5 Great University City Rentals for Grownups

Some landlords in University City would love to rent to tenants who've been around the block a while. Here's what they're offering to entice you.

Garden Court Plaza exterior | Photo: Post Brothers

Usually, a search for “University City apartments for rent” gets translated to “off-campus housing for students.”

Now, maybe you do have a large family and could actually use a five-bedroom Victorian that’s all your own. In which case, go ahead, knowing full well that your landlord’s probably charging you what they think they could get from five Penn students.

But we suspect you’re probably not looking to rent something that big: A one-, two- or maybe three-bedroom will suit you just fine. In which case, you should check out these fine specimens being marketed to more mature renters. Given the time of year, you’re in luck — the four apartment complexes listed below are offering one month free rent to tenants who move in during August:

Garden Court Plaza (above) | Studio, 1- and 3-bedroom, 1-, 1.5- and 2-bath apartments currently available range in size from 330 to 1,700 square feet and rent for $1065 to $2945 per month. Pets welcome; contact leasing agent about pet policy.

Along with the similarly named turn-of-the-century condominium in the next block east, this apartment building on Pine Street bequeaths its name to the entire surrounding neighborhood. Post Brothers’ total upgrade has turned it into a neighborhood showpiece to match those condos by restoring its streamlined Art Deco elegance. The lobby and common areas will take you back to the Jazz Age while the apartments themselves recall that era in a totally 21st-century fashion, with the latest appliances, cabinetry and bathroom fittings. On those nice summer and fall evenings, you can also go up to the rooftop garden terrace and enjoy the sunsets over University City.

Garden Court Plaza, 4701 Pine St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 [Post Brothers Apartments]

Arrive University City pool | Photo: Trinity Property Consultants

Arrive University City | Studio, 1-bed, 1-bath and 2-bed, 2-bath apartments currently available range in size from 415 to 1,433 square feet and rent for $1,800 to $4,580 per month. Pets welcome, up to two per unit; some breed restrictions apply. $350 non-refundable deposit and $35 additional rent per month per pet apply.

This is the building that brought the luxury apartment tower to University City, and it offers amenities unrivaled at any other apartment complex in the area. Its amenity floor includes an outdoor saltwater pool with fire pit, grilling area and private cabanas with flat-screen TVs. Indoor amenities include a fitness center, yoga studio, resident lounge with game room and fully equipped kitchen, and there’s free Wi-Fi throughout the common areas. If you don’t feel like using your own kitchen or theirs, several good casual restaurants can be found on the street floor, and several more are within walking distance.

Arrive University City, 3701 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 [Trinity Property Consultants]

3737 Chestnut lounge | Photo: Korman Residential Properties

Korman Residential at 3737 Chestnut | Studio, 1-bed, 1-bath and 2-bed, 2-bath apartments currently available range in size from 545 to 1,009 square feet and rent for $2,155 to $3,545 per month. Pets welcome; up to two per unit; breed restrictions apply. $350 deposit and $35 additional rent per month per pet apply.

You can stay here in one of two ways: rent an unfurnished apartment (rents listed above) or rent a fully furnished suite for a short- or long-term stay (ask the leasing agent for details on rates). Some of the studios are “smart apartments” that you can control from your smartphone, no matter where you are, right down to feeding your pet. Furnished or unfurnished, your apartment gives you access to a sweet suite of community amenities, including a terrace garden, a billiards and game room, an Internet cafe, a fitness center with yoga studio, and a rooftop lounge and deck with grilling station.

3737 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 [Korman Residential]

The Left Bank entrance | Photo: AIMCO

The Left Bank | Studio, 1-bed, 1-bath and 2-bed, 2-bath units range in size from 608 to 1,190 square feet and rent for $1,799 to $2,754 per month. Cats and small dogs welcome; breed restrictions apply. $50 additional rent per month per pet applies.

After getting back into the adaptive-reuse game with Locust on the Park, Carl Dranoff brought his restorative skills to bear on this former Pennsylvania Railroad freight warehouse at the east edge of both the Penn and Drexel campuses. Dranoff no longer owns it, but its new owner-managers have kept it up well. Residents particularly enjoy the outdoor interior courtyard, the fitness center, the community theater room, the demonstration kitchen and the rooftop social deck with great views of Center City. Coming from outside the region? This building is just three blocks from 30th Street Station as well.

The Left Bank, 3131 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 [AIMCO]

236 S. 44th St., main living area in model apartment | Photo: Knickerbocker Properties

236 S. 44th St. | 2-bed, 1.5- and 2.5-bath, and 3-bed, 2-bath apartments may be currently available; they range in size from 1,050 to 1,400 square feet and rent for $1,795 to $2,775 per month. Cats welcome.

This building is one of several “boutique” buildings Knickerbocker Properties owns and manages all over University City. It’s a real stunner and an example of sensitive transformation: the company earned honors from the University City Historical Society for its restoration and historic preservation work, of which this is one example. The management firm has been around a while — “born in the era of disco, Betamax and big hair,” as the firm’s website history states — and it prides itself on its attentive and responsive maintenance and support crew. If the units in this building are taken, don’t worry — they have plenty more like this one to show you in their other restored buildings in U-City and other city neighborhoods.

236 S. 44th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 [Knickerbocker Properties via Zillow]