Elixr got its start seven years ago, when third wave coffee just started gaining momentum in Philadelphia. They started roasting out of Fishtown and opened a tiny, minimalist cafe smack in the middle of Center City (that building is now a Cheesecake Factory). In 2012, they found a new home for their coffee shop, this one tucked behind a Chipotle. And despite it being located practically down an side alley, hidden from plain sight, away from any sort of real foot traffic, the cafe became one of busiest in the entire city. In fact, the shop is so busy, owner Evan Inatome decided it was time for a second.
It looks like Post Brothers is poised to make yet another splash on the Philly real estate scene, only this time it’s through potentially selling two apartment buildings consisting of nearly 800 high-end units.
The Philly-based development company has placed two of their most recognizable properties on the market: Rittenhouse Hill in Germantown and the Goldtex building. For the latter, the news come just two years after successfully rehabbing (not without controversy) the defunct warehouse building into a glistening, 163-unit luxury apartment complex at 11th and Wood Street in Callowhill.
The move could prove to pay off quite handsomely for the company. A recent report from Commercial Real Estate Direct suggests Rittenhouse Hill, with its 626-units spread over two buildings, could move for $150 million–or $240,000 per unit.
Given its prime Center City location, Goldtex could fetch a far greater bounty. The building boasts a fancy roof deck with pool and skyline views, a fitness center, Brick & Mortar restaurant, and, in the not-too-distant future, a direct connection to the Rail Park. It also became the first apartment building in Philadelphia to be awarded LEED Gold Certification for its energy-efficiency and overall design.
Rittenhouse Hill ain’t too shabby, either, especially after a $52 million overhaul of the property brought in a modern look, an infinity edge swimming pool and hot tub, bocce courts, tot lot and dog run/washing station.
The Goldtex Apartments officially received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold level certification this week, according to Mike Pestronk of Post Brothers, the developers of the green paneled building at 315 North 12th Street.
“It’s a pretty intensive process to get the certification,” said Pestronk, of the announcement. “We were surprised when we found that nobody else has this certification–and that nobody else is really pursuing it. It’s nice that it sets us apart, but it would kind of be better if we weren’t the only one.
“It’s a sad state of affairs for Philly. Developers don’t seem to care [about developing LEED Certified apartment projects].”
LEED is a rating program that uses a point system to determine how environmentally friendly a building is. Buildings are then judged according to the point system in a number of different categories, such as site sustainability, water efficiency and innovation. Goldtex is the first apartment building in the city to achieve the standard.
“A lot of consumers don’t know what LEED is,” said Pestronk. “It has as much to do with high quality design than greenness. It’s about making a healthy and happy living environment with things like air quality, insulation, and just good overall design.”
Brick and Mortar will finally open to the public this Thursday, June 4th with a benefit in support of Friends of the Rail Park. The opening night kicks off with cocktail party, followed by after party.
Brick and Mortar is located just steps from the proposed aerial park and is raising money for this greening project. Tickets to the grand opening benefit bash are $100 and includes passed hors d’oeuvres, complimentary cocktails, beer and wine.
The cocktail reception takes place from 6 pm to 8 pm, with an after party starting at 8 pm. The follow-up shindig also benefits the Friends of the Rail Park, it’s cost is $25, and includes 3 drink tickets.
Tickets are available at therailpark.org.
A full cash bar will also be available all night and a select menu from chef Brian Ricci will also be served from 9 pm to 1 am.
Philadelphia’s Goldtex apartment building has come a long way.
From its start as a shoe factory to its time as an abandoned graffiti haven, the colorful apartment building has been widely praised, so much so that Inga Saffron even approved of the residential structure in Philly’s loft district (or ‘Eraserhood,’ depending on who you ask).
Photographer Conrad Benner recently got a look at Goldtex, whose artsy modern interior calls back to its days as graffiti-filled blight. From Benner’s Streets Dept blog:
Less than a year ago, the news out of the Post Brothers’ Goldtex building was drama, controversy and inflatable rats. Which is why Inga Saffron, in today’s Inquirer, is expressing genuine surprise that not only have the former adversaries moved beyond attacking each other, but that the building itself seems to be – dare we say it – an example of good design.
The surprise is that the renovated factory emerged from the debacle with its architectural integrity intact.
“There must be something in the water,” she writes, explaining that both Electricians Local 98 boss John Dougherty and developer Michael Pestronk both expressed some regret over the affair.
According to Zagat as reported in Foobooz, the Goldtex apartment building’s ground floor will soon be getting a restaurant. Mike Welsh, formerly of Franklin Mortgage and Lemon Hill, will open Brick & Mortar — “a neighborhood American tavern” — sometime in November in what’s currently 3,500 square feet of raw space.
One issue with Goldtex has been its location–what people call, variously, the Loft District, Eraserhood, or Chinatown-ish–Philadephians have a hard time seeing that area as warm and neighborhoody. But it sounds, from Welsh’s talk with Danya Henninger for Zagat, that the restaurant/bar’s vibe hopes to change that:
Zagat has the scoop on Brick & Mortar, a new restaurant and bar from Franklin Mortgage alum Mike Welsh. Welsh, who was also involved in Lemon Hill is promising a neighborhood-friendly establishment in the Goldtex Building at 315 N 12th Street.
The 3,500 square foot space will offer enough room for 100 seats and will be open for lunch, brunch and dinner.
Check out Zagat for more details.
Brick & Mortar [Foobooz]
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.
Pardon 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?