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Old 01-10-2019, 08:23 PM
 
4 posts, read 1,997 times
Reputation: 10

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Drexel Hill has so many things going for it. Beautiful homes, diversity, walkable streets, and close proximity to CC.
Why is it so hard to revive this beautiful town??? I saw they were working on fixing up the ShopRite. But the plan seems really bad. Why add a storage locker?

Anyway. I was wondering if anyone has been thinking about this? What can be done to revive DH?? A town, that has so much to give..
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Pocopson
118 posts, read 35,764 times
Reputation: 164
Drexel Hill's biggest problem is its downward momentum. Home values are falling, taxes are rising, people are moving out. While the homes offer a great value, there's a lack of buyers because nobody wants to catch a falling knife.

My dad used to live in Drexel Hill until he moved to Chester County in the 80s. He claims that the local government's mindset has always been to "keep the taxes high and the trash out", meaning that high taxes would price-out the (let's be honest, black) residents of West Philly. If true, this strategy backfired because now home values are so low that basically anybody can afford a down payment there.

Which brings us to Drexel Hill's last best hope: millennials. It's no secret that Millenials want to be homeowners, but can't afford a down payment. They also aren't having kids (yet), so school-quality isn't a priority (yet). This sets Drexel Hill up nicely for hipsters who may be growing too old for Philadelphia-proper and looking for some space to spread out.

My prediction is the following:
  1. Millennials buy houses. 3% down on a $250k house only requires $7,500 in savings (plus closing costs).
  2. As millennials become a bigger voting bloc in local government, the "keep the taxes high and the trash out" mindset erodes. This will create an odd political situation where Millenials (who generally vote for Democrats) advocate for traditionally-Republican positions of school-reform and lower taxes. Local government will be topsy-turvy for a while.
  3. The tired old businesses along the main streets get replaced with hipster shops and eateries. Racial diversity will actually be embraced for a change. The school situation will remain strained, but at least dynamic. Property values start to go up, and that downward momentum becomes upward momentum.

If the above doesn't happen, Drexel Hill will continue the course it's been on for another generation.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:40 AM
 
957 posts, read 1,091,958 times
Reputation: 351
Well, the ShopRite in Drexel Hill used to be a Fresh Grocer. It was really sad to see that close shop. Maybe more eclectic, fancy restaurants like the Indian restaurant in the plaza could help. delco could use a big Asian supermarket too- maybe a multi-story one in the same plaza. I just don't know if the demand would be enough even though there are enough diverse people around to support such a store.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:40 AM
 
320 posts, read 316,081 times
Reputation: 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patmcpsu View Post
Drexel Hill's biggest problem is its downward momentum. Home values are falling, taxes are rising, people are moving out. While the homes offer a great value, there's a lack of buyers because nobody wants to catch a falling knife.

My dad used to live in Drexel Hill until he moved to Chester County in the 80s. He claims that the local government's mindset has always been to "keep the taxes high and the trash out", meaning that high taxes would price-out the (let's be honest, black) residents of West Philly. If true, this strategy backfired because now home values are so low that basically anybody can afford a down payment there.

Which brings us to Drexel Hill's last best hope: millennials. It's no secret that Millenials want to be homeowners, but can't afford a down payment. They also aren't having kids (yet), so school-quality isn't a priority (yet). This sets Drexel Hill up nicely for hipsters who may be growing too old for Philadelphia-proper and looking for some space to spread out.

My prediction is the following:
  1. Millennials buy houses. 3% down on a $250k house only requires $7,500 in savings (plus closing costs).
  2. As millennials become a bigger voting bloc in local government, the "keep the taxes high and the trash out" mindset erodes. This will create an odd political situation where Millenials (who generally vote for Democrats) advocate for traditionally-Republican positions of school-reform and lower taxes. Local government will be topsy-turvy for a while.
  3. The tired old businesses along the main streets get replaced with hipster shops and eateries. Racial diversity will actually be embraced for a change. The school situation will remain strained, but at least dynamic. Property values start to go up, and that downward momentum becomes upward momentum.

If the above doesn't happen, Drexel Hill will continue the course it's been on for another generation.
There's also another possibility - University City. As this section of the city continues to explode and the life sciences and gene therapy industries grow to rival those in Cambridge, MA, new employees will need areas to live. The Philly-area highways are a mess and the more prominent suburbs (i.e. Main Line) are close to capacity. The city itself is quickly filling up - Gray's Ferry and Kingsessing might be the last two "open" neighborhoods that are easily commutable to U. City. And let's be honest, deep West Philly isn't going to change dramatically in the near term. The natural areas to expand to are the close suburbs like Drexel Hill, Lansdowne, Havertown. We'll see what happens, but I think people are underestimating the growth Philly is primed for over the next decade and the lack of space we're encountering even now.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:51 AM
 
8,539 posts, read 4,659,201 times
Reputation: 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patmcpsu View Post
Drexel Hill's biggest problem is its downward momentum. Home values are falling, taxes are rising, people are moving out. While the homes offer a great value, there's a lack of buyers because nobody wants to catch a falling knife.

My dad used to live in Drexel Hill until he moved to Chester County in the 80s. He claims that the local government's mindset has always been to "keep the taxes high and the trash out", meaning that high taxes would price-out the (let's be honest, black) residents of West Philly. If true, this strategy backfired because now home values are so low that basically anybody can afford a down payment there.

Which brings us to Drexel Hill's last best hope: millennials. It's no secret that Millenials want to be homeowners, but can't afford a down payment. They also aren't having kids (yet), so school-quality isn't a priority (yet). This sets Drexel Hill up nicely for hipsters who may be growing too old for Philadelphia-proper and looking for some space to spread out.

My prediction is the following:
  1. Millennials buy houses. 3% down on a $250k house only requires $7,500 in savings (plus closing costs).
  2. As millennials become a bigger voting bloc in local government, the "keep the taxes high and the trash out" mindset erodes. This will create an odd political situation where Millenials (who generally vote for Democrats) advocate for traditionally-Republican positions of school-reform and lower taxes. Local government will be topsy-turvy for a while.
  3. The tired old businesses along the main streets get replaced with hipster shops and eateries. Racial diversity will actually be embraced for a change. The school situation will remain strained, but at least dynamic. Property values start to go up, and that downward momentum becomes upward momentum.

If the above doesn't happen, Drexel Hill will continue the course it's been on for another generation.
Millennials are having children. The oldest are in their mid-30s. All the ones I know are thoroughly urban city people. Would they consider being "pioneers" regarding Drexel Hill?
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Pocopson
118 posts, read 35,764 times
Reputation: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Millennials are having children. The oldest are in their mid-30s. All the ones I know are thoroughly urban city people. Would they consider being "pioneers" regarding Drexel Hill?
As an "older millennial" (34 years old), I can provide anecdotal evidence that me and most of my friends are just beginning to have kids. It's a fact that millennials are having kids later in life. If the 34 year olds are just beginning to have kids, and the youngest millennials are currently 22, that leaves a lot of millenials who are not yet parents. Some fear that millennials are never going to have kids, but I believe it's merely delayed.
More American women are having babies in their 30s than their 20s
Millennial Parents Start Families Later, and What That Means
Millennials Aren't Having Kids. Here's Why That's A Problem For Baby Boomer Real Estate & Retirement
Americans Are Having Fewer Babies. They Told Us Why.

And the whole "millenials are urban people" dogma is a red herring. Millennials are young, and young people tend to live in cities, especially now that DUI laws are strict. After millennials have kids, they will want to move to a bigger house with a yard, less crime, and better schools. It's already starting to show:
Millennials are moving to the exurbs in droves
Welcome to suburbia: the millennials done with city life and city prices
Those Shiny New Apartments Aren't What Millennials Need
More millennials now live in suburbs than in cities

Note that all these articles are very recent. Millennials are becoming middle-aged bores as we speak.

Gen Z, and the following generations will also show the same pattern (until driverless cars can get drunk 20-somethings home from the bars legally and affordably).
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:45 PM
 
4 posts, read 1,997 times
Reputation: 10
This is all very insightful, but from talking to my millennial friends who can’t afford UC, are looking into Conshohocken, Abington, and Havertown. They love DH, but those areas already have amenities in place or are working on it. I just want to know how DH can comepete. I know Conshy is working on their walkabity, I feel like DH already has it.. I just feel like DH could easily be put into the mix, but how?
I like @patmcpsu idea.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,301 posts, read 7,296,863 times
Reputation: 4038
For the record, Drexel Hill real estate is actually in decent shape at the moment. According to Zillow, property values have increased 7.2% over the past year, with a current annual projection of a 6% increase. That's very solid and likely represents some pretty strong demand: https://www.zillow.com/drexel-hill-pa/home-values/

I think many people still underestimate/undervalue the increasing appeal of inner-suburbs like Drexel Hill. They have superior walkability/connectivity compared to most post-WWII suburban neighborhoods, very attractive historic housing stock/tree-lined streets, and great access to public transit for commuting to the city. Yes, property taxes tend to be higher, and yes, public schools can often leave much to be desired, but these are things that can and will likely change over time with more investment in the community (both by residents and businesses).

Especially when housing stock is cheaper, and you can actually walk to certain things--lowering transportation costs--many folks will see more of a deal compared to other municipalities that may have lower property taxes but comparable homes costing twice as much. Not to mention greater commute times and auto-related expenses.

So, long story short, I foresee a nice "comeback" for a community like Drexel Hill in the coming years (and I put "comeback" in quotes, since it's not as though Drexel Hill is suffering and lacking potential; it just needs a push to put it on par with more "popular" areas). Especially if Philly can successfully bolster itself as even more of an employment epicenter, you can bet that Drexel Hill will see some Main Line spillover. Places like Conshohocken, Havertown, and Abington will also be "maxed out" eventually, too.

Last edited by Duderino; 01-11-2019 at 09:41 PM..
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,016 posts, read 1,953,917 times
Reputation: 2538
Terminology nit: Drexel Hill is a neighborhood within Upper Darby Township. It's not a "town" unto itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessimprov View Post
Well, the ShopRite in Drexel Hill used to be a Fresh Grocer. It was really sad to see that close shop. Maybe more eclectic, fancy restaurants like the Indian restaurant in the plaza could help. delco could use a big Asian supermarket too- maybe a multi-story one in the same plaza. I just don't know if the demand would be enough even though there are enough diverse people around to support such a store.
I wonder which store you're referring to. The ShopRite is in the Drexeline shopping center, next to the Drexelbrook apartment community. There was another Drexeline supermarket (the stores' original name) in the Beverly Hills shopping center; that one became a Fresh Grocer, but Ron Burns closed that store before taking the chain into the ShopRite cooperative. Are you talking about that store, or the one in the Drexeline shopping center? That last one's still open.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
There's also another possibility - University City. As this section of the city continues to explode and the life sciences and gene therapy industries grow to rival those in Cambridge, MA, new employees will need areas to live. The Philly-area highways are a mess and the more prominent suburbs (i.e. Main Line) are close to capacity. The city itself is quickly filling up - Gray's Ferry and Kingsessing might be the last two "open" neighborhoods that are easily commutable to U. City. And let's be honest, deep West Philly isn't going to change dramatically in the near term. The natural areas to expand to are the close suburbs like Drexel Hill, Lansdowne, Havertown. We'll see what happens, but I think people are underestimating the growth Philly is primed for over the next decade and the lack of space we're encountering even now.
How deep is "deep"?

One of the two original buildings of West Philadelphia High School now contains upscale apartments, and the other is being converted as we speak.

And I spotted these in the 5400 block of Chancellor Street a few weeks before Christmas:



I don't think we should have "dramatic" change; gradual works better. And this looks like just that.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:17 AM
 
320 posts, read 316,081 times
Reputation: 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Terminology nit: Drexel Hill is a neighborhood within Upper Darby Township. It's not a "town" unto itself.



I wonder which store you're referring to. The ShopRite is in the Drexeline shopping center, next to the Drexelbrook apartment community. There was another Drexeline supermarket (the stores' original name) in the Beverly Hills shopping center; that one became a Fresh Grocer, but Ron Burns closed that store before taking the chain into the ShopRite cooperative. Are you talking about that store, or the one in the Drexeline shopping center? That last one's still open.



How deep is "deep"?

One of the two original buildings of West Philadelphia High School now contains upscale apartments, and the other is being converted as we speak.

And I spotted these in the 5400 block of Chancellor Street a few weeks before Christmas:



I don't think we should have "dramatic" change; gradual works better. And this looks like just that.
West Philly is enormous. Gonna take a considerable amount of time
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