Archive for the ‘Washington Square West’ Category

Open House: 316 S 10th Street Washington Square West

Friday, January 24th, 2014

As one of the first five squares laid out by William Penn’s surveyors, Washington Square West is a vibrant part of Philadelphia that is full of history and entertainment. Bounded by Chestnut Street to the north, 8th Street to the east, South Street to the south, and Broad Street to the west, this neighborhood is the hub of the southeast quadrant. This area was not always so beautiful and exciting. During the Revolutionary War, its open fields were often used as cemeteries for those fighting. The neighborhood transformation begun in the 1800’s when the square became an arboretum filled with rare trees. Today Washington Square West is home to many different historic Philadelphia landmarks. Truly known as a great place for houses to rent in Philadelphia, 316 S 10th Street Washington Square West by Philly Livingit could easily be the next place you call home.

A Walk through 316 S 10th Street Washington Square West

Located right on the corner of 10th and Pine Street is this one of a kind Georgian Style home, which is one of the available houses to rent in Philadelphia. The outside of this home at 316 S 10th Street looks like a dream and is truly stunning, while the inside has been completely renovated to allow the homeowners to enjoy modern day amenities. The interior features 14 foot high ceilings, two fire places, crown moldings, and pine floors. The first floor includes expansive entertaining space coupled with a formal dining room and a large sized living room. The kitchen is unique and unlike any other in the area because it includes an eat-in cook’s kitchen that is connected to an amazing bay window, which looks out to a beautiful private garden.

As you walk up the magnificent mahogany staircase to the second floor, you are brought to the home’s second living room, which is perfect for any children or youngsters in your family. Also located upstairs is the master bedroom, full of natural light and equipped with a fireplace, dressing room, and a newly renovated bathroom. Continuing up the stairs are four more bedrooms, one of which features its own bathroom. The top floor currently consists of a playroom and gym that easily can be converted into bedrooms if necessary.

This sophisticated home is unlike any other in Philadelphia, which makes it one of the best houses for rent in Philadelphia. With multiple bedrooms, this home is able accommodate any family size. Located near the best elementary and high school in the Philadelphia area, Washington Square West is an unrivaled area to start your new family. This affordable Georgian Style home may possibly be the most eligible house to rent in the city.

Open House: Living in Washington Square West

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Voted as one of Philly’s hottest neighborhoods, Washington Square West is one of the hippest areas in town. Nestled in Center City’s southeast quadrant, this bohemian district offers an exciting nightlife right outside of any homeowner’s doorsteps. Today, the neighborhood enjoys housing various leading medical universities and health care centers. The University of Arts, Pennsylvania Hospital, and the ThoOpen House Living In Washington Square West by Philly Livingmas Jefferson University proudly call the district home.

Known to the locals as “Gayborhood,” the Washington Square West neighborhood can attribute its renaissance to its burgeoning population. The growing gay and lesbian population, young professionals and blossoming families have been instrumental in the growing real estate prospects in the area. The region’s residential real estate is appropriately picturesque. The diverse real estate opportunities range from the truly historical 19th-century trinities to the more modernized townhouses and luxury condominiums.

From East to Washington Square West: A Neighborhood Outlook


Washington Square West is a largely desirable neighborhood, thanks to the area’s “little streets.” The streets are composed of narrow residential streets that are great at carving out pockets of suburban intimacy in the middle of city life. With so many locational hotspots nearby, living in Washington Square West guarantees exposure to lots of different foods and entertainment options. Midtown Village borders the neighborhood, and the Walnut Street Theatre and the Forrest Theatre often attract traveling Broadway productions.

Living in Washington Square West, the residents are constantly on the pulse of many entertainment and leisure opportunities. As the heart of the Philly’s LGBT community, the eclectic Washington Square West is one of Philadelphia’s most vied-after neighborhoods. Many prospective Washington Square West homeowners like the modern styles that condominiums offer. The 200-10 Lombard Street Condo features hardwood floors, a stone-burning fireplace, along with a breath taking view of the bridge. Located in between Society Hill and Queen Village, the condo offers a highly walkable option for prospective residents. Residents will be able to sample many nightlife choices, boutique shopping and gourmet restaurants. Living in Washington Square West is sure to promise an exciting lifestyle.

With a bustling nightlife scene set against a suburban backdrop, it’s easy to see why life in Washington Square West can be a homeowner’s dream.

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


Philadelphia to Have LGBT-Friendly Senior Communities

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Washington Square West Philadelphia LGBT FriendlyPhiladelphia is amongst the growing number of cities across the United States recognizing that the needs of the Lesbian-Gay-Bi-Trans (LGBT) community are not being met as its members age. In the era when gay marriage is legalized in more states every month and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been effectively repealed, this community is out and aging. Fortunately, a huge rush has developers excited to tap this new market while providing safe communities for those have likely encountered enough strife in life over their identity.

LGBT-friendly retirement communities already in existence around the country often have long waiting lists as elder community members seek to surround themselves with a supportive community in their silver years. Some facilities have waiting lists hundreds of people long, so the addition of one such community to Philadelphia is both an exciting and much-needed improvement for this population of Philadelphians.

Philadelphia Ranked Amongst Most LGBT-Friendly Cities

Philadelphia is regularly ranked amongst the top LGBT-Friendly cities, and one need look no further than Washington Square West and its thriving “Gayborhood” to recognize that this community is a thriving segment of Philadelphia’s population. Naturally, this community will need access to elder care communities able to provide for them.

Penrose Properties and the LGBT group dmhFund have commenced construction of the $20 million John C. Anderson seniors facility. This six-story, 56-unit building is named for the late city councilman who worked tirelessly for gay rights. This massive project that will be capable of serving Philadelphia’s LGBT community is the result of state and city incentives as well as low-income housing credits able to supplement the investment made by Penrose Properties and dmhFund.

To learn more about the John C. Anderson Apartments LGBT senior community, read more at the dmhFund website. Apartments will be available for occupancy six months before the building is scheduled to be open later this year.

Philadelphia’s Hottest Neighborhoods in 2013, Part Two

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

best-philly-neighborhoods-to-buy-a-houseIn our last post, we began our look at the top ten hottest neighborhoods in Philadelphia as forecasted by market trends seen in the first quarter of 2013. Today, we continue our journey through Philly’s fastest-growing neighborhoods and look at a few areas where properties barely hit the market before they are sold.

Demand in some of the neighborhoods below has many surprised and bodes well for the continued recovery and growth of the Philadelphia housing market.

The Big Five of Philly’s Top 10 Hottest Neighborhoods

Cedar Park – Cedar Park is home to historic architecture of the Queen Anne style. The westward expansion of University City has put this Philadelphia neighborhood on the map of many knowledgeable house-hunters. This Philly neighborhood sports a great variety of cafes and restaurants whose menus span the globe. The efforts of its neighborhood association are drawing investment in preserving its historic buildings.

Northern Liberties – Take a look at Northern Liberties and gaze at the future of Fishtown about a decade from now. The youthful hipsters of the Bush era took over Northern Liberties, revitalized it, and were slowly driven out by the rising prices. Now, young and established professionals alike are drawn to Northern Liberties, enjoying its thriving restaurant scene and almost small-town charm.

Avenue of the Arts – Property values are skyrocketing in this once fallow neighborhood thanks to the construction of new apartments, condos, and townhouses. Avenue of the Arts is drawing young professionals who enjoy its shopping, restaurants, bars, and nightlife. Proximity to public transit and a fashionable reputation ensure Avenue of the Arts will remain a hot neighborhood for some time.

Washington Square West – The locals call it the “Gayborhood,” and yes, there is a sizable gay and lesbian population in Washington Square West. This influx of single professionals and dual-income-no-kids (DINK) couples has likely been key to this neighborhood’s complete rebirth. With thriving businesses and rising property values, Washington Square West is drawing all manner of young professionals and young families who appreciate its amazing restaurant scene and bohemian feel.

Rittenhouse Square – In the middle of it all, Rittenhouse Square offers shopping, restaurants, parks, and access to all that Philly has to offer. This neighborhood is seeing an influx of investment from the more established, including empty nesters, professionals from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and those who can afford its higher property values. Price, it seems, will never be enough to keep Rittenhouse Square from being one of the most popular neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

Street fairs enliven Wash West next weekend

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Midtown Village Fall Festival

Two of Center City’s biggest and best street fairs take place back-to-back next weekend, serving up a menu of food and drink, arts and crafts and all-around fun for all.

First up is the Midtown Village Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 6. This year’s seventh annual festival will be the biggest ever, with more to see, do and experience. A six-block swath of the neighborhood will be turned over to Village residents, vistors and the merely curious from noon to 7 p.m. Besides delicious food and great libations from the area’s many restaurants and neat stuff from local merchants, there will be artisans and craftspeople offering unique items from all over, a bigger and better “Little Villagers” play area, and even a chance to dunk the Presidential candidate of your choice – “Barack Obama” or “Mitt Romney” – to benefit the Philadelphia Fire Department Fallen Heroes Memorial in Franklin Square. For the complete lowdown on this free event, visit

Then on the next day, Sunday, Oct. 7, the rainbow flag flies high over the Gayborhood – same area, two names – for the annual Outfest street festival. The area’s LGBT-friendly businesses pull out all the stops for this annual event held on the Sunday before National Coming Out Day. This year’s edition will likewise be bigger than ever, with more than 140 vendors, community groups, and flea markets participating, plus a day-long schedule of entertainment and activities – including dancing in the street with your choice of DJs. All the details at the Outfest web page.

-Sandy Smith


Relocating to Philly? Here’s some advice

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Center City Philadelphia at night

With cheesesteaks, the World Champion Phillies and a show that gives you a glimpse of what life can be like if you run a bar (maybe not your typical bar) in the city, it’s no reason that more and more people are starting to call Philadelphia home. As the 5th largest city in the United States, Philadelphia is home to more than 1.5 million people, and another 4 million people in the Greater Philadelphia metro area. Residents include young and old professionals, mega sports fans, university students and just about any other type demographic you can think of.

Before you get here, it is important to realize that there are four main areas of Philadelphia, all of which would be perfect places to plant your roots. Below, we will describe each of these boroughs in an effort to help you decide which one you would feel most comfortable in.

The Four Districts

The first is Philadelphia’s downtown area, known to the locals as Center City. Like most downtown business districts, Center City is where you’ll find most of the city’s tallest buildings and major employers. Center City is also where many professionals live and socialize among historical row houses and trendy store fronts. Professionals living in Center City will enjoy active nightlife, trendy restaurants, and excellent shopping.

Second on the list is South Philly. This area is home to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the Philadelphia Sports Complex, and the Italian market that may be responsible for some of the city’s best Italian food (if you are an Always Sunny fan, this may be the area for you).

One of the most popular parts of Philadelphia is University City. As you can probably tell by the name, this neighborhood in West Philadelphia surrounds Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania and is mainly where students attending one of these colleges reside.

The last district on our list is Mayanuk. Much like University City, this area is full of university students. Temple University and Penn students may find this neighborhood near the Schuylkill River super convenient.

Now hopefully you have chosen which section of Philadelphia you are going to relocate to. And while that is a relief, now comes the hard part, actually moving. There are many steps one must take to ensure a smooth move, but one that most don’t consider (and may be the most important) is renting a Philadelphia storage unit.

Many of these residents use Philadelphia self-storage for additional space at an affordable rate. Living in any of the regions mentioned above will more than likely require the convenience of a storage unit. For example, in Center City, residents have trouble finding parking so they use self-storage for keeping their vehicles. If you’re a student at one of the many colleges and universities located in University City or Mayanuk, you may find it easier to access a storage unit located nearby than cramming all your belongings into your dorm or apartment.

When choosing self-storage in Philadelphia, you may be tempted to save money by reserving a unit in another suburb away from you. However, remember that this option is usually only practical if you have access to transportation and won’t need to get into your storage unit frequently. Compare facilities prices online and weigh cost vs. convenience to make sure you are getting the best deal. Your goal should be to find the right unit in the best location for the lowest price, simplifying your moving experience to a tolerable level.

This article was written by Matt Schexnayder. Matt is on the SpareFoot marketing team and writes for the SpareFoot blog. SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage with more than 5,000 facilities listed nation-wide. 

Confused about Philly neighborhoods? There’s a map for that

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
Philadelphia Neighborhoods on Google Maps

The Philadelphia Neighborhoods project on Google Maps

In Philadelphia, neighborhoods matter. (Not that they don’t elsewhere.) They confer – or deny – status to residents and property, which is why (1) arguments over which blocks are in which neighborhoods can get heated (2) residents of neighborhoods as varied as Point Breeze and Southwark coined new names for their communities in the hopes of erasing perceived stigmas.

To help people sort things out, the Philadelphia Neighborhoods collaborative project launched on Google Maps seeks to delineate the boundaries of every Philadelphia neighborhood. Like a wiki, anyone can add to or edit it, which should ultimately make it a pretty accurate guide to what blocks belong where.

The project currently has two maps active. Users might want to use the second to mark subsidiary communities within larger neighborhoods, such as Spruce Hill in University City, the Devil’s Pocket in Southwest Center City or the Gayborhood (or Midtown Village) in Washington Square West. Just be prepared for others to challenge you once you define their boundaries.

A few of the “50 Best Places to Eat” in Philadelphia: Wash West

Thursday, March 15th, 2012


The next stop on our quick review of Philadelphia Magazine’s current crop of “50 Best Places to Eat Right Now” is Washington Square West. While the density of eateries is not as high as in Old City, the variety and quality are just as high. Folks living in Washington Square West have access to many great places to eat within a short walk of their Wash West home. The only question, then, is: In which direction does one start walking? “Towards 13th Street” looks like the best answer, for six of the eight “50 Best” eateries in Wash West are either on or within half a block of that street:

Amis, 412 South 13th Street, 216-732-2647. All three of Marc Vetri’s Italian restaurants made the “50 Best” list, including both of his Wash West outposts (see Vetri, below); this casual trattoria off Pine Street is his most affordable establishment, with most menu items under $20. It’s also his most convivial eatery; the PhillyMag editors recommend you score one of the six seats at the counter overlooking the open kitchen if you can. Small plates dominate the menu, so bring friends and mix and match.

Barbuzzo, 110 South 13th Street, 215-732-2647. Actually, we were wrong with that density comment: three of the eight “50 Best” restaurants in Wash West can be found almost in a row on the short half-block of South 13th between Drury and Sansom streets. This one comes to you from chef Marcie Turney and her life partner Valerie Safran, the couple whose six establishments put Midtown Village on the map as a dining and shopping destination. Wood-fired pizza and Mediterranean dishes are the house specialties at this affordable, fun, rustic restaurant. (More from these two below as well.)

Chifa, 707 Chestnut Street, 215-925-5555. Comidas latinas with a twist: José Garces looked to Peru, where Spain, China and Japan cross paths (recall President Alberto Fujimori?), for the inspiration for his Latin-Asian fusion restaurant on the Chestnut Street restaurant row. Pho and chicarrones (with pickled ginger and Napa cabbage), tempura and crab empanadas all happily coexist on the extensive menu, where most items are under $20; tasting menus and wine flights also available.

Kanella, 1001 Spruce Street, 215-922-1773. Chef Konstantinos Pitsillides turned a neighborhood diner into a tribute to the cuisine of his native Cyprus in 2008. “Kanella” is Greek for “cinnamon,” and the influence of that and other Mediterranean spices runs strong in the Greek Cypriot fare Pitsillides serves at this popular BYOB.

Lolita, 106 South 13th Street, 215-546-7100. The second of Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s three restaurants (the third, Jamonera, opened after this list was compiled, replacing another “50 Best” establishment of theirs, Bindi), this distinctive little BYOT (that’s “T” for “tequila”; they’ll provide the mixers) fuses Mexican and Continental culinary traditions and has won plenty of other critical raves. Vegetarians will be delighted to know that several of the entrees on the menu can be made vegetarian by switching main ingredients.

Mercato, 1216 Spruce Street, 215-985-2962. From the people behind neighbor Valanni comes this “Italian-inspired” BYOB where fresh seasonal ingredients are prepared with a combination of Old World care and American experimentation. The a la carte menu changes at least weekly and offers both old- and new-school Italian-American favorites. Reservations accepted only for pre-theater dining and special events.

Morimoto, 723 Chestnut Street, 215-413-9070. Iron Chef Morimoto teamed up with dining impresario Stephen Starr to produce this high-concept, high-price, high-quality Japanese restaurant where – as with so many other Starr restaurants – the decor is as much of a star as the food on the plate. Unless, that is, you order the chef’s sumptuous omakase (tasting menu).

Vetri, 1312 Spruce Street. With Le Bec-Fin changing hands, Marc Vetri’s eponymous first restaurant is now the place in Philadelphia where one can count on a consistently and truly elegant fine dining experience. The $135 prix fixe tasting menu is the only option available, but with so many sumptuous, impeccably sourced and prepared items to choose from on it, what else would one need?  If you’re thinking of going here for a weekend special occasion, book your reservations now and you might get a table a few months down the road.

Zavino, 112 South 13th Street, 215-732-2400. Elbow room is at a premium in this busy little pizzeria and wine bar, but the pies and the wines are both worth working your way through the crowds. Choose a pie from their menu, or if you’re feeling adventurous, suggest a variation on a theme. Not in the mood for pizza? There are also small plates, meat, cheese and veggie plates to choose from.

–By Sandy Smith for

Photo of Mercato from Wikimedia Commons, used under a Creative Commons license

Philadelphia real estate market: First quarter trends

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Philadelphia Real EstateEven though the real estate market has been tumultuous for many recently, Philadelphia somehow seems to be doing much better compared to most other parts of the country. The local market has some activity, as in housing is being purchased and seeing increases. Additionally, construction of new single-family homes continues to go up, especially in the suburbs.

One point of prosperity in the Philly real estate market lies in the increase in existing home sales into December. December 2011 took in about five more percent of existing sales than December 2010 did. Sales from the end of last year thus far have been positive. This is something the housing market needs momentously. Thus far in 2012, there hasn’t been a significant increase in homes purchased but there is certainly a growing interest in property expected to take place. 

On the seller’s side, there is hope that rising apartment rental rates could drive some potential buyers back into the fold in 2012. The average rental rate for all Philadelphia apartments has gone up nearly eight percent in the last year alone. This equals an increase of nearly $80 in the past year alone. The thought is that those individuals or couples on the fence about renting and buying could take a more serious look at buying, especially with today’s mortgage rates.

Reports have shown that mortgage rates have been hitting record lows throughout the country, as well as here in Philadelphia, which is certainly inviting for potential buyers. Right now, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is coming with 4.007 APR. With mortgage rates being this low and rentals continuing to increase in price, there is hope that some buyers will begin to see the benefits of buying in early 2012.

Right now, Philadelphia’s top selling areas have remained the northwestern and western areas of Center City. However, other parts of Philadelphia have retained their value attracting buyers and keeping the market going.

Right now, the big issue the city faces is sale prices, specifically for sellers. It is important to note that even though sales prices have dropped in this area, they have not plummeted as much as other cities across the country.


Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square, in western Center City, continues to show strength

In the coming months, there is reason to be optimistic that these prices can get a small pickup. Median prices were down about six percent in December from the previous year, but this could have been expected. The months of November and December are generally regarded as slow months for real estate anyway, but the numbers shouldn’t have too heavy an impact on the rest of the first quarter of 2012.

A glance at the early trends in 2012 Philadelphia real estate is truly a mixed bag right now. Coming off the month of December is usually not pretty for any market; however, the Philly market has looked rather stable in the early part of the year. Regardless, it should remain to be seen if factors such as mortgage rates, rising rental rates and an increase in existing home sales can positively influence the market for both buyers and sellers throughout the first half of 2012. 

–By Emma Crawford, special to

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