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.

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