fuels Your Morning–and Gentrification



Have you had your coffee this morning? If not, here’s a bit of information from a recent study conducted by Zillow that will certainly open your eyes:

A home that is now near a Starbucks would have sold, on average, for $137,000. A home that is not near a Starbucks would have sold, on average, for $102,000.

 Fast-forward 17 years to 2014. That average American home has now appreciated 65%, to $168,000. But the Starbucks-adjacent property has far outpaced that, appreciating 96% to $269,000.
That’s quite remarkable, but is it really just Starbucks or is it simply something Zillow calls the “coffee shop effect”? The report also compared the home values adjacent to both Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts within the first five years of the store opening.

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On the Market: Chester Springs Home By the Hobbit House Builders


TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach – Malvern

Before Ringers and Tolkinsts get too excited, we should clarify that Archer and Buchanan, the builders of this 5,094-square-foot Chester Springs residence, are responsible for having built this Hobbit House, which is also in Chester County, not the hobbit homes in New Zealand.

In any case, this particular home bares no resemblance to either. It’s a custom-built masonry home with 10-foot ceilings on the first level, Brazilian Cherry flooring throughout, and lots of trim and expansive insulated windows. It’s also said that almost every room has a view of the nearby spring fed lake.

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Morning Headlines: American Bible Society to Move Its HQ to Center City

Screenshot via Google Street View

Screenshot via Google Street View

Well, it looks like Pope Francis will receive an extra warm welcome when he makes his way to Philadelphia this September: The Inquirer’s Claudia Vargas reports the American Bible Society has decided to move their base to Center City this summer.

According to Vargas, the long-New York-quartered organization will lease “nearly 100,000 square feet on the eight and ninth floors” of 401 Market, the office building at Fifth and Market with the prominent “Wells Fargo” logo on its western roof line. (Wells Fargo occupies the majority of the building.) The lease, she writes, is for 25 years.

Plans for ABS has in mind for their new HQ building include a proposed “Bible Discovery Center” on the first level, conference center, rare Scriptures storeroom, and a concourse-level library, Vargas adds.

So, what prompted the change in HQ?

Philly 7th on List of Most Dangerous Cities in America to Own Property

The view from 2116 Chestnut looking south

The view from 2116 Chestnut looking south

One thing has been made abundantly clear over the first three-and-a-half weeks of 2015: Philly is on some impressive lists. However, we’re going to have to take the good with the bad in this instance. A report from lists Philly as one of the most dangerous cities in America to own property–in fact, we’re squarely in the top 10 at number seven. If it makes you feel any better, New York City took the top spot. We’re also two spots safer than San Antonio, a city that’s trying to cheat its way to a larger population that Philadelphia.

The list examines data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program and takes into account the number of robberies, property crimes, larcenies, motor vehicle thefts and arsons. Here’s what ‘the authority on bad credit” had to say about our fair city:

Neither the weather nor its citizens’ dispositions are always sunny in Philadelphia. The city is home to several hundred homicides a year, a large concentration of organized crime rings and some of professional sports’ rowdiest fans.

In summation, the list of reasons why Philly is seven on the list goes homicides, organized crime and poorly behaved sports fans.

Actually, these number will help to paint a more complete picture:
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Who Will Help Save This 19th-Century Home in Darby?

Darby Main Street House preservation Screenshot via Google Street View

Screenshot via Google Street View

In what appears to be a case of survival of the fittest with a building preservation twist, one Darby resident has taken it upon himself to try and save a few of the countless historical buildings in the borough that are slowly spoiling under the swelling shadow of blight. The question is, which will live on and which will become scrap?

Among his saving projects, John Haigis, The Inquirer‘s Laura McCrystal reports, has been fighting to preserve a vacant white building that neighbors his own home on Main Street.”It has character,” he says of the deteriorating property, which, to his credit, he acknowledges is just another load on the already heavy historical building burden in Darby:

“I think there’s a blessing and a curse,” Haigis said. “The blessing is, we have such incredible historic fabric. The curse is, we have so many old buildings, they overwhelm available resources.”

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Looking for a Single-Bedroom? Check Out This Old City Loft Inside a Former Factory

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach - Center City Walnut

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach – Center City Walnut

The original details that once swathed this former factory from the mid-1800s have not all been lost in the footnotes of history, as many of its materials have been restored to outfit the condo lofts that now sit on this cobblestoned-block of Church Street.

Inside, high ceilings tower above, while original pumpkin floors are throughout. Exposed brick walls, ceiling beams, and built-in bookshelves also have their place in the unit. There’s even a built-in bench seat that was made from reclaimed wood beams from the factory.

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