Raw Space Alert: Tri-Balcony Penthouse at The Rittenhouse Asks $6.25M

Here is what Penthouse 2903-04 looks like today. | Photos: Allan Domb Real Estate

Oh man, here’s a fun listing for those of you looking for some major floor plan porn (yes, that’s a thing). Nearly 6,000-square-foot of prime penthouse space at The Rittenhouse has just hit the market, and in a big way.

Listed at $6.25 million, Penthouse 2903-04 offers 5,940-square-feet of raw space and three, count ‘em, three balconies with 270-degree views, including the skyline, Rittenhouse Square, Schuylkill River, Fairmount Park and University City. Remember that drone video from a few weeks back that hovered over Rittenhouse Square? Yeah, that’s the view from the master bedroom on the sample/proposed floor plan for this place.

“The floor plan on the website is one idea for the space, but the buyer can design the space to his/her specs,” a rep from Allan Domb‘s office, the listing agent on the property, told us in an email. Check it:

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Bauhan-Redesigned Barn at Burnt House Hill

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

“His homes are like a well-tailored suit.” Those are the words of a homeowner living in a residence designed by Princeton architect Rolf W. Bauhan. In that same interview, we learn Bauhan had a penchant for the Colonial Revival style and many of his projects are “marked by fine craftsmanship, comfort, and attention to detail.”

Well, gee. If that’s the case, then we should count our blessings, as we’ve just spotted a Bauhan renovation in our neck of the woods!

Nestled on a leafy plot in Doylestown, the Barn at Burnt House Hill (wonder what happened there) is a gorgeous barn conversion with a two-story great room with original stone walls, retreat-like master suite on the third floor, and an in-law apartment on the lower level. It’s a mature structure to be sure (200 years old!), but you wouldn’t guess it from looking at the kitchen, newly renovated with white Carrera marble.

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Fingers Crossed: Richard Neutra’s Pitcairn House is Under Contract

Inside the Pitcairn House

Inside the Pitcairn House

We don’t want to jinx it, but the Pitcairn House in Bryn Athyn is under contract. The listing recently changed hands to Frank Blumenthal of Keller Williams Realty, who confirmed that a deal is “slated to go to settlement in about three weeks, like the middle of August.”

The masterpiece was designed by legendary modernist architect Richard Neutra and built between 1958 and 1962. We begged someone to snap it up (and give us a tour?) in February. It looks like that’s finally happened.

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Headlines: Where Does Philly Rank for First Time Home Buyers?

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the state of the real estate market in Philadelphia. We know that home sales are up across the board in the Second Quarter (good news), but overall, how does Philly stack up to other cities when it comes to the all-important first time home buyer?

A new report from personal finance website WalletHub shows Philly sits smack dab in the middle of the pack at number 31 of a list of 62  “large cities” (over 300,000 people), clustered with a group that includes New Orleans (29), Minneapolis (30), San Antonio (32) and San Diego (33). For what it’s worth, Pittsburgh, with its population around 305,000 people, is ranked 8th on the list of large cities

However, for those first time home buyers looking to live in one of the most populous cities in the the United States, Philly is among the best. Only Houston (15) ranks higher on the list.

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Is Construction About to Kick Off at 205 Race in Old City?

The lot at 205 Race as of June 2014 | Google Street View

The lot at 205 Race as of June 2014 | Google Street View

The long and winding road of the 205 Race development in Old City looks as though it’s about to reach an important milestone. You might even call it groundbreaking (pun intended).

After years of planning, controversy and multiple design tweaks, construction permits were recently posted on the site at 2nd and Race, the longtime home of a surface parking lot.

The permits provide a glimpse of what exactly is to come–a 17-story building with parking in the basement level, a retail space on the ground floor and 146 “dwelling units.” We haven’t heard an exact date for the groundbreaking, only that one is currently being planned.

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Trinity Tuesday: This 1,000-Square-Foot House Could Turn You Into a Minimalist

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

Purging old paperwork from my drawers, donating long-untouched books to the library, clearing my perpetually mail-laden bureau, and re-organizing my closet…these are all things I try to be consistent with. Before I know it, though, it’s suddenly back to square one and I’m staring at a messy abyss on a Monday morning with the clock ticking in my ears, all because I slept in all weekend and never got around to decluttering.

I’m a wannabe minimalist in other words. Perhaps that’s why I love trinities so much: three stories, charmingly aged, and compact? Sign me up, man, because there’s no way living in snug quarters will allow me the luxury of “forgetting.” Even Joshua Becker from the Becoming Minimalist blog thinks so, going so far as to list twelve reasons why living in a smaller home will make you happier – see no. 1, 2, 9, and 10!

All that being said, were I or any other aspiring minimalist in the market for a trinity house in Philadelphia, this Rodman Street property might be a place to consider. Granted, it’s an expanded home and certainly a lot more sizable than other trinities, but it offers just 1,005 square feet of living space. Original wide-plank wood flooring is throughout and there’s a wood-burning fireplace on the first level. Exposed brick makes appearances, most notably in the main bedroom (third floor), where there are vaulted ceilings and access to a roof deck.

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Headlines: Take a Look at the Upcoming One Liberty Observation Deck (VIDEO)

The upcoming Philly from the Top | Photo: Cory J. Popp

The upcoming One Liberty Observation Deck, aka Philly From the Top | Photo: Cory J. Popp

Philly From the Top, a ticketed observation deck on the 57th floor of One Liberty, is slated to open in the fall. Slowly but surely, images of the ongoing construction have started to trickle out, but do we have something special for you.

Remember those videos from Cory J. Popp a few weeks ago that gave you a nearly unprecedented look at the skyline from the top of some of Philly’s tallest buildings? Chances are good that, unless you know a guy, you won’t be getting too many opportunities to touch the sky in such a manner. That is, of course, until Philly From the Top opens. Now, Popp takes us beyond the pictures and serves up a stunning video of the city from high above the street. Only this time, it’s in the (pretty raw looking) space atop a tower that stretches to 945-feet at its apex. Also, it’s behind glass.

When complete (probably after Labor Day), Philly From the Top will provide 360-degree views of the city. It will be operated by Paris-based Montparnasse 56 Group and surely be a fun #PhillyScape hashtag to follow along with on Instagram. As for ticket prices, sales “go live just before opening with general admission set at $14 for youth (ages 3 – 11) and $19 for adults,” according to a recent press release. A restaurant/cafe was in the plans when it was announced in December. However, a rep from the company said in an email, “at this point the Montparnasse 56 team does not have any plans for a café or restaurant in the space.”

This post was updated to include the ticket prices and also to note that the cafe is not in current plans. 

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Main Line Monday: Valley View Estate Listed for the Second Time in Sixty Years

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

Almost saved this one for Friday, but we just couldn’t wait to share it with you! Listed last week for a cool – brace yourself, now – $3.5 million, the Valley View estate in Lower Merion finds itself on the market for the second time in sixty years. Quick, get thee to the gallery below before it disappears for another couple of decades!

Situated on more than two acres, the property consists of a stone Pennsylvania farmhouse, three-car garage, and heated swimming pool with hot tub. The Valley View main residence claims 8,000 square feet of living space, including a fully renovated basement with a 1,200-bottle wine cellar. One of its neatest features, though, is the custom wall covering depicting New York Harbor circa 1860 in the formal dining room.

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Old City District Cleans and Greens Long-Blighted Lot on Market Street

240 Market Street before Old City District got their hands on it. | Photo: Old City District

240 Market Street before Old City District got their hands on it. | Photo: Old City District

With development booming up and down Market Street from river to river, there is one spot that now sticks out above the rest–the long vacant and blighted lot at 240 Market Street, next to the newish 7-11 storefront in Old City. I passed by the scene last night, thoroughly expecting to shake my ever-judging head at a wasted piece of prime real estate. To my surprise, it’s been cleaned up and greened up! I snapped a quick picture in my haste and my mind was sent racing. So, is something in the works?

In short: yes and no.

Job Itzkowitz, executive direct of Old City District, tells Property that the lot has been on his radar since he took over the gig about a year ago. Over the years, the lot–which also includes 245 Elbow Street–became known as the biggest eyesore in Old City among neighbors. Not only would people sleep in it, notes Itzkowitz, it was used as a restroom as well other unsightly and illegal activities, including (but not limited to) drug use, illegal short dumping and parking. “[The lot] was beyond an eyesore. It was a nuisance.”

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Report Says These Are Center City’s Hottest ‘Hoods to Live in

Gorgeous. | Shutterstock.com

Gorgeous. | Shutterstock.com

Do you own a home in one of these Philadelphia neighborhoods? Can’t say we’re surprised: the latest HomExpert Report by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach REALTORS has named the following five areas the Hottest Places to Live in Center City, based on the number of homes sold there within the first six months of 2015.

They are as follows:

  1. Fairmount and Art Museum (19130)
    Homes sold: 243
    Median price: $310,000
  2. Rittenhouse Square (19103)
    Homes sold: 174
    Median price: $500,000
  3. Old City (19106)
    Homes sold: 126
    Median price: $370,000
  4. Northern Liberties and Fishtown (19124)
    Homes sold: 115 homes
    Median price: $385,000
  5. Washington Square (19107)
    Homes sold: 68
    Median price: $325,500

Overall, though, numbers have shown the Greater Philadelphia Area to be in something of a rebound as of late (just last week we got a hold of some nice ones from Kevin Gillen, who, granted, also offered a word of caution): in that same HomExpert Report, Greater Philly home sales – that includes New Jersey and Delaware – have jumped by 13.8 percent, “their highest point in four years,” between 2014 and 2015. Between 2012 and 2015, the increase is 24.6 percent.

Zeroing in on Philly, the infographic shows 7,124 homes sold for a median of $155,500 within the first six months of 2015. This number is up from the 6,243 sold in the first six of 2014; the 6,718 sold in the first six of 2013; and the 5,559 sold in the first six months of 2012. Percentage-wise, that makes for a 28.2 percent leap between 2012 and 2015.

Philadelphia 2014-2015

Screenshot of HomExpert Report | BHHS Fox & Roach REALTORS

On a hyper-local level, here’s how particular sections of Philadelphia did in the first six months of this year compared to last year and going all the way back to 2012. (Yo, the Northeast seems to sell more within the first six months, but check out the Riverwards, West Philly and South Philly consistently having some of the biggest increases):

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