First-Time Find: A Solid Start in Mt. Airy for $270K

225 W. Gorgas Ln., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | TREND images via Elfant Wissahickon Realtors

You’ll find many row homes like this handsome 1930s stone-front in “middle neighborhoods” all over Philadelphia, though in most cases, they’re faced in brick. Like the Wissahickon schist that used to be quarried in the area and graces many of them, stone homes tend to be more of a Northwest Philly thing.

What you won’t find as often is a row home in a great neighborhood like Mt. Airy that has been thoughtfully kept abreast of the times by an owner with a great feel for mixing contemporary minimalism with traditional design.

The owner of this home is one such, and if you buy it, you will have a strong foundation on which to build for the future. Read more »

Who’s Building Philly: Ken Weinstein

Philly Office Retail specializes in rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of buildings like the historic Cunningham Piano factory in Germantown, which it is planning to convert to street-level retail with apartments above. | Photo: Philly Office Retail

An idea that has been gaining steam of late among developers and planners is “social impact development.” This relatively recent concept marries the market to social change and community benefit by combining profitable construction with services or facilities that help improve the lives of those in need.

Maybe what Philly Office Retail President Ken Weinstein is doing doesn’t exactly fit in that box. But it is development, and it does contain a strong community benefit component, for not only is he redeveloping Northwest Philly’s stock of commercial buildings, he is developing the talent that will rebuild Germantown’s neglected housing stock. Read more »

Upsala To Become A Home Again

Upsala, which sold for $550,000 on April 24th, is already welcoming its new residents. | TREND images via Elfant Wissahickon Realtors - Chestnut Hill

Upsala, which sold for $550,000 on April 24th, is already welcoming its new residents. | TREND image via Elfant Wissahickon Realtors – Chestnut Hill

Upsala, the historic mansion in Mt. Airy that served as the staging ground for Continental Army forces during the 1777 Battle of Germantown, began life as a private residence. It will become one again with its purchase from its owner, the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The trust announced that undisclosed private buyers paid $550,000 in cash on April 24 for the mansion, which was listed for sale last October after efforts to find a specific tenant for the property proved unsuccessful. (That’s a nice premium over the initial $499,000 asking price. We should all be so lucky.) Read more »

Faded Glory in Mt. Airy for $700K

30 Pelham Rd., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | TREND images via Elfant Wissahickon Realtors

30 Pelham Rd., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | TREND images via Elfant Wissahickon Realtors

Perhaps one reason those who compare Philadelphia to Detroit miss the mark is because this city has many neighborhoods that, while they have seen better days, still have strong bones and buried opportunity.

It also has many homes with those same qualities. In this case, however, the opportunity’s not buried — it’s in plain sight.

Ordinarily, we do not feature short sales or foreclosures in our house posts because we don’t want to promote profiting off the misfortune of others. But this particular short sale is simply too unusual to ignore. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Mt. Airy

7156 Crittenden St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | TREND image via Keller Williams Horsham

7156 Crittenden St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | TREND image via Keller Williams Horsham

Mt. Airy may be one neighborhood, but its two sides have distinct personalities that are knit together by its main drag, Germantown Avenue. East Mt. Airy is on the whole a little more modest than West Mt. Airy, as it’s home to the bulk of the neighborhood’s middle- and lower-tier housing stock.

But when we looked around to see what we could get for somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000, we found one picture-perfect home in East Mt. Airy along with a few others on the opposite side of Germantown Avenue.

7156 Crittenden St. (above) | 6 beds, 4 full, 2 half baths, 3,120 square feet, $475,000

Use its other address — 530 E. Mt. Airy Ave. — and what you see is a classic, beautifully maintained center-hall Colonial. It’s only when you round the corner onto Crittenden that you find out it’s a twin. Once inside, though, you won’t care that this home shares a party wall with its next-door neighbor, for this recently updated home has all the classic style and details you expect in a home of this type: wainscotting, crown moldings, marble tile foyer, built-ins in the living room, a sunny family room/sun room just beyond the stone exterior wall. You’ll also find an updated kitchen with granite countertops, top-notch stainless steel appliances and tile backsplash and floor, renovated bathrooms with modern vanities (and a bidet in the master), roomy bedrooms and a nice entertaining space with kitchenette in the partly finished basement. There’s also a detached garage with a granny flat above. Ceiling fans in almost every room, including a Tiffanyesque fan in the living room, mean your air conditioning won’t have to work so hard in the summer.

7156 Crittenden St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 [Patricia Crane | Keller Williams Realty Horsham]

7003 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | TREND image via BHHS Fox & Roach

7003 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | TREND image via BHHS Fox & Roach

7003 Lincoln Drive | 4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths, 3,063 square feet, $499,900

This French chateau-inspired, completely updated home has a bunch of distinctive features inside and out. There’s a spiral staircase with hand-forged iron railing in the turret nestled in the hinge of this L-shaped home, a wonderful fire pit in the rear patio the home embraces, a country-style kitchen with French tiled backsplashes, butcher-block countertops and stainless steel appliances, a spacious great room with built-ins, a dining room (currently used as a family room) with bar seating at the kitchen pass-through, updated bathrooms (including a master bath with marble vanity), and spacious bedrooms. The courtyard and garden make a great place for dining or entertaining al fresco, and there’s plenty of storage space in the roomy closets, attic and basement. You’re close to the Weavers Way Co-op and the High Point Café as well, and SEPTA’s Chestnut Hill West Regional Rail line offers quick access to Center City at Carpenter station.

7003 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 [Mark Malfara | BHHS Fox & Roach]

645 W. Sedgwick St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | Image via Zillow

645 W. Sedgwick St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | Image via Zillow

645 W. Sedgwick St. | 6 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, 2,900 square feet, $525,000

Actually, this home’s not yet on the market, but its owner will gladly sell it to you for that price (it’s that Zillow feature called “Make Me Move”). It’s situated on a great site overlooking Carpenter Woods, a great view of which you can get from this home’s above-grade first floor and enclosed side patio. This Dutch Colonial twin features an updated kitchen and a first-floor powder room with a stained glass interior window. Its third floor has gas and plumbing hookups that allow it to be converted into a mother-in-law or au pair suite with its own full bath. Located almost around the corner from the home above, it’s also a short walk from the West Mt. Airy Village business district, where you’ll find Weavers Way, the High Point and other neighborhood businesses. You might want to factor a budget for additional improvements into your offer for this home, however, as it looks like the bathrooms could use some updating.

645 W. Sedgwick St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 [Zillow]

First-Time Find: A Fresh Update on a Classic in Mt. Airy

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334 E. Meehan Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | TREND Images via the Zach Behr Group

At first glance, one would think this English-style home on a quiet street in East Mt. Airy is an old historic charmer. On the outside, a beautiful stone facade and a tiny, green garden greet you as you enter the front door of this townhome. But inside, this home is something much more. With modern updates completed in 2006, this home is sure to be an incredible first place for the right buyer. Read more »

Inside Mt. Airy’s New Immigrant Entrepreneur Co-Working Space

Mayor Jim Kenney attended the formal opening of the Philadelphia Immigrant Innovation Hub on Feb. [tk]. Photo | Brian James

Mayor Jim Kenney attended the formal opening of the Philadelphia Immigrant Innovation Hub on Feb. 4. Photo | Brian James

The following statements have become truisms:

  • Small businesses are the greatest engine of economic growth in America.
  • Immigrants from abroad have played a major role in the revival of many Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Mt. Airy in Northwest Philadelphia is not a neighborhood in need of revival — it remains an attractive and desirable place to live with a healthy commercial district — but the people in charge of keeping it that way saw signs of distress on the horizon and have their eyes on the long run.

Armed with a Knight Cities Challenge grant, Mt. Airy USA has formally opened the Immigrant Innovation Hub this month. Read more »

HGTV Dubs Mt. Airy’s Goat Hollow the Best “Posh Public Space”

940x540 Metcalfe-Architecture-Design_Goat-Hollow-Posh-Public_3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960

Photo credit: Metcalfe Architecture & Design

A Philly eatery was put under the spotlight recently, though not for the reasons you might be thinking. Instead of its delectables earning it accolades, it was its interior design: Mt. Airy’s Goat Hollow was dubbed HGTV‘s favorite in the “Posh Public Spaces” contest.

Goat Hollow, which re-opened in 2013 at the same spot it occupied nearly a decade ago, was originally a 1920s house before being converted into a restaurant. This time around, though, the owners had local firm Metcalfe Architecture & Design rehab the property with help from Philadelphia Salvage, Fillippi Bros., Inc., and Design Nehez.

The result? Gorgeous. We’re honestly surprised it took this long for someone to give it kudos.

Read more »

PHOTOS: Mt. Airy Street Fare

Over 50 food trucks provided plenty of snacks and sips for the estimated 15,000 people who attended the Mt. Airy Street Fare last evening. This was the third annual festival that stretched along Germantown Avenue between Sedgwick Street and Mt. Airy Avenue. Our friends HughE Dillon and Kory Aversa provided plenty of shots of the festivities and the people that made the evening a standout.

A Chance To Be Food Truck Royalty At Mt. Airy’s Street Fare

Last year's Street Fare in Mt. Airy.

Last year’s Street Fare in Mt. Airy.

Back for another year, Mt. Airy’s Street Fare is coming this September (the 27th to be exact) to bring everything from notable local restaurants, to craft brews, to award-winning food trucks all to Germantown Avenue.

But there’s a catch. Lacking local funding this year, the organizers have a new plan: an Indiegogo page now allows you to donate and help fund the event. And they’ve got a bunch of perks to offer in return.

Read more »

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