Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Where exactly is the "Centennial District?"

Well for starters, it's in Philadelphia.

More specifically, it's mostly located within West Fairmount Park. Please check out this map for a better sense of location.

The Fairmount Park Conservancy is in the process of embarking on a huge, $300 Million plan to improve this part of the park system. The completion date has been targeted for 2026. It may seem like a while from now, but the improvements will be significant.

Some of the goals for the project include:

  • $100M in infrastructure improvements
  • $200M in new park venues
  • Establish a new transit line within the district
  • Make the district more navigable and accessible

Feel free to read more about the project here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Multi-Family sales are on fire in Philly

Right now, local experts are estimating $500 Million in multi-family sales in 2011 compared to $150 Million in 2010. That's a huge jump. Why?

Here are 2 reasons why I think this is happening in our area (and will probably continue over the next few years):
  1. Rentals are performing very well right now with no end in sight; this is due to the uncertainty in the economy. When people aren't buying, they're renting. Higher demand for rentals causes rental rates to rise.
  2. You don't just get 1 set of tenants in a multi-family property, you get a few. With home prices being as low as they are right now, the Cash Flow ROI is almost always going to be higher today on a multi-family than on a single family. That is, if you buy the right one.
If you're interested in taking a look at the numbers for your next project, drop me a line and we'll grab some coffee.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I will be out of town until Monday 11/28, so there probably won't be any more interesting posts over the next few days.

But please keep visiting daily as I am always updating my tweets on this site.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Green jobs in Philly

The subject of green jobs in the City of Brotherly Love seems to come up pretty often. Reason being, is that Philadelphia is on the cutting edge of creating them.

Read this article to learn a little more about their significance to the Greater Philadelphia region.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chestnut Hill businesses are thriving once again

It's true.

Even in this down economy, and with the exit of large anchor businesses such as Borders and Express, Chestnut Hill is starting to fill up its lingering vacancies. A good sign for the historic main street.

From Iron Hill to Earth, businesses are seeing value in Chestnut Hill; especially with today's lower commercial rates. Let's also not forget about the proposed Bowman project at the old Magarity Ford site.

Personally, I think that Chestnut Hill's effort to re-brand the neighborhood has also helped.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Will industrial jobs come back to Philadelphia?

The funny thing is, they may.

Once you stop to think about it, Philadelphia is still a city that can make things. Industrial land and buildings are cheap, companies are moving back into the city, and we still have a great shipping port.

The problem is that labor in China is just sooo much cheaper, and businesses are always focused on the bottom line.

Even though this is the case, Philadelphia's older and less developed neighborhoods have a cheap cost of living (e.g. house costs, property taxes, walkable neighborhoods, etc). If the city could find a way to create manufacturing jobs again, put people back to work, and keep costs down for businesses, these types of jobs could thrive again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Philadelphia is becoming an Emerging Tech City

Some of you may be scratching your heads after reading this post's header, but there are others who are nodding in agreement.

When you think of thriving regions for technology start-ups, Silicon Valley and NYC both come to mind; right? How about Philadelphia? It's not a typical candidate for this particular business field ... until now.

Philadelphia has always been looked at as an underdog town. Whether it was portrayed through Rocky movies in the '70s and '80s, or through general national perception that Philly is just a gritty, blue-collar city. Although the latter may be true (in a sense), there is a new class growing in the heart of our great city; the creative class.

And with the city's recent approval of small business flexibility, the playing field is being groomed for more successful start-ups to maintain profitability in Philadelphia during their younger years; which is the true test of contenders and pretenders.

This article should help shed some light.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Manayunk's Venice Island Project

This project is going to be awesome once finished.

If you have ever walked, jogged, or biked along Manayunk's "Tow Path" (in between the riverside shops on Main Street and the Manayunk Canal), you have probably wondered why it doesn't look better.

Manayunk has a thriving Main Street, a huge recreational scene, and national recognition. It just makes sense to keep the waterfront area looking as nice as it can. This project is going to make it even better.

Here's the breakdown:
  • State of the art performing arts center
  • Underground storage tank to prevent flooding along Main Street
  • Completely redone/upgraded Tow Path
  • A water garden
  • Upgraded parking area

The entire project is going to take a few years, but it will be huge for environmental health, recreational activities, and quality of life in Manayunk.

Monday, November 7, 2011

New hotel planned for Navy Yard

A Marriott Courtyard is looking to break ground as the first hotel at Philadelphia's rapidly expanding Navy Yard business park.

Companies like Urban Outfitters and GlaxoSmithKline will both greatly benefit from having a nice, new hotel within walking distance of their corporate headquarters'. It's also more good news for a growing area of Philadelphia.

The goal is to have it up and running by 2013.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Paul Levy: "King of Center City" (Awesome Story!)

Or so the article says.

This story broke a few weeks ago in the City Paper, and it was really interesting to see what it was all about. I am personally very familiar with the CCD (Center City District) and know that Paul is its President & CEO. What I didn't know was the kind of pull this guy really has in Philadelphia, until I read this story.

The most important thing I learned after reading it is that there are extremely large differences between public and private services; even if there are both publicly funded. To me, "Public" refers to city employees, and "Private" refers to improvement districts such as the Center City District, University City District, etc. This is the same way you would differentiate between public schools and charter schools in Philadelphia. Although they are structured very differently, and both of them offer different educational options, they are both supported by taxpayer dollars.

My suggestion is to read the entire article; trust me, it's worth it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Philly is a bargain!

So, what exactly about Philadelphia is a "bargain"? Almost everything in comparison to other major, coastal cities. Rent, art/culture events, etc.

... And it all starts with Center City.

This is an excellent article about why Philadelphia is becoming a premium choice for transplants, as well as how our housing market has held up so well (in comparison to other major cities) during the last half decade.

Good stuff.