New Project in Powelton Village Gives Dorms a Run for Their Money

A few years ago, Todd Potter says he realized there was a big void in the Philadelphia real estate market. Students looking to live off-campus had two options, he said. There was university-sponsored housing or local landlords renting out the same old properties. Four years later, his University Realty is expanding further into Powelton Village at about a 100% occupancy rate.

University Realty, which already operates student housing adjacent to Temple on North 15 and North Carlisle Streets as well as several other Powelton Village properties, is due to open two new student apartment complexes this fall. Both properties occupy space that used to belong to separate abandoned warehouses at 3104 and 3835 Hamilton Street. With free shuttle service, Potter says they anticipate mostly Drexel-based renters but they expect some interest from Penn students as well.

At 3104 Hamilton, University Realty is building 21 apartments with three suites each. Potter says the building is already 95% occupied. The 12 apartments going up at 3835 come furnished and are leasing now. Potter expects the building to be at 100% capacity within weeks. In addition to the shuttle service, students can expect upgraded bathrooms and on-site laundry.

Potter says the University Realty properties – which go for between $600 and $715 per bedroom in each three-bedroom, three-bath unit – come in at roughly half the price of university housing.  “I don’t understand why anyone would want to pay double the price to live four blocks closer,” he said. “The parents love us.”

Parents may love the costs (and the fact that Drexel recently added University Realty to its approved landlord list) but they probably also appreciate the company’s commitment to security. Each unit includes an alarm and front-door monitor.

3835 Hamilton Street [University Realty]

3104 Hamilton Street [University Realty]