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View Poll Results: Next Neighborhood(s)
Templetown 2 5.71%
Point Breeze 8 22.86%
Gray's Ferry 0 0%
Pennsport 6 17.14%
Delaware Riverfront (Frankford to Washington Ave) 4 11.43%
East Mount Airy 6 17.14%
South Kensington 7 20.00%
Brewerytown 10 28.57%
OTHER 10 28.57%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-26-2019, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,209 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932

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I'll have some other comments on specific posts and some of my own picks in my next reply, but:

Please, please, PLEASE, folks, can we not call North Central Philadelphia "Templetown"?

One, the residents consider it a grave affront, for they perceive Temple's strategy for the area as something close to 180 degrees away from what Penn and Drexel have been doing in Powelton Village, Spruce Hill, Walnut Hill, West Powelton, Garden Court, Squirrel Hill, Cedar Park, and now even Cobbs Creek, which is providing incentives for all members of the university community to reside in those neighborhoods and working with residents to improve the quality of amenities, schools and the like.

Temple seems hell-bent on using only its students as a redevelopment tool and turning the part of North Central closest to its campus into an annex of it - a student ghetto surrounding a new stadium. That's not a strategy for long-term neighborhood revitalization with benefits for those already living there as well as the new arrivals. Both Penn and Drexel are focusing on the latter, and even La Salle, bless its cash-strapped heart, shot its wad on something its neighbors could use. And I can attest that they use it. So do I.

Two, it smacks of institutional imperialism. The residents have also been fighting that. Penn learned the lessons of the Bottom^WUniversity City Science Center. Someone needs to school Temple, if it will listen.

"North Central," please, people.
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,209 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
And now, time for me to jump into the pool from the high diving board, starting with the general criteria, keeping in mind our target year is now something more like 2023.

Starting with the original criteria:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
Ok, I know this topic has been beaten to death in the past, but I haven't seen much commentary on it recently. We all know our city is changing dramatically every several months, so with this said, in regards to the below parameters, by January 2020, what neighborhood(s) do you envision will have truly broken out?

Parameters:
1. Housing: Must have dramatic upswing of price points, and prices that are getting realized
2. Neighborhood: Must have made dramatic improvements so that not only locals realize a difference, but it becomes a destination of sorts beyond the immediate geography (think beginning of Passyunk Square)
3. Income: Must have new faces flooding into said neighborhood that also bring with them disposal income
4. Revitalization: By 2020, the neighborhood must also be actively sparking and supporting impactful redevelopment - both residential and commercial

NOTE: I won't include those neighborhoods that I feel have already arrived, but obviously feel free to include write-ins
(emphasis added)

Jane Jacobs wrote about the difference between "gradual money" and "cataclysmic money" in Death and Life, arguing that the latter was actually detrimental for the health of cities and city neighborhoods.

Now, what you're talking about here is not the kind of "cataclysmic money" she was referring to: she was talking about the wholesale bulldozing and large-scale rebuilding that characterized the "urban renewal" area. But I think that even the million-little-fish version of "cataclysmic money" is more problematic than what I've begun to call "organic revitalization" (the Jumpstart programs that originated in Germantown and are now popping up like mushrooms in disinvested neighborhoods all over the city are IMO good examples of the latter). Drip-irrigating the neighborhoods will IMO produce hardier plants than flooding them with money - and it won't drown the plants already there, as it's done (or threatens to do) in some areas already now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
Templetown - It will stay largely the same for the longterm future. Drexel and Penn (along with other large institutions) have managed to transform large sections of West Philly due to investment/ jobs and a more connected location. Temple doesn't have any of that. Developers can construct all the student housing they want, but it doesn't do much to improve or dramatically change the surrounding area.

Point Breeze - I think Point Breeze is poised to due to it bordering some of the city's most desirable neighborhoods. The problem with Point Breeze is the higher than usual racial and economic tension in the neighborhood. It is also Kenyettas territory and he dislikes wealthy white people. So Point Breeze is kinds of a question mark....
You just hit on the key difference between Penn/Drexel and West Philadelphia (their efforts are no longer confined strictly to U-City) and Temple and North Central with that "investment and jobs" comment and your remark about student housing. Temple isn't getting its faculty and staff involved in its "revitalization" effort at all, and the exclusively-student focus of its efforts won't bring with it durable improvement.

Point Breeze, Brewerytown, Pennsport, Dickinson Narrows and South (Old) Kensington are already happening. I wouldn't include them in this discussion of "next hot neighborhoods," even if there's plenty of reclamation potential left in all of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
What is unfortunate is that you literally have to get past some bad areas to get to the better W. Philly neighborhoods on the western fringe. I'm talking about most of Overbrook, all of Overbrook Farms and Overbrook Park, most of Cobbs Creek, Angora and Wynnefield/Wynnefield Heights.
At least south of Haverford Avenue, those "bad areas" are vanishing. South of Market, abandoned apartment buildings have been rebuilt and reoccupied in the 48th/Locust area, and old West Philadelphia High School is now market-rate apartments. I noticed new construction on the 5400 block of Chancellor when I went to visit a longtime friend who lives on that block last month.

In response to a Realtor's query in 2017, I picked Cobbs Creek as one of my three "Next Hot Neighborhoods of 2020." The other two were Bridesburg and Germantown. None of these three will meet the target date I picked, but I like the chances for Cobbs Creek in 2023. I don't think Germantown will become "hot" by then, but it will continue to improve - gradually, I hope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KansastoSouthphilly View Post
I could see East Mt. Airy being a next hot neighborhood if for no other reason than it offers something different than the other neighborhoods here. East Mt. Airy offers trees, a diverse housing stock, peace, in an environment that is more peaceful than the others on the list. I was part of the first "wave" of transplants to move to east to East Passyunk (2006/2007) and have noticed a recent increase in transplants moving to Mt. Airy that were also previously living in south Philly or Fishtown. Some see it as a better neighborhood to raise kids, others just like the relative peace. "Downtown" Mt. Airy has seen some improvement with the addition of a several new businesses recently. I think East Mt. Airy has more room to improve than WMA because WMA is already pretty expensive. Of course, this could all be wishful thinking on my part as a homeowner in EMA.
Keep an eye on my section at Phillymag. I'll have a data point for you early this coming week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
Good points. I don't think many regular posters know a ton about Pennsport (same location as Point Breeze, just 10-20 blocks east), but your above descriptions remind me of E. Moyamensing Ave. Can anyone list all the diagonal blvs. in the city and provide commentary?
The main "diagonal" thoroughfares were once turnpikes that led from (pre-consolidation) Philadelphia to surrounding communities or settlements. Going clockwise from south to southwest to northwest to north to northeast, they are:

Moyamensing Avenue
Passyunk Avenue
Woodland Avenue
Baltimore Avenue
Lancaster Avenue
Ridge Avenue
Germantown Avenue
Frankford Avenue

(Point Breeze, Grays Ferry, Elmwood, Chester, Ogontz, and Kensington avenues were either later additions, streets that didn't extend into the hinterland, or streets that ended in points further out from the original city.)

You might note that several of these - in particular, Baltimore, Lancaster, Germantown and Frankford avenues - are almost exclusively commercial or at least heavily so for their entire length in the city. The others have longer stretches where residences dominate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muinteoir View Post
I'm hoping someone can speak to the situation in Germantown and the Northwest. I realize it is considered a large neighborhood that is kind of "block by block," but is the market still appreciating? Will it continue to appreciate? I currently live in West Philly, and much as I like it here, I am looking for work and hoping to move and BUY a place North/Northwest part of the city for a few reasons. I love the better mix of urban with nature that area offers, and that it is overall more mixed-aged and not uni-centric.

The neighborhoods I am considering are Manayunk, Germantown, East Mt Airy, and Brewerytown. I'd even consider Strawberry Mansion, if it were a little further along in its revitalization (some of the the architecture there is out of this world beautiful). Germantown sticks out to me right now, because I notice so much pride and love for the 'hood from people who live there.

Of Brewerytown, Germantown, East Mt Airy and Manayunk, which real estate market has the most appreciation potential over the next couple of decades? I realize this would all be speculation.
Lots of Philadelphia neighborhoods have that "block by block" character. I can even show you neat, well-kept blocks in Strawberry Mansion or Fairhill. But it's perhaps most noticeable in Germantown because the well-kept blocks are often more affluent than the ones that aren't. Germantown may be a predominantly low-income neighborhood, but there are sizable pockets of middle-class and affluent residents - I'm pretty sure it's the only neighborhood in the city where the median household income is in the mid-$20k range yet five percent of the households earn $125k or more a year.

Some will no doubt take what I say with a grain of salt since I've become a cheerleader for the neighborhood I now call home, but I see plenty of evidence that the slow appreciation of property values in the neighborhood, especially on its west side, will continue. I hold out hope that it will be the neighborhood that finally shows the rest of the city how to gentrify the right way.

Manayunk has already appreciated: 2018 saw the first million-dollar existing-home sale and the first million-dollar new construction homes there. I'd say its upside potential is the lowest of the four because there's been so much construction and appreciation there already and it started from a higher base.

Because I think Germantown will continue to rise gradually, I'd say the shorter-term upside potential is greatest in Brewerytown, which still has a lot of vacant lots on which developers can build, and next greatest in East Mt. Airy.

PhilliesPhan2013 mentioned Harrowgate, and recent visits to some projects there lead me to believe he's on to something. This neighborhood may surprise us all in the next five years or so. (But a rap on your knuckles for calling it "Templetown" - and I'll deliver it personally the next time I see you. )

Also: Keep your eye on the Beury ("Boner4Ever") Building. I got wind that its owner is planning to change the previously announced redevelopment plan for it. Tioga, Nicetown and Franklinville won't get hot for quite a while, but I think that the fortunes of the busiest crossroads in the city outside Center City are going to rise soon, and maybe dramatically.

What happens in Sharswood depends on whether its principal landowner now manages to deliver on its promises. If past performance is any guide to future results, it won't, but I do now know that one of this city's most creative social impact developers will be one of the builders working on the land the PHA grabbed, so maybe there's still reason for hope. However, since that landowner has pretty much crowded out all opportunities for organic revitalization, I don't think we will see Sharswood on any lists of "hot neighborhoods" anytime soon.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:23 PM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,931,280 times
Reputation: 3628
Sandy, just "thanks" for also being positive about Cobbs Creek. Pennsport thinks we're bonkers however.
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia Pa
667 posts, read 452,723 times
Reputation: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Sandy, just "thanks" for also being positive about Cobbs Creek. Pennsport thinks we're bonkers however.
Lol. I really don’t see the Cobbs Creek that you guys obviously do. Hopefully, you two are right and I’m wrong. A revitalized Cobbs Creek would be awesome for our city.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:11 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,931,280 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
Lol. I really don’t see the Cobbs Creek that you guys obviously do. Hopefully, you two are right and I’m wrong. A revitalized Cobbs Creek would be awesome for our city.
So now it's funny to you....

Do you know anyone who lives there? Or anywhere in W. Philly which is not Univ. City?

Sandy, actually, found a 3rd party example of what some realtors think about it. So there's that.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
697 posts, read 284,738 times
Reputation: 1008
Thanks, MarketStEl. Your posts are always enjoyable to read. Yes, I realize I was hoping for a lot of speculation with that couple decades request.
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Old 01-27-2019, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia Pa
667 posts, read 452,723 times
Reputation: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
So now it's funny to you....

Do you know anyone who lives there? Or anywhere in W. Philly which is not Univ. City?

Sandy, actually, found a 3rd party example of what some realtors think about it. So there's that.
I was laughing at the “bonkers” comment. Not intended to be taken personally which it seems is how you have taken it. Well, time will tell. Hope you two are correct. I guess right now we simply disagree, which of course is completely fine and constructive.

As always, thanks for your opinions and input.
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Old 01-27-2019, 01:36 PM
 
609 posts, read 456,730 times
Reputation: 964
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I'll have some other comments on specific posts and some of my own picks in my next reply, but:

Please, please, PLEASE, folks, can we not call North Central Philadelphia "Templetown"?

One, the residents consider it a grave affront, for they perceive Temple's strategy for the area as something close to 180 degrees away from what Penn and Drexel have been doing in Powelton Village, Spruce Hill, Walnut Hill, West Powelton, Garden Court, Squirrel Hill, Cedar Park, and now even Cobbs Creek, which is providing incentives for all members of the university community to reside in those neighborhoods and working with residents to improve the quality of amenities, schools and the like.

Temple seems hell-bent on using only its students as a redevelopment tool and turning the part of North Central closest to its campus into an annex of it - a student ghetto surrounding a new stadium. That's not a strategy for long-term neighborhood revitalization with benefits for those already living there as well as the new arrivals. Both Penn and Drexel are focusing on the latter, and even La Salle, bless its cash-strapped heart, shot its wad on something its neighbors could use. And I can attest that they use it. So do I.

Two, it smacks of institutional imperialism. The residents have also been fighting that. Penn learned the lessons of the Bottom^WUniversity City Science Center. Someone needs to school Temple, if it will listen.

"North Central," please, people.
As long as councilmanic prerogative exists Temple isn’t getting approval for a stadium. They’ve been trying to get one built on campus for thirty years. The site of the Liacouras Center, Boyer Theatre etc was supposed to be a 35k seat domed stadium modeled on the Carrier Dome. A personal dispute between then Council member John Street and Liacouras is the reason it wasn’t built.

As for imperialsim ... Temple did not do as Penn did and use its political muscle to have an entire black neighborhood forcibly removed and have most of that land turned over to Penn. And lack of land is one of Temple’s fundamental problems and the source of much of the tension with the surrounding neighborhood.

Temple has 1/3 Penn’s land area and more than double Penn’s undergrad enrollment. Temple would have had an extremely difficult time surviving as an R1 university if it remained a commuter school which given its enrollment, available land and testy relationship with the neighbors meant that the transition to a predominantly residential undergrad school was destined to be highly contentious. Temple did get some land from the RDA in the ‘50s but Temple’s expansion pales in comparison to Penn, Drexel and U City Science Center.

You’re ignoring history as well. One of the reasons students began to congregate west of campus was the massive depopulation and devaluation of buildings that preceded the arrival of Tempe students. I have a friend who lived in a frat on Broad Street in the mid 1980s. The block of Sydenham Street behind the frat house was already less than 50% occupied by then and it only got worse from there. At that time Temple housed a decent number of undergrads in Center City and a sizeable number of Temple undergrads rented in Center City on their own as well. But then rents in Center City started to rise and Temple was also courting more traditional undergrad students and voila, developers started renovating shells and marketing them to students. Nothing remotely similar ever happened west of Penn’s campus not to mention that white people and middle class black people never completely abandoned Spruce Hill, Garden Court or Cedar Park. That fact made a huge difference in the relationship between Penn and those neighborhoods.

My point isn’t that Temple hasn’t made its share of mistakes in community relations. The most recent stadium effort is classic case of Temple needlessly shooting itself in the foot. My point that people crap on Temple while giving Penn a pass for expanding campus and establishing a physical buffer decades before doing anything west of 40th street. And everyone seems to forget that the taxpayers of Philadelphia paid for a new building for Penn Alexander and the school district went out of their way to draw the catchment boundary to exclude their greatest number of lower income black children possible.

Aside from having far more money, Penn has had a slew of other advantages not available to Temple. It hasnt been possible at any point in the past fifty years to create a public school catchment in Temple’s vicinity that was anything other than 100% low-income and 100% black. And Penn Alexander is arguably the single biggest factor in gentrification west of Penn’s campus over the past twenty years.

Last edited by BR Valentine; 01-27-2019 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 01-28-2019, 05:15 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
940 posts, read 258,904 times
Reputation: 1386
Bridesburg. Yes, Bridesburg.


Good, safe schools, the neighborhood itself is one of the safest, cleanest in the city, diverse housing stock and new residents don't have to feel as if they're 'urban pioneers.' It isn't 'block to block,' as you can feel safe walking any street in the neighborhood at any hour.
Closer to Downtown than many think or want to believe .


Bridesburg may not be as racially diverse as some would like, but that's been a strength for decades. Although, in the past couple of years Asian families have been moving in and paying good money to do so.


A small rowhome on my parents' street just sold for 208K. Nobody saw that coming five years ago.
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Old 01-28-2019, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,209 posts, read 3,048,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana Tony View Post
Bridesburg. Yes, Bridesburg.


Good, safe schools, the neighborhood itself is one of the safest, cleanest in the city, diverse housing stock and new residents don't have to feel as if they're 'urban pioneers.' It isn't 'block to block,' as you can feel safe walking any street in the neighborhood at any hour.
Closer to Downtown than many think or want to believe .


Bridesburg may not be as racially diverse as some would like, but that's been a strength for decades. Although, in the past couple of years Asian families have been moving in and paying good money to do so.


A small rowhome on my parents' street just sold for 208K. Nobody saw that coming five years ago.
See my post #52 above.

East and West Mt. Airy, however, prove that a good racial/ethnic mix can also be a strength.
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