Post Brothers Party at Goldtex and Say, “Do Not Rent Here”

goldtex

Photo: Liz Spikol

Tonight there’s a rooftop party at the Goldtex apartments at 12th and Pearl streets in Callowhill. Like other Post Brothers jawns, it has a quirky title: “Do Not Rent Here” — a provocative first sentence the buildings trades would likely agree with — followed up by “You’ll Never Want to Leave.”

The event is meant to showcase “Goldtex’s state-of-the-art amenities and its class-leading green living experience.” Attendees can tour one- and three-bedroom apartments, or just enjoy free food and drink served up by Cafe Lift/Buffad Pizza, and listen to DJ DSC of Hair O’ The Dog fame.

Mike Pestronk, one of the two owners of Post Brothers Apartments, which developed Goldtex, said they’d been asking L&I for an event permit for more than a month, and were still waiting for it to come through as of early this morning. Matt Pestronk said, “If they don’t give it to us, it’s because they’re corrupt.”

Fortunately for the success of the event, the permit did come through around 11 a.m.

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What? Has the Building Trades Union War Against the Post Brothers Really Gotten This Stupid?

breaking bad pestronkPardon the informality of the headline, but this simply cannot be believed. Philadelinquency spotted a post on Philadelphia Speaks in which forum member fiveomar described an interaction at 20th and Chestnut with a “union goon” (now, that’s not nice) who was handing out anti-Post Brothers fliers. According to fiveomar, the fliers included “some pretty ridiculous claims about the Post Brothers storing and smuggling heroine [sic] and cocaine.”

We have tried to maintain some degree of objectivity here, but if the building trades are now painting Matthew Pestronk as Pablo Escobar, that has to be the last straw. What’s next? Mike Pestronk is actually Walter White?

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Morning Headline: Action News Goes Undercover At Goldtex

Wendy Salzman at 6 ABC filed a report yesterday on the newly renovated and rebuilt Goldtex apartment building at 12th and Wood. Developed by the Post Brothers, the building was the site of a fierce battle between the building trade unions and the company, which chose to use both union and non-union labor for the construction and renovation. Though the building is still partially under construction, tenants have moved in and Licenses & Inspections has approved temporary occupancy of the eighth floor.

Action News sent a reporter in with a hidden camera to see what the units with lofts are like. The lofts have pull-down stairways that, when extended, block the door to the apartment. According to L&I, the lofts are approved as utility spaces, not living spaces, but a Goldtex sales rep tells the undercover reporter that the loft can be used as a bedroom with a twin or double bed. This, says Post Bros. co-owner Mike Pestronk, is an error on the rep’s part, as is a listings photo that portrays the loft as a living space. The photo below is from a Craigslist ad shows a loft space as rather inhabited.

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Post Brothers vs. Unions–Again–Now With Creepy Allegations and Lawn Signs

A few days ago, Matthew Pestronk, one of the two principals of the development company Post Brothers, called to tell us that almost every day there are men with videocameras outside of  Rittenhouse Hill, one of the Post Brothers’ many developments. He claimed the men are members of IBEW Local 98, the electricians’ union. “They’re taping female residents coming in and out of our properties and making them very uncomfortable,” he said. “What does that have to do with anything?”

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Post Bros. Backyard Bash and Curbside Rats

backyard bash poster

 

The Post Bros.–the development company most well known for its clash with the building trades unions at the Goldtex building at 12th and Wood–had to change the date of their Backyard Bash to promote new features at Rittenhouse Hill apartments. The fun happens this week instead, as advertised on this poster which, for them, is practically virginal.

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Morning Headlines: Renters Now Moving Into Goldtex Apartments

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the Post Bros.’ Goldtex Apartments building on 12th and Wood in Callowhill has now officially started the move-in process for renters, despite all the conflict between the developers and the labor unions that opposed the site’s mixed-labor approach to construction. The conflict got so out of control, it became a symbol for everything in the city that’s wrong with union control of the construction industry, prompting columnists like the Inquirer’s architecture critic Inga Saffron to offer a strong rebuke of the current state of affairs.

Fortunately, the developers, Michael and Matthew Pestronk, were able to get the building renovated and into shape for initial renters, though the 11-story building is still under construction in parts.

Natalie Kostelni writes:

If all goes as planned, its 163 units will be fully completed by the fall. Rents range from $1,500 for studios to $3,500 for three-bedroom units. A penthouse, which sits adjacent to the workout room, roof-top pool and outdoor lounge area will go for in excess of $5,000.

As for other stories this morning, we’ve got some more depressing news about the building collapse, Saffron on the firehouse, and a Paris real estate death match. Enjoy!

• Joey Sweeney offers a sad meditation on the latest building collapse clusterfrack of news over at philebrity. “The more we learn about this whole thing, the more we realize that darkness surrounded this whole thing…”
• Inga Saffron covers the possible demolition of Engine 46, the historic firehouse on Reed Street by Riverview movie theater. Says neighborhood activist James Moyland: “But if they say that they’re knocking it down for a parking lot, that makes my head explode.”
• Which $40 million home to buy? The mansion “with a empiric Old World staircase at its heart” or the townhouse with “light-filled interiors that can make your heart stop”? Curbed’s Paris death match may help decision-making.

The Post Bros. Earn “Schlemiel of the Week” Honors

Photo: Llenrock Group blog

Photo: Llenrock Group blog

A blog entry from the Llenrock Group, a local real estate advisory/investment banking firm, dubs the Post Bros. company “Schlemiel of the Week.” For those who aren’t up on their Yiddish, here’s the definition from the Yiddish Slang Dictionary:

Shlemiel
a clumsy, inept person
This is similar to the word “klutz”, but rather than coming from German, comes from the Hebrew word שלא מועיל (shlemil) meaning “ineffective”.

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Matthew Pestronk: “We Followed the Rules”

Developer Matthew Pestronk, one-half of the Post Bros.–the company converting an old factory at 12th and Wood into the Goldtex Apartments–says he and his brother Mike did everything L&I told them to do before they held their VIP preview party last night at the building (for more on the party’s promotion, go here). It wasn’t a unique situation: Real estate developers often have previews of properties that aren’t entirely finished–hence the word “preview.” “There’s a body of compliance to get a temporary event permit,” said Matt today. “We spoke to L&I earlier in the week, and they assured us we got the permit. We did exactly what we were told to do.”

But when an L&I inspector came to the site at 4 p.m. yesterday, he told Matt, “L&I will not allow me to issue the permit.” The official reason Matt was given for the denial was the lack of a working fire protection system, but he said they’d addressed that. If a building does not yet have a sprinkler system, the people holding the event must have appropriate personnel on site to deal with fire emergencies. Matt says they did–”we take safety very seriously.”

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Surely, This Pelvis Will Be Talking U&O Taxes Tonight at the Goldtex Preview

partyonpearlTonight is the VIP preview party for the opening of the Post Bros.’ Goldtex apartment building, and the invitations are as…stirring as the listings copy Post generates to advertise their rentals. It’s a curious space these fellows occupy: They’re pathbreaking developers who may have changed the way the unions operate for good, earning significant civic credibility; yet they’re also avid employers of deeply unserious frat-boy humor and Bikini Bandits-style marketing.

This VIP party, for example. Yeah, so there are hot women on the invite—big deal. As Matthew Pestronk said when we asked him about all the brothers’ somewhat salacious approach, sex sells. But the subject line for the email invite to the party was a bit bawdier than usual: “Come Polish Our Pearl,” it said. For those who don’t know what that means in sexual slanguage, let us enlighten you because idiomatic expressions of the carnal variety is what this blog is really about. After the jump, the definition and the full image of the invite, which is kind of NSFW.

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Here’s What the New Goldtex Apartments Look Like

There was no bigger development battle of 2012 than the one between Post Brothers Apartments, a development and management company run by Michael and Matthew Pestronk, and the Philadelphia building trades unions, who were angered by the brothers’ decision to employ a mix of union and non-union labor for the renovation of an old factory at 12th and Wood. Before all was said and done, bodily fluids and pornographic flyers had entered the picture, and the Pestronks had done something no other builders had ever accomplished.

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