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Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Employee Number One

We're pleased to see that the Philadelphia Business Journal took note of Keller Williams Realty's recent announcement that the No. 2 top-performing real estate sales team in Greater Philadelphia had joined the company's Center City office.

But we didn't know that KW had hired Noah Ostroff until we read the "People on the Move" feature in the Business Journal.

Here's how these things usually work: Real estate brokers are free agents. They can work on their own, or they can affiliate with a branded company that provides them with valuable support in the form of office space, technology, marketing and ancillary services in exchange for a percentage of the commissions on sales. Affiliation with a real estate firm makes the job of

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Alan Domb, who, when he's not busy renovating buildings or selling condos, is the fearless leader of our industry's trade group, the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors®, is close to wrapping up work on a rehab near Rittenhouse Square that for rent.

Yes, you read that right. Apartments for rent.

From what we could see when we walked past 126 S. 16th St. earlier this week, the apartments will be nicely finished and should command good rents, even if the rental housing market in Center City has softened a bit recently. There will be five of them - down from six, based on the Licenses and Inspections permit crumb trail. An earlier permit for conversion of this building into a six-unit dwelling with commercial space on

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Only one in three Center City renters could afford to buy one of these...
...while two in three renters living outside it could afford to buy one of these. 

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission revealed results of their Renter and Landlord housing survey at its monthly meeting this week. The William Penn Foundation funded the survey and the Milliard Group conducted it. The survey questions both renters and landlords about their situations, needs, and desires.

PCPC staff member Olivia Howell explained that the surveyors contacted renters throughout the city using social media and contacted 250 landlord property owners directly. They received 21 responses from the landlord contacts and much more from the renter contacts. Forty-three percent of

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It's not that often that one runs across a building full of wise sayings. Okay, okay, libraries are chock full of 'em. But usually they're found in the books, not in the bricks, stones and glass that make up the building itself. Ever since we first set foot in this building, we've been fascinated by the advice found in the aphorisms inscribed on its windows and etched in its stones. Like this one, which we had just a little difficulty deciphering. Where did we spot this? And if you know, tell us who designed the building - and give us the aphorism while you're at it.

This feature will be taking the next week off. Answer in two weeks. 

Last week's Hidden Treasure Hunt answer: We were a bit surprised to find out that this home at 19th and

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Thinking of living in New Jersey? We have good news for you: The Philly Living team at Noah Ostroff and Associates has established a beachhead in South Jersey.

The new portal, which launched this week, is your first place to turn to when you're looking for homes in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Atlantic counties. You'll find the same browser-friendly interface and informative advice here that you find on Philly Living, only with a New Jersey accent.

Ostroff Team agent Jon Cohen is the Jersey Living team leader. He's backed by one of the top-performing real estate sales teams in the Greater Philadelphia region — experts who know the area inside out and are attentive to your needs and concerns when searching for a new home.

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Is 24/7 subway service the wave of the future? Maybe, maybe not; Work is now under way on Philly's first urban park-with-a-view, and here's what it will look like when finished; Point Breeze's two scorpions circle each other again over a half-finished residential project; and along with our best wishes for success in tonight's Little League World Series game against the Jackie Robinson All-Stars of Chicago, we offer all you Taney Dragons rooters a look at a home on the market that's perfect for your own Little Leaguer:

We Asked 5 Cities: When Are You Getting Late Night Subway Service? (Next City)
Take A Peek at Cira Centre South's Elevated Park Space (Curbed Philly) 
Fate uncertain for tangled housing project in Point Breeze (Plan Philly) 
Perfect Starter

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The Penn Tower, built in 1975 as a hotel and since converted into medical offices, will give way to a new tower for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

By Matt Stringer

With projects nearing completion at 3737 Market St. and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine) is writing its next script in its bid to stay competitive and on top in a city flush with medical facilities. If you're not a fan of the 1970s Brutalist movement that constructed bland towers across the city, you're going to love this news: the Penn Tower will soon be a memory as the health system demolishes it to make room for a new tower at 300 S. 33rd St.

That tower will be built in several phases, most likely

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That dragon front door was one of two pieces of ironwork that inspired Michael and Mary Hagy to purchase 318 Fitzwater St. in 1994.

We aren't the only ones who were taken by our Aug. 10 Phabulous Philly Home of the Week, 318 Fitzwater Street, a home whose distinctive front door has given it the nickname "The Dragon."

Its owners knew they had found something special when they first saw the home ten years ago. Yesterday, they explained what captured their fancy to's "On the Market" feature.

Yes, that iron dragon front door was one of the first things that caught their eye. But another bit of ironwork also appealed to owner Michael Hagy, who bought the house with his wife Mary in 1994.

"The iron railings [on the stairs] sang to me

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That home-sales boom may be a few years off, but things are already looking up around these parts; A threatened Frank Furness church in University City will receive salvation; The tense situation in Ferguson, Mo., is merely white St. Louis reaping what it sowed, namely, a century-long effort to ensure civic apartheid; and Naked Philly hangs the black crepe around the former L2 on South Street:

Median sale price increased in some areas of Philadelphia region (Bucks County Courier Times)
Stay of Execution for Frank Furness Church on 47th (Hidden City Daily)
The Invisible St. Louis Is Now In Plain Sight (Next City)
There Goes The Neighborhood: Starbucks Coming to South Street West (Naked Philly)

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We will admit we were worried for a little while when, after Licenses and Inspections slapped a Stop Work Order on the project transforming the former Ritz Camera store at 1330 Walnut St. in Washington Square West into the Philadelphia branch of the New York gay sports bar Boxers, "Available" signs popped up in the storefront windows again.

Or maybe the real estate broker handling the sale had just forgotten to take them down in the first place. Whatever the case, they're gone now, and work on what will soon be the westernmost bar in the Gayborhood has resumed in earnest.

Construction workers were busy putting up a new false front on the building when we passed by it late last week, and a sign announcing its impending opening had replaced those

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