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Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

This bright and roomy home in Hawthorne has it all - a great location. plenty of space, and up-to-date features. You'll find this home nicely fitted out, with hardwood floors, dual-zone heating and cooling, high ceilings and recessed lighting throughout, along with energy-saving ceiling fans in the bedrooms.

On the first floor, behind the one-car garage, is a spacious in-law/guest bedroom suite with plenty of closet space, its own tiled full bath, and a spiral staircase connecting it to the main floor.

Upstairs, on that main floor, is a sunny living/dining room that's perfect for indoor relaxation and entertaining, a convenient powder room, and a spacious modern kitchen, with stainless steel appliances, granite-topped counters and

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By Matt Stringer

Little girls called it home. They had to call it that, because they didn't have the most basic need of every girl: a Mom, Dad, or even a caretaker. These girls had nothing; they were orphans. But Philadelphia didn't leave them to be abducted and turned into thieves like Nancy was by evil Fagin in "Oliver Twist." Instead, it built a beautiful Italianate orphanage at 201 S. 34th St. in 1892, right in the heart of what is now University City — the Foulke and Long Institute for Orphaned Girls of Soldiers and Firemen.

The girls might not have had much, but at least they had a roof over their heads in a beautiful building they could play in with their friends. Most of all, these girls had each other. But time moved on and other,

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Spruce Street Harbor Park, whose run was extended into the fall, goes out with a two-weekend bang in the form of weekend-long festivals. This weekend, the Fall Fest features craft beer, arts and crafts, live music and more.

The days are getting shorter and cooler, which means it must (garden) season! Several popular brew spots are getting the jump on Oktoberfest this weekend with festivals and block parties, starting with a three-day one at the city's most popular pop-up park. There are other things on the menu, though:

Friday, Sept. 19

Jazz in the colors of the rainbow: Tonight at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the weekly "Art After 5" series joins forces with the William Way Center's OutBeat: America's First Queer Jazz Festival to

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The School District unloads 11 more closed schools in a sale that caught some activists unawares; goodbye Penn Mutual Towers, hello One Washington Square; the champagne is most likely flowing in homes all over Northern Liberties — Finnigan's Wake has closed and is under agreement of sale; and Movoto's list of the 10 happiest small places in America is heavy on the college towns, and it probably will come as no surprise to a lot of you which one is the happiest of them all (hint: they don't call it Happy Valley for nothing):

SRC approves sale of 11 school buildings (Philadelphia Daily News|
Penn Mutual Towers to get new name and expansive renovation (Philadelphia Business Journal) 
Sale pending for Finnigan's Wake ( 
Real Estate

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Noah Ostroff explains how brokers can become broker-developers in a conversation with KW Co-Founder Gary Keller at this year's KW Mega Camp.

Why is Noah Ostroff & Associates one of Philadelphia's top performing real estate sales teams, if not the top performer in the city?

The boss himself shared some of his trade secrets with fellow Keller Williams brokers at Mega Camp 2014 in Austin yesterday.

One of the areas in which the Ostroff Team specializes is identifying sites for new construction and working with builders to develop products for the market on these sites. It's a niche specialty, one that relatively few brokers pursue. In fact, Ostroff might not be pursuing this specialty today had he not had a happy accident in 2010.

But, as Ostroff

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We hadn't checked out what's happening in Pennsport lately, so we decided to take a swing through the neighborhood this week. We will have updates for you on a number of projects, including several being developed and marketed by the Philly Living team, in the days ahead, but we thought we'd start with this somewhat curious new construction project in the 100 block of Washington Avenue, on the Queen Village side of the street.

"Somewhat curious" because we can find no record of construction permits for this development on the Licenses and Inspections database, yet as these photos clearly show, construction is proceeding.

The permits we can find are these:

  • A demolition permit issued on Sept. 25, 2013, allowing the demolition of
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Planning Commission staff member David Fecteau explains changes in the design of the Dauphin House senior apartments to the commission at its September monthly meeting.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) approved a zoning change that will allow the Dauphin House senior housing building to be built in North Philadelphia at its monthly meeting this past Tuesday. The move came after developer Maze Group Development and architect Wallace Roberts and Todd made changes to the building’s design in response to recommendations made by the PCPC’s Civic Design Review committee on September 2.  

At the Planning Commission meeting, PCPC staff member David Fecteau described the project and the changes made by the developer and architect after the

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The nation's largest bank, which is now an amalgam of acquired banks some of whose pedigrees stretch back almost to the nation's founding, got its current name when it brought into its corporate fold a bank founded in 1904 in San Francisco by an immigrant from Italy who wanted to help his fellow travelers establish a firm financial foothold in the New World. We suspect that was the same reason this bank was founded; it even shares its name with the original name of that California institution, now based in North Carolina. We'd like for you to tell us where this particular "Bank of Italy" is located. Want brownie points? Educate us by telling us what became of it, for we don't know.

Answer (to at least the first question) next week.

Photo by the

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Naked Philly makes it down to Pier 53 and pronounces it good; The parochial school East Fallsers didn't want turned into apartments will be turned into apartments; the Spring Garden Greenway becomes real — for one day only; and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia gets the OK from Lower Merion Township to consolidate the two divisions of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on one part of its Wynnewood campus, a move that has some neighbors worried:

We Finally Made Our Way to Pier 53 (And it's pretty awesome) (Naked Philly)
$1.2M sale of St. Bridget School in East Falls finalized (Philadelphia Business Journal)
September 20: Greenway dreams come to life on Spring Garden (Plan Philly) 
Zoning relief granted in Lower Merion for St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

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Philadelphia City Planning Commission planner Marty Gregorski walks the commission through proposed zoning changes for the Center City Overlay at Tuesday's PCPC meeting.

By Gabriel Gottlieb

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) is considering whether to approve new regulations for development in the Center City Overlay District that would allow for taller and denser construction without requiring a zoning variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The new rules, contained in a bill introduced by Councilman Mark Squilla (D-1st District), would apply to residential and commercial construction in an overlay zone extending from Poplar Street to Washington Avenue between the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. The commission heard testimony

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