On the Market: New Construction Townhouses in Strawberry Mansion
Yes, you read that right. Marston Walk is the Maxim Shtraus Group’s first “affordable luxury” development, coming on the heels of a successful sibling in Francisville.
The virtuous cycle of renewal and redevelopment has crossed Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
So far, most of the new construction along and north of that street consists of infill housing on formerly vacant lots where houses had stood in years past. This Strawberry Mansion new construction townhouse for sale, just north of Brewerytown, also falls into that category, but it’s not a one-off infill project.
Instead, it’s part of the five-unit first phase of a 23-unit, three-phase project called Marston Walk. Being built by Omega Home Builders in partnership with the Maxim Shtraus Group, it comes on the heels of the partnership’s successful Perkiomen Courts development further south, in Francisville.
The difference with this project is: These luxury townhouses are priced within reach of the not-so-affluent.
“The vision I had for this project was to be able to offer to buyers a luxury product at an affordable price point,” says broker-developer Maxim Shtraus.
In addition, and in contrast to Perkiomen Courts, this project is aimed not at New Yorkers in search of cheaper housing in Philadelphia but at Philadelphians, preferably those living around this development.
“I know personally that a lot of consumers living in the neighborhood are working, they have good income, and they want to stay in the neighborhood, they want to preserve the neighborhood,” says Shtraus.
The financing being offered is key to their strategy. Shtraus has partnered with Key Bank to offer a mortgage loan product that should open the doors to these houses to those neighbors and many others who otherwise might not be able to consider them. “It’s zero down, with a 650 credit [score] requirement,” he explains. “And the builder is going to pay all the closing costs.” Plus the loan comes with no requirement for private mortgage insurance.
These features bring the monthly cost of ownership to about the same as the rent for the average one-bedroom apartment in the city.
“It’s helping the community build generational wealth,” he says.
And what will the buyers get?
They will get spacious modern townhouses with luxurious fixtures and fittings. Shtraus says this is possible because Omega Home Builders founder and CEO Roman Ovrutsky is able to source materials directly from producers at reasonable cost. “He’s a savvy guy,” Shtraus says of Ovrutsky.
This house and its neighbors include open main floors whose modern kitchens feature Shaker cabinetry, quartz countertops, breakfast bar seating and Samsung appliances. Each of the floors above and below the main floor contains a single bedroom and a bathroom. The top-floor primary bedroom has an en-suite bath and a large walk-in closet. Laundry facilities are on the second floor. Each house also has a rear patio and a roof deck with views of Center City.
The houses also feature European tilt-and-turn windows, excellent insulation and gas-fired heating and air conditioning.
Given price trends, Shtraus says that the first buyers of these houses should have equity in them from the start: “I imagine that the first homeowners will have some $30,000 to $35,000 of equity in them just for sleeping.”
The first phase of the project, now all but complete, consists of five houses, including this one. The second phase of seven more units should be ready for occupancy in the winter of next year. The delivery date for the last phase of 11 units has yet to be determined.
After years of disinvestment and underinvestment, Marston Walk sounds like good news for Strawberry Mansion and its residents. And it might even be good for you, too, if you are looking for a nicely outfitted house that won’t strain your budget.
THE FINE PRINT
SQUARE FEET: 1,800
SALE PRICE: $389,900
OTHER STUFF: The other four houses in this first phase of the project have the same stats and sale price.
1809 N. Marston St., Philadelphia, PA 19121: Marston Walk website [Maxim Shtraus | Maxim Shtraus Group | RE/MAX Elite]