Revealed: The 7 West Philly Buildings Recently Purchased by Post Brothers

We know about their plans for Garden Court Plaza, but now we get a better idea of the scope of their plans in West Philadelphia.

The Netherlands building at 4300 Chestnut | Google Street View

The Netherlands building at 4300 Chestnut | Google Street View

As we told you in late October, Post Brothers is betting big on the area in and around University City. While their plans will initially start with a massive renovation project at the Garden Court Plaza, an apartment house at 47th and Pine, the scope of their overall $250 million investment is now starting to be revealed.

Melissa Romero of Curbed Philly reports that Matthew Pestronk, president and co-founder of Post Brothers, unveiled their new West Philly portfolio at a meeting in front of the Spruce Hill Community Association this week. It contains no fewer than seven aging (and beautiful) buildings spread out all over the area, and Romero says that the developer wanted talk with residents in attendance and ease their concerns: “Everything here is historic. We are not tearing down any buildings.”

While a statement like that deserves pause, especially in light of the recent news about the three buildings on Sansom Street that Southern Land Company seeks to demolish, remember that it was Post Brothers who did the seemingly unthinkable and redeveloped the dilapidated Goldtex Building into a glistening apartment complex. They’re also in the thick of bringing Presidential City, a multi-building complex, back to life.

“We’ve never demolished any historic buildings, or any buildings. Period,” echoed Mike Pestronk, Matthew’s brother, in an interview with Property. The developers quietly assembled the West Philly properties from four different owners over the past two months. Pestronk said they’re presently working on two more potential acquisitions, “but it’s not a definite they will happen.”

Here’s the list of their new buildings in West Philly:

  • Garden Court Plaza (47th and Pine)
  • Blenheim Apartments (4311 Spruce Street)
  • The Netherlands (4300 Chestnut Street)
  • 4400 Walnut Apartments (4400 Walnut Street)
  • Chester Plaza (Farragut at Chester Avenue)
  • Chester Hall (4205 Chester Avenue)
  • Hamilton Court (39th and Chestnut)

The developers are looking reposition the buildings in order to attract the increasing numbers of post graduate renters that are gravitating towards the Eds, Meds, and Tech scene in University City. So, the buildings might not be demolished, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a significant interior overhaul. Current residents of Garden Court Plaza expressed their concerns about another number that feared could possibly increase: their monthly rent after the construction is finshed.

Mike Pestronk labeled Garden Court Plaza as the “crown jewel” of their new portfolio, and expects to become a “class A” apartment building in the area. “In general, we’re not targeting students,” he said. “We like anybody that pays rent.”

Renovations to Garden Court Apartments include a new green amenity roof, complete with dogs runs and lounge areas, on top of the existing parking garage. Pestronk said that they’re also looking to attract businesses for the underutilized retail space, which measures between 10,000 to 12,000-square-feet.

Given that a lot of these buildings are in Spruce Hill and around Clark Park, Pestronk noted that there is a more established population already living there, and these revamped apartments will also cater towards that market: “They love the area, but want something nicer and cleaner.”

Pestronk added these smaller apartment buildings–virtually everything outside of Garden Court and Hamilton Court–remind him of their early projects in Germantown and East Falls, where they renovated buildings housing 50 or so units and brought them back to a useful life.

He specifically referenced the full-gut renovation at the Delmar Morris Apartment Building on Chelten Avenue. It was originally built as a luxury extended-stay hotel in 1903, but had fallen into “extreme disrepair,” according to Hidden City. “We really made it a great building again, Pestronk said. “That’s always been our profile, and we’re going to continue to do that here.”

*This post has been updated with information from Mike Pestronk.