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Old 04-10-2014, 08:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,056 times
Reputation: 10

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Hey all,

Recently moved down from NYC a little over a year ago. My fiancee and I are looking to move from NW Philly to South Philly to be closer to CC where we work and because we often find ourselves going out in Bella Vista/Passyunk Square. We have been looking at some properties bounded by S 9th to S 7th between Morris and Snyder, since they are cheaper than adjacent housing. I know the further east from Broad enters the Dickinson Narrows neighborhood - we have walked around the neighborhood during the day and altho parts seemed blighted (trash on the streets, some abandoned lots) it didn't feel dangerous.

Yet, some have advised us (strongly i may add, one co-worker told me i'd get shot ) against the area and steered us towards Pennsport or Passyunk Square - both are great, but you definitely pay more of a premium there. I understand the area defined as Dickinson Narrows was very rough historically, but has it improved since then? Is this a case of reputation being a lagging indicator or is it actually a dangerous neighborhood?

I have seem some new builds/renovations going up in the area, so imagine some investment is starting to trickle in, while not on the scale of Point Breeze or Kensington, it does seem like a good indicator of people taking an interest in the area....right?

To give some background, we are both long-time NYC residents and lived in Brooklyn/Queens (Bushwick and Astoria) before moving here, so a "transitional" neighborhood is not an issue to us. We don't have kids so schools are not an immediate concern. I am primarily concerned about safety and whether or not I should be OK with my fiancee walking home from Broad at night/taking the bus home from work. Again, we are use to city living, just wanted to check with longer-term Philly residents whether this area was OK.

Also, if the right opportunity comes along, I'd be interested in buying an investment property in an area that has some upside potential as it improves...in SE Philly, Dickinson Narrows seems like it might foot that bill.

Thanks for any comments/suggestions! Sorry for the long post.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista
2,472 posts, read 3,487,882 times
Reputation: 2202
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueensMoving View Post
Hey all,

Recently moved down from NYC a little over a year ago. My fiancee and I are looking to move from NW Philly to South Philly to be closer to CC where we work and because we often find ourselves going out in Bella Vista/Passyunk Square. We have been looking at some properties bounded by S 9th to S 7th between Morris and Snyder, since they are cheaper than adjacent housing. I know the further east from Broad enters the Dickinson Narrows neighborhood - we have walked around the neighborhood during the day and altho parts seemed blighted (trash on the streets, some abandoned lots) it didn't feel dangerous.

Yet, some have advised us (strongly i may add, one co-worker told me i'd get shot ) against the area and steered us towards Pennsport or Passyunk Square - both are great, but you definitely pay more of a premium there. I understand the area defined as Dickinson Narrows was very rough historically, but has it improved since then? Is this a case of reputation being a lagging indicator or is it actually a dangerous neighborhood?

I have seem some new builds/renovations going up in the area, so imagine some investment is starting to trickle in, while not on the scale of Point Breeze or Kensington, it does seem like a good indicator of people taking an interest in the area....right?

To give some background, we are both long-time NYC residents and lived in Brooklyn/Queens (Bushwick and Astoria) before moving here, so a "transitional" neighborhood is not an issue to us. We don't have kids so schools are not an immediate concern. I am primarily concerned about safety and whether or not I should be OK with my fiancee walking home from Broad at night/taking the bus home from work. Again, we are use to city living, just wanted to check with longer-term Philly residents whether this area was OK.

Also, if the right opportunity comes along, I'd be interested in buying an investment property in an area that has some upside potential as it improves...in SE Philly, Dickinson Narrows seems like it might foot that bill.

Thanks for any comments/suggestions! Sorry for the long post.
I was actually just in the neighborhood last week to go to my optometrist. Definitely a part of town in which my headphones are removed and I am on alert. I'm someone who has spent a lot of time living in less than desirable hoods and even I think I might walk a few blocks out of my way to avoid this area at night.

That said, it's far from the worst part of town and you're certainly right about the discount in housing in that area compared to the surrounding area. A few years back I was actually looking this incredible old house on 6th street. It needed some work but it was an amazing price and such a convenient location. I could easily see that place being worth 5x what they were asking just a few years from now.

At the end of the day though my wife just didn't feel comfortable there. And while I felt ok, i honestly was kind of worried about my wife living there too.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a place in se philly that has the best chance to increase in value over the next decade, you're definitely looking in the right place. But while the crime isn't that bad in the area, it's also not exactly safe and all it takes is one incident to make you instantly regret moving there. Also keep in mind, while it looks like a foregone conclusion the area will eventually get better, there are some factors including the presence of projects in the neighborhood that could leave this area blighted for decades. If Mt Sinai project happens I'd feel a lot better about this neighborhood's prospects.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:04 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,056 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the thought-out reply. I definitely agree with a lot of what you said. The places we are looking at are right on the border of Passyunk - it's funny, two blocks either west or east and you are in a totally different neighborhood.

Regardless, I have heard that there are plans to redevelop the Mt Sinai lot so hopefully that bodes well for the neighborhood. If you don't mind my asking where did you guys end up moving?
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,177 posts, read 9,644,098 times
Reputation: 3486
I do hope they do something with Mt Sinai. It's a shame that it's been left emptied for all these years. I own one rental right around the corner from there and that's one un-attractive side. With that said, house around there are not cheap either. New row house that are going up around there are in the $300K-$400K range.

The area you are referring to (S 9th to S 7th between Morris and Snyder) You are right at the border of Pennsport and Whitman. Morris to Snyder, you will find pockets that are "questionable". The biggest issue with the area (compared to say 9th and Dickinson) is probably trash. People do love to litter even the people who live there. A lot of the liter I blame on those circulars that people put on doors.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista
2,472 posts, read 3,487,882 times
Reputation: 2202
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueensMoving View Post
Thanks for the thought-out reply. I definitely agree with a lot of what you said. The places we are looking at are right on the border of Passyunk - it's funny, two blocks either west or east and you are in a totally different neighborhood.

Regardless, I have heard that there are plans to redevelop the Mt Sinai lot so hopefully that bodes well for the neighborhood. If you don't mind my asking where did you guys end up moving?
Yea I've seen the news coming out about the redevelopment of Mt. Sinai and it looks like the complex will inevitably be redeveloped sooner or later. It's one of those things though where I'll have to see it to believe it though. I absolutely could not believe that nearby resident actually didn't like the original design because they said the density was too high and it didn't have enough parking. I can't imagine the person who would value an easy parking spot over living in a vibrant safe neighborhood... but this city sometimes feels like it's full of them.

We moved to Bella vista, just north of this area. It's something I sort of still regret because logically I know that place on 6th street was a MUCH better deal and statistically the neighborhood is not that bad and likely to only get better. I try to make decisions on logic and fact, but when you're thinking about the safety of your family it's hard not to let emotions get in the way. We're very happy in Bella Vista, but it's pricier and I'm not entirely sure that big markup is entirely worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sj08054 View Post
The biggest issue with the area (compared to say 9th and Dickinson) is probably trash. People do love to litter even the people who live there. A lot of the liter I blame on those circulars that people put on doors.
Again, this area is far from a warzone like some of the truly awful neighborhoods in Philly, but I think you're really whitewashing the issues this area has by saying it's biggest problem is litter. This is not a very large neighborhood and yet every year there are multiple homicides and rapes to go along with a large number of assaults and robberies. Poverty and crime is a real issue in this neighborhood, and to act like all it needs is a spring cleaning is naive.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
8,702 posts, read 12,377,954 times
Reputation: 3593
Not the worst part of South Philly. Not as bad as Point Breeze or Grays Ferry... and Point Breeze and Grays Ferry aren't even close to the worst neighborhoods in the city.

Dickinson Narrows is sketchy, but certainly getting better.
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