Graduate Hospital has been a really hot growth area for new construction townhouses and condo developments! Just south of Rittenhouse Square, you will find this hotbed of new construction here in Center City. The City’s tax abatement program has really helped this area grow. Easy access to the Square, restaurants, and shopping make the Graduate Hospital area a real attraction to buyers. The new Bloc 23 project and 2400 South condo projects are the latest additions to the area.
A 15-unit project, Ravello Philly, is set for the 14xx block of Clymer Street…a small block nestled between Broad and 15th, Fitzwater and Catharine. According to Curbed Philly, “The development will include five three-unit buildings with dark brick facades in front and aluminum paneling in the back. In total, there will be 10 three-bedroom, bi-level units clocking in at about 1,800 square feet. There will be another five one-bedroom units about half that size. Each unit will have outdoor space, too.” [Read More Here…]
Just a few years after his success with the gorgeous project at 1706 Rittenhouse (a building we named one of Philly’s Top Ten Condos), developer Tom Scannapieco broke ground at 500 Walnut Street. My office is adjacent to these gorgeous new condos and I have watched them go up in awe over the past two years. They finally had their grand opening ceremony and I must say the building is a stunning addition to the City.
What’s interesting is that this building had to be delicately designed to have such a narrow width, so that it did not distract from the views from The Liberty Bell to Independence Hall. With only one or two condos per floor, these condos have breathtaking views and huge balconies. 500 Walnut offers nonstop elevators, garage parking (with electric vehicle charging), a spacious fitness center and spa, 50′ lap pool, a 4,000 square foot open-air terrace, and a boardroom with a fully equipped catering kitchen.
Cecil Baker & Partners, the architects that worked on One Riverside, Western Union, and York Square, just to name a few, also worked on this project with Scannapieco. You can check out some common area photos from Curbed Philly here.
Replacing the overabundance of green marble that had existed since the 1980’s was a smart move by the Academy House Condo Association. The new front entrance/lobby looks great…see for yourself!
The Academy House condo association has also replaced interior unit windows (huge upgrade) several years ago, and in 2013 they revamped the interior hallways- which look really good. These condos have great track record of reselling- always have and probably always will. A very smart purchase. Condo fees include almost all utilities. A very central residential location, rental parking in the lower levels, and a 24-hour doorman. A fair number of units have outside balconies. Academy House is a non-smoking building. Values here are not heavily contingent upon floor height, as many units have great views.
If you are interested in taking a look at condos at The Academy House, give me a call at 215-521-1523 or email Mark@CenterCity.com.
A Renovation Mortgage allows home buyers to finance renovations as opposed to having to pay cash out of pocket for upgrading their recent purchase. If you’re looking for a condo that needs a lot of work after closing, this loan program can provide the funds for renovations and repairs for a primary residence or for investment properties by using the “after improved value” with a single loan at closing.
Automobiles, clothes, and condos all need maintenance to look and perform their best. Assessments imposed on owners of given buildings are used to make capital improvements and are a necessary evil. How might that affect value?
I think in the short term, an assessment can lower demand for a building. Who the hell wants to pay for some electric behind a wall or an elevator motor which they are never going to see? (Uh, no one.) Though assessments to fix up interior hallways, and maybe a lobby, are much easier to swallow. In the long run, assessments can be the best thing to ever happen to a building as the costs of the capital improvements are overshadowed by the long-term value growth.
Look no farther than 2301 Cherry St. (River’s Edge) as an example of that argument. When the assessments were first implemented, the demand dropped because no new buyer wanted to pay for the needed improvements. But today…the money spent is bouncing the value of each unit MUCH higher than individual unit’s assessments. It’s not a hard equation to figure out. And the new lobby at the Academy House? C’mon… you can’t tell me that the individual unit owner cost to do that lobby wasn’t worth it…The value added was huge….
So yes, assessments suck in the short term but are very beneficial in the long run in terms of value and demand.
(ps – YES, per the agreement of sale- any assessments that have been approved must be disclosed to a buyer.)
The developer of the beautiful new construction condos, One Riverside at 25th and Locust, has decided to switch the focus of his next project from a hotel/apartment project to a 56-unit condominium high-rise. We have been saying for some time now that there is a shortage of condos in town and we think this will be a great addition to the market. You can read about the switch here.
The Savoy at 1806 S. Rittenhouse has an assessment coming down the pike that is close to $28 a square foot. Needed, and in the long run, a good thing as values will climb!
Dockside at 717 S. Columbus Blvd. has been recently approved for conventional financing.
The Philadelphian at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. is making progress on the installation of new exterior balcony rails throughout.
Many more buildings are going non-smoking. Here are a few:
Society Hill Towers, Center City One, Academy House, The Rittenhouse, The Hopkinson House, The Murano, The Dorchester. Look for that list to grow substantially.
3) The new design focus is on room size and NOT room count. Most buyers today can do without the true blue 3 bedrooms. Most newer condos are now 2 beds & den. Finding a true 3 bedroom is huge…but rare.
4) The use of quartz over granite is the new trend. Also mixing counter tops is hot- Island counter top may be different than interior kitchen counter top.
5) Most new construction does not have closet space finished. Developers leave them blank for buyer to finish. And I find little difference in resale value if you use high-end closet brand vs. a reasonable knock-off brand. Just maximize your space.
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
Our Center City condo market is very cyclical. Every year about the same time in early March, my phone rings off the hook and that trend continues through say 4th of July. Then anyone with enough money to buy a condo, also has enough money to be sitting their butts on a beach somewhere.
This early part of the summer 2017 tells a bit of a different story. Nearly everyday for the past 3 months we have seen our inventory shrink – DAILY.
When I study the daily MLS activity sheet, I see say 20 new homes on the market. But I see 27 or so go under contract. EVERY DAY.
I would venture to guess this trend will continue through the summer – the lack of overall inventory suggests as much. And there are more buyers lingering in the market today than in the past dozen or so years – they can’t find the right place so they sit on the sidelines and wait. The backlog is staggering.
Usually we see a decrease in activity after Memorial Day. Hasn’t been the case and most likely will not be the case until sometime in say August, I would wager.