The Wall Street Journal Profiles Unnamed “205-Unit” Project by Eric Blumenfeld

It turns out that it's a major renovation for the Marine Club in South Philly.

Marine Club | Image: EB Realty Management

Marine Club | Image: EB Realty Management

Here’s one that might have flown under your radar. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal about commercial mortgages and backed securities making a comeback mentions (and quotes) a familiar name, Eric Blumenfeld, and an interesting undefined project. Check it:

As more companies have been jousting to lend, borrowers have been benefiting. Developer Eric Blumenfeld last month secured a $25 million loan for a 205-unit Philadelphia apartment building from an affiliate of Cantor Fitzgerald LP, which then sold it off in a package of commercial mortgage-backed securities. Mr. Blumenfeld said there was more competition among lenders for the loan than he expected and there “was a little bit of a bidding war” before he ultimately went with Cantor, which he had used before.

So, what is this mysterious “205-unit Philadelphia apartment building” that’s mentioned? It turns out that it’s the Marine Club at the southwest corner of Broad and Washington. Wait, isn’t that South Philly? Yes, it is and EB Realty Management says they’re looking to bring amenity-rich, urban luxury to one of the city’s rapidly developing gateway districts.

Ed Casella, Regional Property Manager with EB Realty Management, tells us that they’re in the process of “reenergizing” the building by renovating “20 to 30” units from the 1990’s, some of which will hit the market in February. EBRM owns two-thirds of the units in the building (the 205 mentioned by WSJ, with the rest privately owned condos) and now manages the property.

What’s more, they’ve also added a 12Fit Spa and Gym to the property–you may recognize that name from the Loew’s Hotel and 12th St. Gym. Casella said they’ve converted an old juice bar into the space for a full-scale spa offering facials, manicures, pedicures, massages and even classes. They’ve also reactivated the hot tubs, saunas (after a four-year hiatus) and given a facelift to the gym area. Services are available to the residents and non-residents can also purchase a membership. Check out the pictures of the new-look gym and spa over on Facebook.

“It’s exciting for this building,” said Casella, who also mentioned that the grounds, which include a courtyard area with a koi pond, are being updated as well.

The renovations sound like just the beginning for the property. Chris Cordaro, Executive Director at EB Realty Management, also tells us that they have “a lot of space to grow in that building as well.”

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities Make Comeback [The Wall Street Journal]
Blumenfeld Coverage [PhillyMag]