Hard Hat Tour: The Lincoln

The Lincoln's lobby is being used as a construction staging area while finishing touches are being put on the apartments. | Photo: Sandy Smith; all other photos: Brandon Morrison via PRDC Properties

The Lincoln’s lobby is being used as a construction staging area while finishing touches are being put on the apartments. | Photo: Sandy Smith; all other photos: Brandon Morrison via PRDC Properties

“Better late than never” might be the best way to describe the nearly complete restoration of The Lincoln, the apartment building at 1222 Locust Street in Washington Square West’s Gayborhood that was seriously damaged in a fire in 2006.

David Perelman bought the onetime hotel-turned-apartment building in 2014, and the company he founded, PRDC Properties, has been rebuilding it for the past year. Even as construction crews were working to finish the lobby and several apartments on our recent tour, new residents are already moving into the building. Read more »

Toll Takes Wraps Off Jewelers Row Tower

The Sansom Street elevation of the proposed Toll Brothers condo tower. | Rendering: SLCE Architects

The Sansom Street elevation of the proposed Toll Brothers condo tower. | Renderings: SLCE Architects

Toll Brothers City Living finally revealed what the condo tower it plans to build in place of three structures on historic Jewelers Row will look like before a packed meeting of the Washington Square West Civic Association Zoning Committee at Thomas Jefferson University last night.

And to the surprise of Toll Brothers City Living Division Vice President Brian Emmons, most of those who attended liked the design produced by SLCE Architects of New York.

That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone liked the building. Several in attendance, most notably a group of residents of the buildings slated to fall, managed to make their displeasure known to the committee, Emmons, and City Councilman Mark Squilla both during and after the meeting. Read more »

Barnes Foundation to Build $5.8M Addition

The Barnes Foundation will build an addition to its building's northeast corner that will allow it to expand its restaurant and accommodate more educational programs. | Photo: f11photo / Shutterstock.com

The Barnes Foundation will build an addition to its building’s northeast corner that will allow it to expand its restaurant and accommodate more educational programs. | Photo: f11photo / Shutterstock.com

What do you do when 93,000 square feet of space just isn’t cutting it anymore?

Well, for the Barnes Foundation, the answer is simple: expand.

The institution is set to break ground this week on a $5.8 million project to allow more space for educational programming and expanded dining services. The new Garden Pavilion, a 4,000-square-foot multi-use space, will sit on the northeast corner of the Barnes Foundation’s Philadelphia campus at 21st Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway. Read more »

Checkmate in East Kensington? Broker Rearranges the Chessboard

Bishop Square | Renderings: KJO Architecture via The Somers Team; Photos via The Somers Team

Bishop Square | Renderings: KJO Architecture via The Somers Team; Photos via The Somers Team

I’ve gotten lots of pitches from real estate agents and others that lead me to ask, “What’s in a name?”

The answer, it appears, is, “Tens of thousands of dollars.”

Buyers are far more willing to pay top dollar for a property in a neighborhood they perceive to be desirable than in one that may also be on the rise but they know little about.

And so it is that The Somers Team touts its new, six-unit residential development, Bishop Square, as a hot property in Fishtown. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: The Amperium

The future home of Riverwards Produce. Work on the apartments upstairs is further along. | Photos: Sandy Smith unless otherwise noted

The future home of Riverwards Produce. Work on the apartments upstairs is further along. | Photos: Sandy Smith unless otherwise noted

Over on Be Well Philly, Adjua Fisher was positively jubilant about the news that Riverwards Produce, which operated a pop-up produce market in Fishtown this past summer, will become a permanent tenant of the first floor of a converted firehouse at 2200 E. Norris St. starting sometime in March.

Over here on Property, I’m positively jubilant about the firehouse it’s going into.

So is its owner, Rory Scerri-Marion. In fact, he fell in love with it so much, he renamed both his real estate investment company and the building for the business that had occupied that first-floor space for 63 years.

But before we get to that part of the story, let’s rewind to this building’s beginning, which is why it’s on the city and national historic registers. Read more »

Why Parkway’s Doubling Down on North Broad

Parkway Corporation's proposed development at Broad and Spring Garden would add offices to the residence-retail mix found in other North Broad projects currently underway. | Rendering © BLT Architects

Parkway Corporation’s proposed development at Broad and Spring Garden would add offices to the residence-retail mix found in other North Broad projects currently underway. | Rendering © BLT Architects

Along with Eric Blumenfeld, Parkway Corporation has become one of the most important developers along the North Broad Street corridor. And like Blumenfeld, Parkway sees the street as having untapped potential as an all-day live/work/play environment. (The folks at Parkway should know: the company headquarters is at Broad and Race streets.)

What’s different about Parkway’s latest development proposal is that it seeks to combine all three of those elements into a single package at a convenient location.

“It’s my dream to build significant office space there, to get some jobs into that neighborhood,” said Parkway CEO Robert Zuritsky. “The retail and residential are a slam dunk, but [North Broad] is also an important commercial district.” Read more »

Is the High-End Rental Party Over Now That It’s Gained Steam Here?

The developer of The Bridge will get the rents he needs to make his project work, but those who break ground on their projects in the year ahead may find the going tougher. | Photo: Sandy Smith

The developer of The Bridge will get the rents he needs to make his project work, but those who break ground on their projects in the year ahead may find the going tougher. | Photo: Sandy Smith

The real estate sections in local and regional media of late, most definitely including this one, have been awash with stories about new luxury rental developments (like this one, or this one, or this one). Hardly a day passes without an announcement of a new high-end project on the drawing boards or a ribbon-cutting at a newly completed one.

This boom in high-end apartment construction in Philadelphia comes as a similar one nationwide enters its eighth year. That’s about the point where market cycles come to an end as supply begins to outstrip demand, and when that happens, those developers who find themselves standing instead of sitting when the music stops usually have to resort to price cuts to fill vacant units. Those who have announced but not begun new projects end up shelving them until things pick up again (if they pick up in time for the developer to follow through). Read more »

High-End Rental Boom Moves to the Suburbs

New luxury developments such as Carl Dranoff's upcoming One Ardmore Place are reshaping suburban downtowns. They're giving older Main Streets a shot in the arm, but bringing with them some of the same worries about displacing poorer residents. | Image: Dranoff Properties

New luxury developments such as Carl Dranoff’s upcoming One Ardmore Place are reshaping suburban downtowns. They’re giving older Main Streets a shot in the arm, but bringing with them some of the same worries about displacing poorer residents. | Image: Dranoff Properties

Apartments in downtown Phoenixville for $1,300 to $3,000 a month? Who knew?

Just as they have in the city, the Millennials are touching off a construction boom that’s now busily reshaping suburban communities around the region.

The Philadephia Inquirer reported Sunday (Jan. 8) on a surge in construction of upscale apartments in suburban communities such as Phoenixville, West Chester, King of Prussia, Ardmore and Bala Cynwyd.

According to the article, nearly 7,000 new apartments are either under construction or in the pipeline in Lower and Upper Merion Townships, Phoenixville and West Chester alone. The construction boom is reviving old downtowns like Phoenixville and transforming auto-oriented environments like King of Prussia. Read more »

More Residential Towers Coming Near North Broad

Rendering of the proposed Hamilton development's Hamilton Street elevation. | Renderings: MY Architecture

Rendering of the proposed Hamilton development’s Hamilton Street elevation. | Renderings: MY Architecture

Having developed two apartment towers in University City, Radnor Property Group (RPG) is turning its sights to the North Broad Street corridor for its next in-city project.

Curbed Philly reports that the developer has submitted a proposal for a mixed-use project called The Hamilton to the Civic Design Review panel. The project consists of two towers containing a combined 600 residential units, 8,000 square feet of street-level retail, and a partly buried 150-space parking garage.

The design by MY Architecture shows two towers, one of then 197 feet high and the other 131 feet high, clad in metal and glass. RPG proposes to construct the project in two phases. Read more »

How 10 Townhomes Sold Quickly in Fairmount

The living room of 2345 Pennsylvania Ave., one of 10 large luxury townhomes HOW Properties sold within eight months of their construction. | Photos: HOW Properties

The living room of 2345 Pennsylvania Ave., one of 10 large luxury townhomes HOW Properties sold within eight months of their construction. | Photos: HOW Properties

Want some concrete evidence of the strength of the high-end housing market in Philadelphia? Then read on for a tale of a new townhouse project in Fairmount that sold out in just eight months.

The project, Green Street Estates, is a development of HOW Properties, a Conshohocken-based builder with years of experience building homes in up-and-coming Philadelphia neighborhoods. Located on the west end of the 2300 blocks of Green Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, just about around the corner from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the development consists of 10 three-story townhomes with basements and roof decks. The units range in size from 4,921 to 5,282 square feet, and they listed for anywhere from $1.7 to $2 million each.

On the outside, these units were designed to blend in with the architecture of their respective blocks. While contemporary in form, the three homes facing Pennsylvania Avenue have exteriors that match the Moderne style of most of the buildings along that street, while the Green Street homes have darker brick facades and crenellated cornices that more closely match the style of their late 19th-century neighbors. Read more »

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