43 New Townhouses Coming to Northern Liberties

Rendering of Liberty Square townhouse project by Atrium Design Studio via PRDC Properties

This landed in the Property inbox a few days ago: an announcement from PRDC Properties that it would soon begin work on a 43-unit townhouse development at the southern edge of Northern Liberties.

Designed by Atrium Design Studio, the project hits all the usual high notes: sleek modern design with brick, steel and glass outside, and roomy (3,100- to 3,800-square-foot) three- and four-bedroom units with such features as 10-foot-high ceilings, quartz countertops in the kitchens, Porcelanosa bathrooms, enchanting roof decks and community green space. And, of course, garage parking for one or two cars per unit: even though PRDC CEO David Perlman said in a news release that “the project was designed with walkability in mind,” this is Northern Liberties, after all, and no residential project that would put more resident cars on the street would pass muster with the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association.

The name of the project: Liberty Square.

Which is also the name of a much larger development now under construction a little bit to the north, on the South Kensington side of Girard Avenue. Read more »

Luxury High Above Washington Square

A penthouse unit at AKA Washington Square. | Photos: HughE Dillon unless otherwise indicated

A penthouse unit at AKA Washington Square. | Photos: HughE Dillon unless otherwise indicated

Now that extended-stay residence pioneer Larry Korman has finished assembling all the pieces of his Washington Square property, he took some time to show off the work to a group of real estate professionals and the media on March 29th.

AKA Washington Square at The Franklin offers furnished residences with hotel services aimed at the extended-stay market — people who need a place they can call home for more than a month but less than a year— and unfurnished apartments with annual leases for working professionals. Most of the units are one-bedroom apartments or suites with full kitchens and dining areas, but the Washington Square property also features several all-new and truly stunning bi-level penthouses. 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 »

1919 Market Gets First Tenants

The apartments at 1919 Market are ready for occupancy, and the first tenants will occupy them tomorrow. Image | Courtesy LCOR via Neff Associates

The apartments at 1919 Market are ready for occupancy, and the first tenants will occupy them tomorrow. Image | Courtesy LCOR via Neff Associates

When we went on that hard hat tour of the clubhouse level of 1919 Market, we asked the organizer whether we would be able to see any of the apartment floors.

The organizer said we couldn’t.

That may well have been because they were well past the hard-hat stage. Just about all of them, in fact, were ready for move-in.

And now people are moving in. Read more »

Unfinished Business: The View from The Top of 1919 Market

The as-of-now unfinished clubhouse seating area at 1919 Market. Photos | Sandy Smith

The as-of-now unfinished clubhouse seating area at 1919 Market. Photos | Sandy Smith

The frame and most of the shell of 1919 Market, the new luxury apartment building being built by Brandywine Realty Trust and LCOR, are complete, and through the windows one can see apartments taking shape. The building looks to be on pace for a previously announced spring completion date.

But not everything looks ship-shape for opening yet, as we learned on a hard hat tour of the clubhouse and pool area on the building’s top floor this past Saturday. The other thing we learned, though, is that residents will enjoy some great views as they lounge beside the pool or use the clubhouse facilities, which look like they too will be spiffy.
Read more »