Archive for the ‘Center City’ Category

A Buyer’s Market? Not In Center City

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Center City Market Action Report

Homes in many Philadelphia neighborhoods are selling faster and fetching better prices than they were one year ago.

Industry buzz is that the spring selling season is off to a slow start in Philadelphia. Yet local news reports say that agents nonetheless are optimistic about how the season will turn out.

So are we. If you are thinking of selling your Greater Center City home, now is a good time to act.

While a recent Zillow report ranks Philadelphia as one of the top 10 buyer’s markets in the country, many city neighborhoods are performing far stronger for sellers. According to Philly Living’s latest Market Action Report, median sale prices in Northern Liberties in February, for instance, rose 78 percent from the same month last year, and average days on market fell 44 percent. Other local markets, including Queen Village, Bella Vista, Hawthorne and Passyunk Square, are also performing strongly.

Center City District data show that the Greater Center City area – the territory between the rivers from Girard Avenue on the north to Tasker Street on the south – continues to experience a surge in population and that housing production has boomed since 2012. While many of these new arrivals are Millennials starting out in their careers, many are looking for homes to buy as well, stimulating construction surges in neighborhoods like Northern Liberties, Graduate Hospital and Point Breeze.

What does this mean for the home owner looking to sell? It means opportunity. With the help of an experienced Realtor (we happen to know one), a Center City homeowner can expect a positive outcome: a better sale price and a quicker sale.



Transforming Pearl Street into an Arts Destination

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Pearl Street runs four blocks long, an elongated alley with schools flocked on both sides. Despite its airy and well-lit lanes, the area is rundown and known as a very dilapidated area. When Center City real estate started its expansion, Pearl Street was left virtually untouched. Until this year, the street was highly underutilized and the lanes were littered with trash, and unkempt with large trash bins and graffiti-covered walls. In the past, the alley hosted illicit activities and operated as an unofficial shelter for the homeless who slept in the corners. The development in the area seemed initially hopeless, but the Asian Arts Initiative is leading a project to take back the neighborhood and the block. The goal is to revitalize Center City real estate and its surrounding area to bring back art, life, and color into the street.

From Dilapidation to Destination: Center City’s Real Estate OutlookTransforming Pearl Street into an Arts Destination by Philly Living

Sitting on the northern edge of Center City real estate, Pearl Street closely associates with the Chinatown neighborhood. Most residents are afraid to walk down the block because of its unsafe connotations, something that the Asian Arts Initiative will remedy with the revitalization. The block’s renovation is part of a plan to bring in positive activity into the neighborhood, and claim all parts of the neighborhood back for festivities and community purposes. The executive directors of the Asian Arts Initiative acknowledge the upcoming difficulties they face, but still dream of the area as a communal area, perfect for constituent meetings and block parties.

Last month, Pearl Street launched a block party as a podium to speak about the newly planned changes, and as a free arts festival to bring together a diverse group of people. The event commemorated the area’s artistic community with live performance, artwork and many different delicious foods to sample. The plan was to showcase Pearl Street’s inevitable outlook and reveal a small taste of its future potential. The neighborhood and program wants to bring back the town’s culture and capitalize on Center City’s real estate illustrious and rich history. The inconsistent nature of the town is easily noticed with luxury buildings and homeless shelters existing on the same block. Now, the town hopes to actively shape and unify the community, and celebrate the diverse population.

As Center City real estate continues to spread throughout Philadelphia, Pearl Street will experience a cultural makeover, as it begins to develop into an artsy community hotspot and a beautifully pedestrian-lined street.

Center City: Rich Economic and Residential Development

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Located in the heart of the city, Center City is quickly gaining ground as one of the largest residential downtowns in the nation. Good things come in threes and Center City is no exception. Center City operates as the country’s third largest central business district and is also renowned as the third most populous city in the nation. Philadelphia has an abundance of employment opportunities with affordable housing. This leads to great real estate finds for Center City and the surrounding area.

Riding the wave of Philadelphia’s revitalization, Center City has emerged as one of the most profitable areas to reside in. The thriving area reveals Center City as Philadelphia neighborhood with a rich abundance of economic growth and residential development, with no signs of slowing down. Center City has continued to reinvest and expand the tenets that make major cities thrive. Food, culture, nightlife, work, and residential living are all constantly being improved with affordability in mind.Living in Center City Real Estate

Center City’s Real Estate Boom

With constant real estate developments in the downtown area, many families and young professionals are moving to the surrounding neighborhoods for easier convenience. Explore one of many Center City neighborhoods that encompass residential areas: Bella Vista, Fairmount, Graduate Hospital, Loft District, Logan Square, Northern Liberties, Old City, East Passyunk, Point Breeze, Queen Village, Rittenhouse Square, Society Hill, and Washington West.

While there seem to be many Center City neighborhoods, each of the neighborhoods has a distinguishing character that sets it apart from the rest. Check out the real estate at Bella Vista neighborhood that houses the Italian Market. It has such a gorgeous appearance that the literal translation to Bella Vista means “beautiful view.” If you’re looking for significantly historic neighborhoods, visit some of the oldest neighborhoods in Philadelphia with Old City, Society Hill and Queen Village. The real estate in the area features beautiful homes ideal for anyone from the urban dweller to big families.

Look no further than Rittenhouse Square for a visually intriguing neighborhood. Known as the signature fashionable residential district, the homes are classically maintained with traditional brownstone gothics and Victorian mansions, with some modern apartments and condominiums nestled in between. While Fairmount neighborhood is known as a fine arts mecca, Northern Liberties the town known for an electric nightlife. The neighborhood wears its hipster connotations proudly with affordable prices. The nightlife and artistic expression attracts a younger demographic into the neighborhood and provides many real estate opportunities for newcomers.

New Construction in Philadelphia’s Real Estate Market

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

After the collapse of the housing bubble a few years ago, almost all construction within the country was brought to a halt. The housing market crash not only scared perspective home buyers, but also real estate developers as well. Now, as the dust begins to settle, Philadelphia’s real estate market is on the rise. Recently, trends have begun to change with an increase number of people moving into apartments. This influx is keeping property owners happy, while also keeping their vacancy numbers low.New Construction in Philadelphia’s Real Estate Market by Philly Living

As the sixth largest metropolitan area in the United States, Philadelphia has much to offer to current and potential residents. With dozens of historical attractions in area such as The Liberty Bell, The National Constitution Center, and Independence Hall, it is no surprise that Philadelphia’s real estate market is on the rise.

Center City’s Rental Boom

The housing and real estate upswing in Philadelphia starts includes many noteworthy projects that will start breaking ground within the year. Renovation and construction plans to begin on a number of sites including the historic Art Deco Tower, 1616 Iconic, Southstar Lofts, the Atlantic Building, the old Goldtex Shoe Factory in the Loft District, and The Granary located in Logan Square. This new construction increases the total number of new apartments in Philadelphia to approximately 1,000 units.

A new type of apartment complex will soon be entering the Center City skyline. The Granary Philadelphia will feature 227 luxury apartments and 20,000 square feet of prime real estate space and convenient underground parking. The developer’s goal for construction in Center City is to create complexes that also have convenient places to live, work and socialize. The Granary amenities resemble the creative comforts offered by many luxury hotels across the country. The Granary will be the first to dive into the new apartment construction, though it is expected that new construction in Philadelphia will also follow suit.

The new construction in Center City represents the increase in growth across the entire Philadelphia area. From shopping centers to apartment complexes, the Philadelphia real estate market continues to recover and grow in 2013.

Philly’s Arts Condos Provide Easy Access To Philadelphia’s Best

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Located just off Broadway with easy access to the 12th and 13th and Locust PATCO Station, the Arts Condominiums offer residents instant access to the heart of Philadelphia. Whether you are drawn to restaurants, universities, galleries, shopping or parks, all are a minimal walk from your front door when you live in the Arts Condos building.

Prices are surprisingly reasonable for the location. One would generally expect to pay much more for such easy access to all that Philly has to offer. A short walk takes you to the Italian Market or Chinatown, and a leisurely stroll an take you to the Penn’s Landing waterfront in no time. The Arts Condos Philadelphia


The location naturally draws a younger crowd, often students from nearby universities, who are drawn to the building’s proximity to Philly’s nightlife as much as they are attracted by the reasonable prices associated with the Arts condos.

Features of the Arts Condos

From the moment you enter the Arts Condos lobby, the building lives up to its name. Your eyes are greeted with art deco style that has inspired the style of the condos themselves as well. Sporting a hip appearance and amazing views from many units, this Philadelphia condominium is a natural draw to young professionals and students alike.


Aside from the many benefits of the location, the building itself offers many benefits to residents and owners alike. 24-hour staff presence with round-the-clock CCTV security camera coverage provides an excellent level of security. Facilities onsite also afford residents free access to a professionally designed gym and Wi-Fi access from the lobby along with an Internet lounge. Large, on-site laundry facilities ensure that residents never have to wait to do their laundry.

Further, the Arts Condos offer heating, cooling, and utilities included in the cost of residence. Units are cable-ready, and residents who commute by bicycle have access to easy bike storage. The parking facilities located just across the street are affordable for the location.

If you are looking for a condo in Philadelphia that is both affordable and located in an ideal spot for access to Philly’s nightlife and many daytime cultural offerings, then the Arts Condos are a great choice for both buyers and renters alike.
For more information, check out the Arts Condominium website.

Rittenhouse Square Schools: What You Need to Know

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

The highly regarded Independence Charter School, on the edge of the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, draws talented students from all over the city.

With art, culture, great shopping, fine dining and entertainment all close at hand, Rittenhouse Square is the neighborhood of choice for many sophisticated Philadelphians. Sophisticated Philadelphians with children, though, will want to know what options Rittenhouse Square schools offer for their offspring. We point you to the resources you need to learn about Rittenhouse Square schools here:

Rittenhouse Square Schools:

Public Elementary: Albert M. Greenfield

Public High School: Julia Reynolds Masterman*, Creative and Performing Arts*

Parochial High School: Roman Catholic High SchoolJohn W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School

Private: Friends Select SchoolThe Philadelphia School (preschool-8th grade), The City School at Rittenhouse (9-12)

Public Charter: Independence Charter School, Freire Charter School (9-12)

Your Guide to Washington Square West Schools

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Gen. George A. McCall School

Washington Square West shares with Society Hill the George A. McCall School, one of the best public elementary schools in the city.

Washington Square West is one of Center City’s most eclectic and diverse neighborhoods, which makes it a great place to raise children. And if that’s what you’re planning to do, then you want information about Washington Square West schools, right?

Read on, then. Below you will find links that will give you all the facts about Washington Square West schools so you can make an informed choice about the best school for your children:

Washington Square West Schools

Public Elementary: Gen. George A. McCall

Public High School: Julia Reynolds Masterman*, Parkway Center City*, Academy at Palumbo*, High School for Creative and Performing Arts*

Parochial Elementary: St. Mary Interparochial School

Parochial High School: Roman Catholic High SchoolJohn W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School

Public Charter: Friere Charter School (5-8), World Communications Charter SchoolYoung Scholars Charter School (6-8)

*citywide magnet school


Center City Schools

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Located in Spring Garden but open to students citywide, Julia Reynolds Masterman School is the best public high school in Pennsylvania.

Located in Spring Garden but open to students citywide, Julia Reynolds Masterman School is the best public high school in Pennsylvania.

So you’re thinking of buying a home in Center City. Great! But before you buy, you’d like to know more about the Center City schools. Not to worry: we have the information you need on Center City schools here.

Best Center City Schools

Public Elementary: Albert M. Greenfield,  Gen. George A. McCall, William M. Meredith

Public High School: Julia Reynolds Masterman*, Creative and Performing Arts*

Parochial High School: Roman Catholic High School, John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School

Private: Friends Select School, The Philadelphia School (preschool-8th grade)

Public Charter: Friere Charter School (5-8 and 9-12), Independence Charter School, Russell Byers Charter School

*citywide magnet school

Philly’s Artisan Townhouse: Center City Luxury Living

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Artisan Townhomes Luxury Philadelphia CondosPhiladelphia continues to reinvent and modernize itself in the 21st century. Recently, many upscale accommodations have sprung up throughout the Center City. Revolutionizing an entire Philly city block at Bainbridge and 15th Street, one developer recently took a chance on 28 luxury townhouses. Luxury truly transforms itself in the Artisan Townhouse Philly development.

Located in the 1400 block of Bainbridge off the Avenue of the Arts neighborhood, this luxury property has dramatically changed the block. Philadelphia residents can attest that this ongoing change is definitely for the better. Once filled with auto body shops, this new luxury block of Artisan Town Houses in Philly took five years of development. With each townhome selling for over one million dollars, a new demographic of residents now calls this area home. A wealthier and slightly older crowd, the new Avenue of the Arts residents shift the demographics of this area. Fitting right into the nearby Avenue of the Arts neighborhood that is filled with Philly’s cultural institutions, each of the townhomes has sold for over one million dollars.

Live in Luxury at the Artisan Townhouse Philly

Built in three developmental phases, the final phase of this luxury townhomes is almost complete. The luxury look and feel begins from the exterior of each townhome. The developer constructed the townhouses with metal, brick, and cinderblock for a modern city style. Additionally, each town home offer an oversized two-car garage behind the homes. Each home also offers the option of iron security gates over the front windows.

Walk inside a Philly Artisan Townhouse and discover the abundance of luxury amenities. The custom kitchen designs feature Asko, Sub-Zero, and Wolf kitchen appliances, offering top of the line quality and timeless appeal. Likewise, each Artisan Townhouse offers stone countertops and backsplashes, as well as custom wood and glass cabinetry. Hardwood and stone floors cover the floors. There are a variety of different floor plans for the townhomes that all have four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. Notably, the Kenilworth floor plan offers a finished basement with additional storage.

The townhouses also include smart wiring throughout the home for added convenience and less overall wiring. Other optional luxury features include elevators and fireplaces that offer an upscale approach to city living. One of the standout features of the Artisan Townhouse Philly is the roof top decks. Panoramic city views and a large deck area offer a phenomenal skyline view of downtown Philly.

Luxury Philly Real Estate Booming

Luxury is truly at its finest in the Artisan Townhouse Philly Development that has revitalized this once bleak Bainbridge block. Interested buyers definitely should move fast. This second phase of the Artisan Townhouse Development is quickly selling. Many believe this upscale development is only the beginning of a new wave of luxury for the Avenue of the Arts neighborhood.

Why Raising Kids in Philly Rules: One Mom’s Top 50 List

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
Smith Playground

There’s nothing like Smith Playground in the ‘burbs – but even if it’s not near you, chances are there’s a great little playground in your city neighborhood. From the “Spit That Out” blog.

For many years, the conventional wisdom held that the suburbs were the best place to raise children: there’s lots of room to play, quiet residential streets with little traffic, good neighbors thanks to good fences and much better schools.

Over the past few decades, city parents have chipped away at that conventional wisdom bit by bit. About the only thing city parents concede is that the schools in the ‘burbs are better – but not even that’s a given anymore, depending on the school. Just ask Paige Wolf, author of “Spit That Out: The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt.”

Wolf is a committed Center City mother, and recently, she posted a list of reasons why she is to her blog. Not even the school argument is totally true anymore, she said: “Yes, the public school system is a hot mess right now. But the Center City area elementary schools are super resilient and actually continue to improve despite budget cuts. There are extremely dedicated parents committed to keeping the schools safe, strong, and competitive with high-priced private schools.”

We suspect Meredith, Greenfield, McCall and Penn Alexander parents would definitely agree with that sentiment – and as some of the comments in response to this post indicate, there are parents outside Center City who also think their schools are just fine.

But even after factoring out the schools, Wolf has plenty of ammo for the city parent to fire in defense of her – or his – choice. Consider just a few of the 50 she lists:

  • Enough realistic diversity in culture, race, and sexual orientation that our children never even question the differences.
  • Arts, history, and culture galore – from zoos to children’s museums, we are never at a loss for things to do and see.
  • Who needs a swingset when there are so many playgrounds in walking distance with built-in playmates?
  • Did I mention most of the local activity and entertainment for kids is free?

And one that we find especially appealing:

  • Chances are, if you live in the Center City area your property values are going up even during the worst economic downturns. There is so much growth in this area, you can barely cross a street without walking past a construction site. The drilling and hammering is annoying, yes, but those expensive townhomes, office buildings, and shops are only going to improve the quality of life and the value of your home.

But what’s this about a Wegmans in 2015?

Top 50 Reasons to Raise Kids in Philadelphia (“Spit That Out” blog)


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