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August 22, 2007

Non-Smoking Condominium Building

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:11 am

Could such an idea work here in Philadelphia? Could a developer create (or a condo association turn) its structure into a non-smoking building?   And would it be a success, or would it limit resale?

I once got a call from a potential buyer looking to move to town who wanted to live in a non-smoking building. I told her that I was unaware of such a building here in Center City.

She wanted a loft style Center City condo in a high-rise that was 100% non-smoking. I mentioned that all buildings prohibited smoking in common areas.   But she wanted one that did not allow smoking inside particular condo units within the building. I told her that perhaps she had a better chance of seeing God than she did of finding such a place.

That was back in 2004.

With the advent of Philly’s ban on smoking in common areas of buildings, I now wonder if a completely non-smoking Center City condominium building is on the horizon.  In my opinion, as long as the building provided a covered smoking pavilion, or outside area where condo owners could gather, and not, say, get rained on, then maybe such an idea could work.

Allow me to confess that I am a smoker. But I am an outside smoker. I do not smoke inside my loft in Old City. I smoke out on the deck. I don’t care for my curtains and my duvet cover to smell like smoke. Neither does my other half, who is a non-smoker.

I think that a building that was a mid-rise, or possibly a Brownstone styled condo building, (I don’t know if you could pull such an idea off in a 700-unit luxury high-rise) could implement a smoking ban inside the specific units of that building, and be successful…IF that building were to provide a covered area for its smokers somewhere on the premises. This type of Philadelphia condominium building could provide for an interesting draw.

Since the majority of Philadelphia condo buyers are non-smokers, as is the general population, certainly the notion is not too far-fetched. But to impose such a ban on personal freedom inside someone else’s condo unit…well, it just might work in today’s Center City condo market. It might even be an interesting sales pitch.

Mix the “Nonsmoking condominium building” sales pitch in with some ideas that make the building “Green,” and you might just have a winning idea sitting on your plate. Would it be a PLUS, or a negative? Again, in a medium to small sized building, coupled with some GREEN attributes, and a covered outside smoking area, I think the idea has merit, and would be a “PLUS” to potential buyers.

Picky buyer?  Let me help you find your perfect fit.  Give me a call today at 215-521-1523 or drop me an email at

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106

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1 Comment »

  1. […] I think this area might be the perfect place for a few new, green Philadelphia condominium buildings to land. Start one of the buildings as a nonsmoking building. Certainly the wealth of higher-end Center City condominium and luxury loft living has dispersed over the years throughout downtown Philadelphia, so why not here? […]

    Pingback by Center City Condos Blog » Where is Philadelphia’s Next Big “It” Neighborhood? — August 22, 2007 @ 9:55 am

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