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View Poll Results: Which formerly forlorn sections of the city will see the most transformative changes in the 2020s?
Lower North Philly 10 29.41%
Central North Philly 1 2.94%
Upper North Philly 1 2.94%
West Philly--South of Market 7 20.59%
West Philly--North of Market 3 8.82%
Southwest Philly 2 5.88%
Kensington 9 26.47%
Frankford 1 2.94%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-12-2019, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,551 posts, read 2,711,899 times
Reputation: 3500

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KansastoSouthphilly View Post
I agree. I think it is telling that when the Germantown rehabs do appear on the market none of them seem to sit for very long. To me that indicates that the demand already exists but the investors have not discovered the market yet. I've known a few Mt. Airy folks that have moved to Germantown to buy a house (they were renters) or to be able to buy a bigger house as their family grew. I imagine much of the development will crowd around the Mt. Airy border and slowly work its way down.

I think Germantown has been lagging on the business front but there have been some recent signs of life. The relatively recent openings of Uncle Bobbies/Germantown Espresso/Ultimo is certainly positive. The opening of the cupcake cafe and Jesisy's is another. I believe there is a Cidery opening soon on the Germantown section of the Avenue. I've also heard good things about Jr. Billy's smokehouse on Chelten but haven't tried it yet myself. I hope this trend continues. Ultimately what dissuaded me from purchasing in Germantown vs. Mt. Airy was the sense that there was not much for me to do in walking distance. I like being able to walk to get coffee/dinner/drinks. That seems to be slowly changing.

I also think Germantown needs to better promote some of their already existing amenities. I'm thinking of Rittenhouse Soundworks and la rose jazz club.
1) Keep an eye on the area around Wayne Junction. Our #1 commercial real estate developer, Ken Weinstein, just moved his company's offices back to the neighborhood where he got started - Germantown - because he's placed a big bet on its future. A social-impact real estate investment firm, Mosaic Investment Partners, is along for the ride. The new home for Philly Office Retail and a co-working facility aimed at Jumpstart Germantown grads are just up the hill from Wayne Junction, in a former school Weinstein bought a few years back.

2) I refer to UB's as "the place Germantown didn't know it wanted until it opened." it's almost always busy at any hour of the day. Owner Marc Lamont Hill may lament that the less well off pass his place by on their way from a social service agency to his south to B&B Breakfast and Lunch to his north, but his middle-class patrons do more than enough to keep the place afloat. The Espresso Bar isn't as busy, but it draws a steady clientele with a slightly more countercultural flavor, as befits its owners too. (One of the things that struck me about Germantown when I first ventured into it 36 years ago was that countercultural vibe that hung in the air over it.)

3) I call La Rose "the best jazz club you've never heard of." You might also add iMpErfECt Gallery to the list as well.

4) Glad to know I've got backup for my arguments.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,914 posts, read 10,618,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
1) Keep an eye on the area around Wayne Junction. Our #1 commercial real estate developer, Ken Weinstein, just moved his company's offices back to the neighborhood where he got started - Germantown - because he's placed a big bet on its future. A social-impact real estate investment firm, Mosaic Investment Partners, is along for the ride. The new home for Philly Office Retail and a co-working facility aimed at Jumpstart Germantown grads are just up the hill from Wayne Junction, in a former school Weinstein bought a few years back.

2) I refer to UB's as "the place Germantown didn't know it wanted until it opened." it's almost always busy at any hour of the day. Owner Marc Lamont Hill may lament that the less well off pass his place by on their way from a social service agency to his south to B&B Breakfast and Lunch to his north, but his middle-class patrons do more than enough to keep the place afloat. The Espresso Bar isn't as busy, but it draws a steady clientele with a slightly more countercultural flavor, as befits its owners too. (One of the things that struck me about Germantown when I first ventured into it 36 years ago was that countercultural vibe that hung in the air over it.)

3) I call La Rose "the best jazz club you've never heard of." You might also add iMpErfECt Gallery to the list as well.

4) Glad to know I've got backup for my arguments.
When Ultimo announced their plans for another coffee shop I thought that many couldn't exist so close together but they seem to be very busy everyday as well. Also---Lily of the Valley bakery recently opened near me --it is black owned and seems to be doing well.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,914 posts, read 10,618,071 times
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Also, another stat that those "in the know" real estate investors have long known---Germantown has traditionally had the highest rent/price ratio in the entire city. Meaning rents are much higher than sales would seem to dictate. This may have changed now that home prices have been rising so dramatically, but investors and landlords have long seen the potential here.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,551 posts, read 2,711,899 times
Reputation: 3500
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2e1m5a View Post
Also, another stat that those "in the know" real estate investors have long known---Germantown has traditionally had the highest rent/price ratio in the entire city. Meaning rents are much higher than sales would seem to dictate. This may have changed now that home prices have been rising so dramatically, but investors and landlords have long seen the potential here.
I suspect that's truer on the west side than the east side.

I live on the east side because I found (or rather, my landlord showed me) a bargain apartment.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:16 PM
 
9,932 posts, read 5,631,457 times
Reputation: 3478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
Karen, I never told you or anyone else to sell houses for pennies on the dollar. I have no idea where you got blatantly incorrect story from. Ok, you guys win. Germantown is headed up due to homegrown reinvestment and focus.
I remember a conversation about how some black home owners, in your opinion, should sell their homes in gentrifying neighborhoods and move to less expensive areas. My view is the opposite. They should stay where they are and gain the wealth that could accrue by staying put. You were opposed to long time residents in those communities getting real estate tax benefits in order to help them remain.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Plymouth Meeting, PA.
4,242 posts, read 2,151,268 times
Reputation: 2014
Frankford is now a total ghetto and wont see a transformation for at least the next two decades.
Can't wait to sell my family s home and be done with the city.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Plymouth Meeting, PA.
4,242 posts, read 2,151,268 times
Reputation: 2014
and may can't afford the taxes as the value of the properties rise.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
I remember a conversation about how some black home owners, in your opinion, should sell their homes in gentrifying neighborhoods and move to less expensive areas. My view is the opposite. They should stay where they are and gain the wealth that could accrue by staying put. You were opposed to long time residents in those communities getting real estate tax benefits in order to help them remain.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,551 posts, read 2,711,899 times
Reputation: 3500
Quote:
Originally Posted by FKD19124 View Post
and may can't afford the taxes as the value of the properties rise.
We know how to take care of that problem. We already have a program that lets longtime homeowners effectively cut their property taxes as long as they remain at their current addresses.

We can design other tweaks if that's not enough.

I wouldn't stop "gentrification" because of this for the reasons kyb01 already gave. I'd double down on the circuit breakers for the current residents.
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:56 PM
 
32 posts, read 6,264 times
Reputation: 75
I'll throw this suggestion out as it doesn't seem to have been mentioned so far.

Powelton Village?

Cycled through the area last weekend when it thawed on Sunday. Some handsome blocks of Victorian houses. Close to Drexel and Penn. One of the closest areas to Center City/train station. If Schuylkill yards ever takes off, Powelton Village could be completely transformed from its current student ghetto to something much nicer. Might be worth investing in a property in there if willing to hold it to it for the long haul.
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,551 posts, read 2,711,899 times
Reputation: 3500
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXBtoFL View Post
I'll throw this suggestion out as it doesn't seem to have been mentioned so far.

Powelton Village?

Cycled through the area last weekend when it thawed on Sunday. Some handsome blocks of Victorian houses. Close to Drexel and Penn. One of the closest areas to Center City/train station. If Schuylkill yards ever takes off, Powelton Village could be completely transformed from its current student ghetto to something much nicer. Might be worth investing in a property in there if willing to hold it to it for the long haul.
Powelton Village has never really fallen into the "forlorn" category - like Spruce Hill to Penn's immediate west, it's not all students living there. Its neighborhood grade school, Samuel Powel (K-4), has historically been among the best in the city, and it has an active and involved civic association.

Truth to tell, it's not that much of a student ghetto, period. The Drexel student presence is really noticeable only along its southern edge.

Cross Spring Garden Street, however, and you enter Mantua, which has suffered from disinvestment and abandonment. There are a lot of aware people in Mantua with some strong opinions of what the neighborhood should become - there was a group there in the 1980s that had as its motto "plan or be planned for," and it's one of those low-income neighborhoods with an active civic association (not just a community development corporation) - but not enough resources to bring about major transformation, at least not yet.

Edited to add: Back in 2014, some faculty and students at Temple's Tyler School of Art and its affiliated Temple Contemporary staged a funeral for a sad-sack Mantua rowhouse in order to make a point about everyday people:

Death of a Rowhome | Philadelphia Magazine
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