Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More residential growth for University City

As if UCity did not have enough projects going on already, add another one to their long list of successful growth.

University City's famed Science Center is planning to build a 27-story apartment building at the corner of 36th & Market. Their main motivation for this building is to create "a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship."

Given that this place is expected to house 364 apartments (1 and 2 bedroom options), a fitness center, resident lounge, rooftop pool, parking, and 17,000 sq ft of ground floor retail space, you might be asking, "who is their target market for residents?"

Well, that's a great question.

According to the article, the Science Center is looking to market the building to local professionals and business owners in the immediate area, as well as both Penn and Drexel students.

I completely agree.

Over the last 10 years, UCity has slowly turned into an education/medical/tech hub for students (both graduate and undergraduate), young professionals, and families. Not only for schools/jobs, but for living options as well. Considering that this building will have high-end features (granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, etc.) and amenities (fitness center, rooftop pool, etc.), I think they hit the nail on the head.

The industries that are growing in this part of Philadelphia all support the income level needed for this type of living, and it also encourages future growth for more of the same.

Oh ... and I forgot to mention, this building will also be sustainable and environmentally friendly (with the Science Center shooting for LEED Silver Certification).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

MM Partners finds success in Brewerytown

I've written a number of posts in the past about Brewerytown being touted as one of Philadelphia's "Next Great Neighborhoods," but this article really shines a light on what is actually happening in/around Brewerytown.

Not only does it explain what developments have been (and are currently) taking shape in this rapidly changing neighborhood, but it also focuses on the developments of only 1 local developer known as MM Partners.

According to their website, MM Partners is a "vertically integrated real estate development, construction and management company that was formed to improve and revitalize Philadelphia’s historic Brewerytown neighborhood and to effectuate positive neighborhood change." That's a very accurate description.

Check it out, this article is definitely worth the read.

Also, here are some of my past posts on Brewerytown:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Postgreen plans more mixed-use projects

Postgreen, the green/sustainable developer behind such projects as 100K House, Skinny Project, and Avant Garage, is planning more mixed-use projects in Kensington.

One of the projects, dubbed FRANK, will be 1-2 commercial spaces connected to 10 market-rate condos. The other "as-yet-to-be-named" project, will most likely be 1 commercial space connected to 4 market-rate apartments.

I have to say, not only is it encouraging to see mixed-use projects become the new construction norm for Philadelphia's neighborhoods, but it's also great to see developers believing in condos once again. Most of the larger and mid-sized projects currently being planned/built in Philadelphia have all been apartments, which makes sense given that rents are up and do not have an end in sight. But condos encourage home ownership, with an emphasis on first-time buyers.

The last real estate boom/bust created a huge oversupply of condos (not only in Philadelphia, but across the US), which drastically reduced their value. It wasn't because condos didn't make sense in a city like Philadelphia, it was because too many were planned to be built when the bottom dropped out and banks tightened up their condo lending standards due to high foreclosure risk. Hence, a larger drop in value than most single family homes.

As Postgreen continues to dominate the Fishtown/Kensington landscape, I'll keep you posted on the status of their proposed developments. If you've never heard of Postgreen before and would like to learn more, check them out.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another variation of CoWorking hits Philadelphia

I wrote an extensive post last year about one of Philadelphia's most talked about coworking spaces, Indy Hall.

Since then, many others have opened up shop to keep the trend moving forward (e.g. Venturef0rth, South Philly Co-Op Workshop, etc), and there are others breaking into the concept in different ways (e.g. Philadelphia Woodworks, Juice Box, etc.).

Culture Works is one such venture.

CW is headed by Thaddeus Squire (who actually used to work right below us at 21st & Locust) and who is also one of the people behind Hidden City Philadelphia.

To read more about Thad's newest coworking space for creatives and non-profits, and to sign up for space, have a gander.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Guest Blog Post: "Philadelphia’s New CommunityCam Crowdsource Mapping Tool Slated to Benefit REALTORS®"

Another one of our regular readers contacted me and volunteered to write a guest post for PUL. Needless to say, I gladly accepted. Not only is it great to hear from regular readers, but it’s even more encouraging to hear from one who wants to contribute to PhillyUrbanLiving.com.

Ellen Arndt is the Communications Manager for VideoSurveillance.com. VS is an online retailer of video surveillance products. Her co-worker, Chad Gingrich, contacted me to share some information about CommunityCam, which allows people to post and view locations of security cameras in Philadelphia.

If you like what you see, please comment below and tell Ellen & Chad to come back for another post! 
... ... ...

A new camera mapping initiative designed to increase neighborhood safety was launched recently in Philadelphia. Open to the public, CommunityCam allows individuals to post and view the locations of public and private security cameras across the city. With respect to REALTORS®, CommunityCam could very well prove to be a boon to the local real estate market as it gains greater momentum. First-time buyers are likely to gravitate toward safe neighborhoods, where their fellow neighbors have invested in enhanced measures to protect their community. 

Sponsored by VideoSurveillance.com, CommunityCam is fully up-and-running. By viewing the map, REALTORS® can see if their listed homes and condominiums are near security cameras as a way to alert buyers to purchase property in areas that are committed to combating and preventing crime.

To date, CommunityCam has been harnessed by both businesses and homeowners, who are offering up the locations of security cameras in their own neighborhoods. Residents of Philadelphia have plugged in the addresses and street corners of public and private security cameras in such neighborhoods as Northern Liberties, Brewerytown, Rhawnhurst, Queen Village, West Chester, and Mayfair.

As we’ve seen throughout the years, real estate listing sites give out important homebuyer information such as demographics, surrounding schools, household incomes, distances to key attractions, and average home prices. REALTORS® will now be able to leverage these types of sites to include more data in their listings and/or REALTOR® profiles and boost the appeal of their featured properties.

The age-old saying “Location, Location, Location,” will always be ingrained in the minds of REALTORS® and buyers/sellers alike, owing to the significant merit that it holds. Location is a major factor in the homebuyer’s decision-making process, even more so than the home’s price, structure, and aesthetics.

With tightened security efforts, residents can increase the value of their neighborhood and its walkability. A close-knit community that looks out for one another is a definite selling point for homebuyers, and CommunityCam will become a new way for REALTORS® to pinpoint neighborhoods that cater to their clients’ needs.

CommunityCam makes it incredibly easy to upload and view the location of an exterior surveillance camera. REALTORS® can track it on a weekly basis to see which neighborhoods are popping up in the camera mapping tool or are showing a higher number of surveillance cameras in comparison with others.