29 W. Duval St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19144 | TREND images via Houwzer Team
“Find me a nice cheap home in an up-and-coming neighborhood where I don’t have to get into debt.”
A friend of ours made this request this very morning. We advised him that unless he had rich relatives willing to just hand him a chunk of change, no strings attached, that last part of the request would be impossible to fulfill, but we could probably help him with the other two parts.
We hope he’s reading this listing.
This nicely renovated twin sits on a pleasant side street in Germantown’s northwest quadrant, just down the road from Cliveden. The block it sits on has seen a good deal of renovations lately, and this is one of the best of them. Read more »
The Wissahickon | Public domain photo by Smallbones via Wikimedia Commons
Another sign of the slow-motion transformation of the rental property market in Germantown is the just-concluded sale of The Wissahickon, a landmark apartment building at 5215 Schuyler Street.
Commercial real estate brokerage Marcus & Millchap announced the successful completion of the sale Tuesday (March 14th). The buyer, a real estate investor active in the neighborhood, plans to renovate the building in order to make it more attractive to young professionals, in particular students at the nearby Drexel University College of Medicine. Read more »
5542 Pulaski Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19144 | TREND images via US Realty
Its residents know that Germantown has a little bit of everything. History with a contemporary vibe. Tranquility and bustle. Parks and urbanity. And all with easy access to Center City and the rest of the region.
That paragraph also describes this lovingly restored and updated Victorian home on Germantown’s west side. The updating preserved this home’s charm and character while giving it the features modern buyers want. Read more »
Alden Park’s renovations are proceeding apace, but tenants dissatisfied with that pace are pressing their case collectively. | Photo from At Media
The historic Alden Park apartment complex on the border of East Falls and Germantown may be in the midst of a total makeover, but tenants still living in about 80 apartments there aren’t happy with how things are going. Complaining about a management they say is unresponsive to concerns they have raised repeatedly, they have formed a tenants’ union and are withholding their rent as of this month.
In a letter sent to Philadelphia magazine, Alden Park Tenants Union vice president Kristen Aguirre stated that the tenants’ concerns fall into three broad categories: safety and security issues, code violations, and maintenance issues. Read more »
Work on replacing the leaded casement windows in the Manor building lobby is under way. All of the windows in the complex will be replaced by its end. |Photos: Sandy Smith
The three buildings that together comprise the Alden Park apartment complex are without a doubt the most photogenic apartment buildings in the city. Begun in 1926 on the former estate of department store founder Justus C. Strawbridge, they began life as the city’s first cooperative residences, attracting an exclusive community of residents during the Depression.
Sometime between World War II and the 1980s, the original cooperative dissolved and the complex became a trio of rental buildings. But their parklike setting and their picturesque English Tudor Revival architecture, the work of architect Edwin Rorke, has kept the buildings among the most popular apartments in the city. The Manor building, which terminates the view down Chelten Avenue, may well be Germantown’s most iconic apartment building. Read more »
Germantown YWCA | Google Street View image
The Germantown YWCA, a hulking, historic shell of a building on Germantown Avenue near Vernon Park, could be headed for a new life.
The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority plans to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to redevelop the building next week, PRA Director Greg Heller told Philly Mag on Tuesday. The Authority isn’t putting any restrictions on the proposed use of the building in the RFP, Heller said.
“We want to see what developers come up with,” he said. Read more »
Germantown Friends School teacher Sara Gordon with some of the books she’s using in the school’s first-ever drag class.
Germantown Friends is not your average Philadelphia school. A four-year high school education there will set you back more than $130,000 — about the same as a bachelor’s degree from Temple University, including room and board at Temple. And the students at the prestigious Quaker school aren’t just learning reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. Read more »
So far, they haven’t kept neighbors up at night howling at the moon (or is it wolves that do that?), but the foxes who have moved into Germantown have kept them talking for several months now.
The earliest mention of a fox in the neighborhood on the Facebook discussion group “Living in Germantown: All Together” came back in July, when resident Alima Umm Lam’yaa “spotted a FOX running down the street on Coulter near Morris earlier.”
Since then, there have been several more sightings; at least one case involved two foxes together. The most recent one was a “home invasion,” where G’towner Garlen Capita, a community planner at WRT Architects, photographed one on the front porch of a neighbor’s home in the 300 block of West Earlham Terrace. Read more »
A man works inside a home on Boyer Street in Germantown | Images via Ken Weinstein
It’s been about eight months since we’ve checked in with developer Ken Weinstein regarding the Jumpstart Germantown program, an incubator of sorts for people looking to get their foot in the door of real estate development. Typically, we’re asking him about his various workings in private development through his company Philly Office Retail, but the success of the mentorship program has really started to take hold and make an impact.
“What’s really hit me about the program is how much pent up demand there is for people who want to be in economic development,” said Weinstein. He added that he wants to take that demand from mere “coffee table talk” to a reality.
Though it may not be one of the booming neighborhoods that ring Center City, Germantown is one of the most affordable (and historic) places in the city. Getting into town and around the region is a relative breeze, as it offers great access to nearby highways, two train lines and multiple bus routes. The neighborhood has a lot going for it, including a spruced up Vernon Park, a growing business district, and plenty of opportunity for those looking to responsibly redevelop the aging or vacant housing stock, an area in the neighborhood that’s in desperate need of reinvestment.
“Of all the things we’ve done in the last 10 years, Jumpstart Germantowwn is one of our most exciting projects,” beamed Weinstein, who administers the growing program with one other Philly Office Retail staffer. “It will have more impact than most anything else we’ve worked on.”
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Photo credit: Joseph Kaczmarek | Courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia
Here’s some happy news for your mid-week slump: the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia and Comcast have teamed up to create “A Bold Change for Kids,” a capital campaign that’s aiming to raise $40 million, half of which would go to funding the construction of a new Germantown club! The rest, according to yesterday’s press release, would go to renovating the following club branches: Bridesburg, Northeast Frankford, Police Officer Lauretha Vaird, Shane Victorino Nicetown, Wayne Avenue, and Wissahickon.
Kicking off the new campaign is an $8 million donation from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and the Roberts family. The new club will be named after Ralph J. Roberts, Comcast’s co-founder and a Penn graduate who spent his late adolescence in Germantown. Here’s an early rendering of the upcoming building by Friday Architects/Planners:
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