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November 1, 2018

How Fishtown, Philadelphia Became America’s Hottest New Neighborhood

PHOTO BY PETER LANE TAYLOR

Every Friday afternoon at 5:30 pm the doors of “the El­”—one of America’s oldest elevated subways—swoosh open at Girard and Berks Street stations, unleashing a stampede of Millennials, yuppies, hipsters, entrepreneurs, and empty nesters onto Front Street.

As fast as the doors close, they scatter east down a maze of narrow streets swirling with trash, bumping shoulders with the occasional heroin addict and scrappers pushing shopping carts piled high with salvaged sheet metal. Nobody blinks.

An average night at Frankford HallMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWM.CO

A half dozen blocks away from their newly-built, half-million dollar townhomes, the lines twist out the doors at Pizzeria Beddia and Frankford Hall, two of Philadelphia’s hottest foodie spots. Across the street, Johnny Brenda’s is already packed—hosting as they have for over a decade one of America’s hottest indie rock bands. Mothers pushing strollers window shop past Lululemon along Frankford Avenue’s buzzing retail corridor fronted with wine barscoffee shopscouture boutiquesyoga studios, a vintage motorcycle joint, and an Argentinian tango dance school.

Visually the dichotomies are jarring. Culturally the contradictions are even more confusing. Yet when the El disgorges its “New Fish” every afternoon it epitomizes the driving forces behind Fishtown’s warp-speed transformation, and the demographics fueling America’s new urban revolution.

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The El at Berks Street station, Fishtown PhiladelphiaPETER LANE TAYLOR/PLT

The El links Fishtown with downtown Philadelphia in less than nine minutes. When it was built in the early 20th century the El was the city’s transportation crown jewel, threading together a booming corridor of working class neighborhoods made up of mostly Irish Catholic and Eastern European immigrants. As many of them de-populated with suburbanization in the 70s and 80s, the El fell on harder times. The cars smelled like piss and cheesesteaks on the weekends. Underneath the tracks, Front Street and Kensington Avenue became two of Philadelphia’s most crime-infested drug corridors.

Today, the El is held up by local politicians, developers, and the media as the foundation of Philadelphia’s new model for Transit Oriented Development. It’s also magnetizing a new generation of Millennials, Baby Boomers, and young professionals who are summarily rejecting suburbia, car culture, and food deserts in favor of independently-owned retailers, farm-to-table restaurants, and the new self-supporting micro-economy to move back downtown again.

New FishMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Famous for murals. More famous for foodMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Everything about Fishtown’s resurgence makes sense when you look at it on Google Earth.

It’s wedged into Philadelphia just north of downtown like an anvil at the first sharp right turn in the Delaware River. The El hems in its western border. To the east, I-95 connects Fishtown to New Jersey, New York, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. in less than two hours. Trolley and bus routes fan out in every direction from there through a checkerboard of community gardens, dog parks, and green space.

When you zoom in closer, the blocks harden into tidy grids of brick and brownstone row homes. Density on this scale a few decades ago fueled Philadelphia’s urban flight. Today, Fishtown’s mass and disconnected connectedness are the envy of every American neighborhood trying to reinvent itself. So are the real estate stats.

Fishtown’s density and disconnectedness are why it’s booming

Tidy and orderly, but scorching the real estate statsMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Home values here have nearly tripled since the Great Recession. Most single-family houses have an accepted offer in less than four weeks. Many sell in bidding wars. The current sale to list ratio is a scorching 98.8%, going toe to toe with Williamsburg (Brooklyn) and Washington, D.C. Two decades ago Fishtown was a dirty Philadelphia real estate word. Now every realtor in the city is trying to bolt another neighborhood onto it.

The national accolades are even more eye-popping. In 2015 Bon Appetit ranked Pizzeria Beddia America’s best pie. Philly Style Bagels’ Classic Lox Sandwich took home the magazine’s prize for the country’s best sandwich the following year. Last summer Jay-Z tapped local bake shop Cake Life to make Beyonce’s birthday cake. Zagat just anointed Lebanese-themed SurayaPhiladelphia’s hottest new restaurant opening. Most recently, Wm. Mulherin’s Sons was crowned America’s best new hotel.

Think about that for a second: a four-room, retro-chic neighborhood hotel reclaimed from an old whiskey distilling factory barely a year ago—fifteen-feet from the rumbling El—just beat out the newest launches from Waldorf Astoria and Ritz Carlton on the beach.

Beyonce’s birthday cake took six people three days to makeCOURTESY OF CAKE LIFE

Philly Style Bagels’. Makers of America’s Best Sandwich 2016MATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

One of America’s best hotel rooms 2017MATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR WM. MULHERIN’S SONS

Pizza guru Joe Beddia. Best pie in America 2015MATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Not surprisingly, the outside money into Fishtown has started pouring in. Small-scale flippers are all of a sudden getting squeezed out by New York City developers snatching up every warehouse left for sale. Demand shows no sign of slowing down. At the rate things are going there won’t be an empty lot left by 2020.

The new normal is making some locals nervous. Newcomers don’t want the secret getting out. Older residents fear the parking wars to come as rumors swirl that 19125 is about to be annexed as New York City’s “6th Borough”. Other long-time residents who’ve owned their parents’ houses mortgage-free for decades, however, are laughing all the way to the bank.

The dream commute—Berks Street station to Center City in nine minutesPETER LANE TAYLOR/PLT

Part of Fishtown’s boomerang is simple supply and demand.

As Philadelphia’s downtown rents have climbed steadily for decades, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and artists have been increasingly forced out of center city. The first wave moved into Northern Liberties fifteen years ago, Fishtown’s southern neighbor. Forward-thinking investors always knew that Fishtown was next.

The other part of Fishtown’s explosion, however, is something that’s harder to put your finger on. There are a dozen other neighborhoods closer to downtown Philadelphia with an established historic housing stock and vacant lots that still can’t quite get it together.

Fishtown’s boom raises complicated questions about how urban revitalization works in some places and not others. Why Fishtown? Why now? And more importantly how did a historically working-class neighborhood shoved up against an industrially developed river become the new American model for making a neighborhood thrive again?

At one point in the 1990s Fishtown had more than 1100 vacant lots according to a survey by the New Kensington Community Development Corporation. They commissioned murals in responsePETER LANE TAYLOR/PLT

Fishtown didn’t always look like this.

When Rick Miller moved to Fishtown’s fringe twelve years ago just off Front Street, his second purchase after his house was a pit bull. His neighbors on either side were entrenched dealers who catered to a steady stream of heroin addicts.

“This place was rough,” Miller, a home building executive, tells me. “But it was the only neighborhood where my wife and I could find a house in Philadelphia with a yard, three bedrooms, and street parking for under $200,000. There were hookers and drunks outside our door almost every morning. But the neighborhood was also full of families who’d been here for years. It was stable and sketchy all at the same time.” Today Miller’s neighbors across the street are Ph.D. students and stock analysts who live in newly built townhomes with designer kitchens and roof deck views of Philadelphia’s skyline.

Fishtown’s core never got as dicey, even in the late 70s and 80s when the factories started shutting down. There were the occasional addicts and pimps. Gangs from neighboring Kensington or Port Richmond sometimes tried to elbow in. But “Old Fish” always held the borders and self-policed. Bad seeds didn’t last. Problems got solved. Often with a pipe.

FIshtown was never not a tight-knit, cohesive neighborhoodPETER LANE TAYLOR/PLT

Fishtown’s fists-up, survivalist identity has been genetic for more than two centuries. It boomed and busted a few times, mostly in step with the larger economy. But it was never not a neighborhood, nor fell into irrecoverable, architectural disrepair. It was always a place where parents raised families on blocks where everyone knew each other, whose kids played together in the streets, who in turn married other Fish and raised new families a few houses away.

For outsiders, some of the pipe-and-heroin stereotypes persist. But Fishtown’s essential identity as a safe, cohesive, creative, working neighborhood isn’t something that planners or politicians can conjure into being out of thin air. Not surprisingly, its resurgence doesn’t surprise any of the locals who’ve lived here the longest.

Fishtown was an American industrial powerhouse before WWII

Cass Sparks was born in Fishtown in 1934. Her grandfather immigrated here from Ireland in 1890 and joined the Navy. Her father was a cop who worked the beat. Today, she’s the matriarch of four generations of Old Fish most of whom still live within a few blocks of one another.

Sparks’ memories growing up here are typical of those who were raised in blue-collar East Coast neighborhoods during the Great Depression and WWII. Men worked the factories and docks. Women raised the children. Neighborhoods stuck together like clans. At the time, Fishtown was an American industrial powerhouse, including Stetson Hats, the Slinky, and Penn Reels. Sparks’ friends and neighbors were the immigrants who defined the early 20th century American Dream and kept it humming in the trenches.

“People didn’t leave Fishtown because they couldn’t afford to,” Sparks recalls. “But if you wanted a new job, you could just quit and walk next door and find a better one. We looked after each other. We kept things clean. We kept the neighborhood safe. We took pride in what we had and what we made. There was always something special about this place, and everyone knew it. That’s never changed.”

As the Delaware River goes, Fishtown has always followed

When Sparks moved out of her parents’ home in 1957, she bought her first house with her husband for $12,000. When I ask her about the new half-million dollar townhomes going up across the street, Sparks responds simply that America’s greatest resilience is adaptation.

“The improvements here have always been brought about by the people who live in the neighborhood. It’s always happened house by house, block by block for generations. The new people who are moving in now are doing the same thing all over again,” she says. “They’re the new immigrants. Change is inevitable.”

New FishMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

In this way, Fishtown’s story isn’t about a Renaissance or reinvention. It never needed a makeover in the first place. Fishtown’s story is about a distinctly American kind of demographic change—and how neighborhoods organically and purposefully evolve to retain the best of themselves, yet at the same time become more diverse, prosperous, and economically sustainable over time. For other cities seeking to re-imagine their own historic downtowns, it’s also a political playbook on how to leverage a community’s existing, working fabric without tearing the old-school threads apart.

Johnny Brenda’s sign hasn’t changed in more than half a centuryMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Paul Kimport at JBsMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

No matter who you talk to Paul Kimport and William Reed are roundly credited with making the first move that put Fishtown back on the map.

In 2003 the duo who already opened Northern Liberties’ Standard Tapdecided to buy an old boxer’s bar at the corner of Frankford and Girard Avenues. At the time Johnny Brenda’s was a legendary local dive in the best sense of the word. It started serving shots to the nightshift crew at 7:00 am. By mid-afternoon the neighborhood kids hustled outside for six-packs and smokes. After work it catered to the Bud and broken pool stick crowd. Brawls frequently spilled into the street.

JB’s red felt pool table hasn’t changed eitherMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

But in “JBs”—and in Fishtown—Kimpton and Reed saw an opening to do something transformative. Like they had in Northern Liberties, they saw a neighborhood that was changing, and a new demographic looking for more than Schlitz and sucker-punches. The location was perfect. So was the building.

“The biggest challenge for us when we first bought the bar was figuring out how we could get locals and newcomers to come together without beating each other up,” Kimport recalls, “Fishtown was always a tight, local neighborhood. But in the early 2000s there were also a lot of new people moving in here. We ultimately realized that everyone basically wanted the same thing. And if we could create that, this place would be a success.”

JB’s interior is still the perfect place to hide during the middle of the dayMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

That “same thing” turned out to be much more than just another corner bar. After re-vamping JB’s interior, which included running underground piping to put dozens of local micro-brews and wines on tap, and gentrifying the menu guided by an executive chef (that would be Kimport), Kimport and Reed bought the two buildings behind them in 2006, busted through the walls, and turned Johnny Brenda’s 2nd floor into arguably America’s hottest small-scale indie rock venue.

JBs’ music quickly became a magnet. Within a few years, the road to success for every up-and-coming indie band and DJ in America at some point ran through JBs’ sound booth. JBs’ notoriety also attracted the attention of developers throughout Philadelphia and beyond, who quickly saw what Kimport and Reed had already learned: Fishtown’s geography was inevitable, the neighborhood was bullet proof, and the potential was huge.

“We didn’t really know what we were doing in Fishtown or what our goal for JBs was when we bought the place,” says Kimport. “But we always knew that the fundamentals here were perfect. Fishtown just needed time to be rediscovered.”

Trolleys still run through Fishtown up Girard from the hub on the Delaware River.MATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Fishtown always had all of the elements of an American urban villageMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact moment when any neighborhood turns. Gentrification and de-population often grind away imperceptibly like glaciers. Kimport and Reed never set out to transform Fishtown on a grand scale. It was a young, up-and-coming developer named Roland Kassis who did.

Roland Kassis at his new Lebanese-themed restaurant SurayaPETER LANE TAYLOR/PLT

Kassis clocks in at 5’7”, a buck forty, mildly pugilistic, and kinetically relentless. When you roll around town with him in his Range Rover there’s no one he doesn’t know. In the same sentence he can be both charming and brawlish. Which is precisely why Fishtown let him in.

Kassis grew up in the 1980s splitting his time between Lebanon and Liberia, swapping one civil war for another. At 16, he immigrated to a small city just north of Philadelphia where he lived with an aunt and uncle who he barely knew. Last year, Philadelphia Magazine ranked him one of the city’s 100 most influential people and the “Developer To Emulate”.

The Mediterranean meets FishtownPETER LANE TAYLOR/PLT

Kassis put his first roots down in Fishtown in 2006 in the fast and furious days before the Great Recession. Downtown Philadelphia was booming. Word about Johnny Brenda’s was spreading. In Fishtown, however, most of Frankford Avenue and Front Street still looked like a post-industrial badland. As a developer at the time, Kassis was green. But his long-term optics on real estate were always framed through a wider lens. Kassis intuitively foresaw buildings as living things that could transform neighborhoods through human experience. Profit would follow if you did it right.

Kassis acquired his first Frankford Avenue property in 2006—a mash-up of three old industrial storefronts. Early the next year, he bought an abandoned brewery across the street without a roof that looked “like a bombed out building in Beruit”.

La ColombeMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Fette SauMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

“I was new to the commercial real estate world back then,” Kassis tells me. “But real estate was booming everywhere in Philadelphia. So I started buying up everything I could in areas that I had a good feeling about. I always had a good feeling about Fishtown.”

Kassis’s monopoly game came to a screeching halt in fall 2007 when the Recession hit. Unexpectedly, it gave him a timeout to pause, sort through his principles for adaptive re-use, and think about what a vibrant vision for Fishtown might actually look like.

“I remembered growing up in Europe that cities are like villages, just on a larger scale,” Kassis recalls. “Neighborhoods don’t grow in a vacuum. Villages become sustainable when there’s a commercial core at their heart. Everything grows outwards from there. Fishtown was an urban village waiting to happen.”

Welcome to FishtownMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

When the Recession started to thaw, Kassis doubled down. He borrowed hard money, quietly snatched up dozens of vacant warehouses and empty lots along Frankford and Front, and consolidated the ones he already owned. He started knocking down the walls, dropping in skylights, and reclaiming the 100-year old trusses and beams from one warehouse to renovate another. Before anyone knew it, Kassis owned over half of main street Fishtown for more than eight blocks north and south of Johnny Brenda’s.

At the same time, Kassis the salesman took the hard sell to every up-and-coming business and entrepreneur in Philadelphia who would listen: Fishtown is about to go big.

Trust mePETER LANE TAYLOR/PLT

Kassis’s tipping point happened in 2010 when he pitched restaurant-whisperer Stephen Starr on re-imagining his bombed out Beruit-style hole on Frankford into an open-air, German-themed beer garden. Kassis repointed the brick walls, sent his architect to Bavaria, and sought out the finest German micro-brews and bratwurst in town. After finally seeing Fishtown’s potential and Kassis’s concept for himself, Starr got on board. They opened Frankford Hall together in 2011. It’s now Philadelphia’s most iconic foodie-brew destination in the city that helped to put the American ‘biergarten’ experience on the map.

Summer and whiskey at Fette SauMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Prairie to table at Kensington QuartersMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Frankford Avenue’s floodgates opened shortly after that. Fette Sau, another award-winning Starr-Kassis collaboration inspired by whiskey and boutique, barbarian-style BBQ, filled in the adjacent property in 2013. Mid-century themed Root launched next door in 2015, followed by Cheu Fishtown, offal-heaven Kensington QuartersFishtown Social, and Cake Life up the street, which was started by Lily Fischer and Nima Etemodi who were Finalists on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons opened its rustic-chic Italian bar and restaurant on Front Street a year later in fall 2016, shattering every record for what Fishtown could charge for a plate of anything while packing tables every night. More than two dozen award-winning-in-any-other-neighborhood joints now fill in every block in between Front and Girard—including the likes of Martha , KraftWorkSketch BurgerSoup KitchenEvil Genius BreweryLoco Pez, and the Balboa Supper Club. To call Fishtown Philadelphia’s most energetic and innovative foodie neighborhood might piss some other hoods off. But it wouldn’t be an overstatement.

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons invites you in and makes it hard to leaveMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Dollar taco night at Loco Pez has a line out the doorMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

The good life at Cake Life. Lily and Nima, foundersMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Panels under the main bar of the Fillmore Philadelphia resemble visual elements of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Food always played an outsized role in Fishtown’s resurgence.

More recently, a thriving new entertainment and entrepreneurial ecosystem has backfilled in behind the cuisine. Sugarhouse Casino launched first in 2010, staking out a highly visible corner at the base of Frankford Avenue on the Delaware River. The Fillmore Philadelphia and comedy club Punch Line Philly opened up their doors up the street a few years later. Post-apocalyptic restaurant Mad Rex went live late last year, filling in one of the last wedges left at Fishtown’s southern apex. Sugarhouse just completed a major renovation last year including a new entertainment venue and steak house. Two new museum openings are planned for 2019 just up the street.

Boutique ToileMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Urban economists like to call this kind of interconnected, organic growth the new ‘micro-economy’. What it means practically is that Frankford Avenue’s dozen blocks extending up from the Sugarhouse now comprises one of the lowest turnover urban corridors in America, including headquartering national firms like La ColombeHoneyGrowBlue Cadet, and O3. Further downstream it’s also incubating dozens of other small-scale start-ups and retailers—like craft distilleries, brewers, organic markets, apparel and graphic designers—who are in turn attracting new talent, fresh ideas, and investing back into the neighborhood’s creative, intellectual drive train.

Boutique VestigeMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Amrita YogaMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

LuluLemon LocalMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Painting Fishtown as an urban panacea would be misleading, however. Some streets look like the trash hasn’t been picked up in weeks. There are still growing pains to come. But trash isn’t an intractable problem. Fear of change, enmity towards newcomers, and resentment about revitalization are.

Fishtown has largely avoided these pitfalls—mostly because the people who first invested in its re-development knew they didn’t have a choice. When Kimport, Kassis, and Randy Cook of Wm. Mulherin’s Sons wanted variances for outdoor seating, late night hours, and hotel rooms, community groups like the New Kensington Community Development Corporation and the Fishtown Neighbors Association convinced them to knock on doors and ask for input. They held public meetings. In the process, they earned the neighborhood’s trust. Fishtown’s new commercial biodiversity means that the neighborhood is more inherently resistant to long-term environmental shocks regardless of how the demographics keep changing. Everyone here now seems to agree that’s a good thing.

Some things make everyone happyMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

Especially when public art thrivesMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

In this way, what’s instructive about Fishtown’s resurgence isn’t just what it did. It’s what it didn’t do. Large-scale developments and by-right zoning changes pushed by outside real estate speculators have been universally shot down. National retailers have been hosed out. The democracy of re-development has often been raucous, table-banging, and sometimes physical. But no one person’s vision about what was right for the neighborhood ever unilaterally prevailed. Which is exactly how everyone involved and invested here always expected it to play out. Because that’s what always made the neighborhood work in the first place.

Roland Kassis’s new boutique hotel will have a rooftop poolMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

As for Fishtown’s future, the bull market shows no sign of deceleration. Single-family housing is tightening. Prices are surging. Newcomers looking for a last piece of the early action are quickly realizing that Fishtown’s window is closing.

Commercially the pace is moving even faster. Randy Cook is opening his second restaurant next door to Wm. Mulherin’s Sons next month. A few blocks away Kassis is about to break ground on a boutique, 135-room art-inspired hotel gutted from an old brewery building with a glass infinity pool cantilevered off the roof next to Frankford Hall in partnership with NYC architect Morris Adjmi and entrepreneur Avi Brosh, who’s been pioneering the luxury extended-stay hotel model on the West Coast for years.

Fishtown’s political winds are shifting as well. Last year Kassis convinced Philadelphia and Pennsylvania state officials to consider designating parts of Fishtown a Keystone Opportunity Zone, which would stimulate further commercial development and local entrepreneurship by providing business incentives and tax relief. Fishtown Co, a collaboration of local businesses and entrepreneurs, just launched last month to promote Fishtown’s cultural resurgence to the rest of Philadelphia and the world. The NKCDC and FNA are more engaged than ever.

The future of Transit Oriented Development lies right hereMATTHEW WILLIAMS FOR FISHTOWN.CO

If there’s a single visual symbol of Fishtown’s comeback, it’s under the rumbling El. All along Front Street between the Girard and Berks Street stations, the pimps and dealers are gone—replaced by velvet ropes and valet parking on the weekends and a real estate frenzy every day in between. New mixed-use residential/retail developments are filling in empty lots that were abandoned as recently as six months ago. Uber surge pricing is standard. Local markets now stock gluten-free pasta and cruelty-free honey.

Onion Flats, a long-time sustainable developer which previously made its name in Northern Liberties, is leading the charge north up Front breaking ground this month a 28-unit apartment building designed to Passive House net-zero energy standards across the street from Berks Street El station. Right next door the design-development firm is simultaneously renovating two historic bank buildings that are arguably the most architecturally significant landmarks left in the neighborhood. One of them has high-end steakhouse written all over it.

Onion Flats partners Tim McDonald, Pat McDonald, Howard Steinberg, and Johnny McDonald inside of Fishtown’s  Bank Flats on Front StreetPETER LANE TAYLOR/PLT

The solar-inspired, net-zer0 future of Front Street looks pretty sweetCOURTESY OF ONION FLATS

“Fishtown always had the ingredients of a great neighborhood,” says Wm. Mulherin’s Sons’ Cook. “It just needed some people to take a risk on it again. Look at what’s happened here in just a few years. Look at the names who are involved here now. This place used to feel like the edge of the world. It used to be under the radar. Now it feels like the center of Philadelphia.”

Note to Fishtown: The secret is officially out.

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October 26, 2018

Turnkey Properties – A Hands Off Real Estate Investment

Hands Off Real Estate Investment

With over 50 years of combined executive experience, we know how to generate our clients’ passive incomes, so let us do it for you (DIFY).

How our Turnkey Properties System Works

Acquisition Process

We conduct an extensive survey of the market to find the best available investment properties. We acquire our Turnkey Properties through brokers, wholesalers, auctions, bank foreclosures, short sales, and tax sales.

Turnkey Property Pro will work with you to identify what your long-term goals are, and find the best available properties to meet your criteria. We then walk you through the entire process of purchasing the property, including helping you set up your own LLC, if you don’t already have one. Our Turnkey Properties have low purchase price points, high cash flow, and possibilities for future appreciation.

Construction Process

We adhere to a strict 150 day construction process that allows you to start collecting rent on the 121st day of the process. Our fully renovated Turnkey Properties include a full interior demolition of the property and a beautiful facelift consisting of new electric, plumbing, full HVAC, drywall, kitchens, bathrooms, floors, and roofing. A full renovation will minimize maintenance in the first few years of leasing.

We guarantee our construction will remain within budget. When you buy a property with us, Turnkey Property Pro will ensure accurate budget costs and expenses. We will not come back to you for more money if the rehab goes over budget.

Tenant Placement

Once the rehab project is complete, we will put the property on the market. Turnkey Property Pro makes it a priority to find the best-qualified tenants to occupy the property. Part of the process also includes conducting extensive background investigations on all potential renters. Once your property has a tenant, the property will be transferred to our property management team. You will receive rent and a monthly statement on the property.

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October 26, 2018

Top 5 Philly Real Estate Trends in 2018

Philly won’t slow down in 2018.

“We are very bullish on Philadelphia,” said Jerry Sweeney, CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, at the Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Forecast last week.

Sweeney was one of a few top developers and experts who spoke to some of the trends to watch in 2018 here in Philadelphia, from a new kind of workplace to a new kind of renter.

Here are five of the top real estate trends to keep an eye out for come 2018.

1. More apartment concessions to sweeten the deal

Philly is expected to see lot of new construction deliver in 2018, with multifamily residential builds making up a good portion of it. So as all of those apartments come online, expect to see a lot of these buildings offering concessions—think one month’s free rent—to entice renters to fill up their vacancies, says Gilchrist.

The luxury rental market is most likely to push this, since, simply put, they’re just too expensive for the average Philly renter to afford. This high-end market averages about $3 per square foot—not many people can afford paying $3,000 a month for a 1,000-square-foot apartment.

As Gilchrist points out, when there are hundreds of older Philly rowhomes available for rent at a much lower price point, luxury apartments are going to have to really woo renters with deals to convince them to live in their building.

Canvas Valley Forge is a new development in King of Prussia catered to renters ages 55 and up. 
Courtesy of Bozzuto

2. The tale of two renters: Millennials and baby boomers

Talk of millennials in Philly isn’t going to go away anytime soon. As long this group keeps moving into Philly in droves (and puts down more permanent roots here), apartments will still keep coming online.

But there’s another type of renter that developers have started to cater to: baby boomers. There’s been a lot of talk of empty nesters downsizing from their suburban mansions and moving into condos and homes in Center City. But research shows that a lot of adults in this age group are actually transitioning from buyers to renters at a faster rate than millennials.

Bradley J. Korman, co-CEO of Korman Communities, says this means that developers now have to market their communities in two very different ways to attract these different types of renters.

WeWork Philadelphia at Northern Liberties
Courtesy of WeWork

3. A boom in coworking and shared work spaces

At last count, coworking spaces like WeWork, Benjamin’s Desk, and the Yard made up 527,000 square feet of total office space in the Central Business District (CBD). While that’s a small percentage of the city’s total office space, the numbers show this type of workspace could account for as much as 30 percent of office space in the country years down the road. “Coworking will be a huge driver,” said Lauren Gilchrist, vice president of research at JLL Philadelphia.

Philly is already home to a plethora of coworking spaces, and there are a bunch more in the pipeline, including Bond Collective at Suburban Station and Spaces in the old Hale Building. Both are set to deliver next year.

Why are these type of offices so attractive? The flexibility these spaces allow is a big factor, but they also come with amenities like outdoor space, kitchens, and host special events. Gilchrist says to “expect vanilla, un-amenitized Class A trophy office space to struggle.”

Rendering courtesy of PREIT/Macerich

4. A different kind of shopping experience

Whoever predicted the end of malls was wrong: They’re not dead, just different. While e-commerce has no doubt caused a major shift in the typical shopping experience, brick and mortar shopping is still the most popular way for folks to consume, and it doesn’t look like people are going to stop shopping in malls anytime soon.

What will change is what malls offer, says Gilchrist. Her research shows that food and beverage is the most popular renovation strategy for malls, making up an astonishing 40 percent, followed by tenant upgrades, entertainment, and multifamily residential features.

PREIT’s redevelopment of the Gallery Mall is a prime example of what Philly should expect with the new shopping experience. After originally promoting itself as the Fashion Outlets, months later it reemerged as the Fashion District of Philadelphia, with an eye toward restaurants and entertainment. Along with flagship stores like H&M, the Fashion District will offer things like Market Eats, a food hall of sorts, as well as a fancy movie theater with reclining chairs with the option to order food and drinks.

PREIT is banking on its redevelopment being one of the most successful mall redevelopments. “We see it as a project that’ll be the premiere urban retail centers in the country,” said CEO Joseph F. Coradino.

King of Prussia is on the move.
 Photo by Philly by Drone

5. Philly will have some stiff nearby competition

The desire to live and build in Center City and Philadelphia in general isn’t going to become any less popular next year. But Gilchrist says that by the looks of it, the ‘burbs are making a comeback, too.

“Expect mixed-use suburban office, multifamily, and retail to peak up steam,” Gilchrist said in her presentation.

There are some suburbs in particular to keep an eye on, starting with King of Prussia. The town has seen $1 billion in development in recent years, including a revamp of the famous King of Prussia Mall and the nearby KOP Town Center that is now home to tons of retail, townhomes, and apartment developments. And although it’s many years down the road, the goal to extend the SEPTA Regional line here has gained recent traction.

On the Main Line in Bala Cynwyd, a developer has undertaken a $100 million master plan to redevelop the town’s historic corridor with new retail, restaurants, and apartments.

And while Camden isn’t a suburb, it is much smaller compared to Philly, but also its closest competition. Liberty Property Trust is responsible for all of the waterfront development that’s happening in Camden on the Delaware River, where there is 1 million square feet of mixed-use development under construction.

“That town finally has momentum that’s gaining traction,” said CEO and president William Hankowsky. “I would watch Camden.”

October 26, 2018

To Invest Or Not To Invest: Philadelphia Real Estate Market

The big real estate investing question this year is not whether to invest in real estate, but where to invest in real estate.

There has never been a better time to buy a real estate investment. But with all the hottest markets in the current housing market being paraded in front of you, which one should you choose?

The Philadelphia real estate market 2018 would be a smart choice and a safe choice for real estate investing this year.

The truth is, while those hot real estate markets can have some of the best real estate investments, they are also usually the most expensive real estate investments. Add in the competition from real estate investors and homebuyers alike, beginner real estate investors will have trouble breaking into such housing markets.

When it comes to the Philadelphia real estate market 2018, it’s a somewhat different story. Let us tell you the real estate investing story of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Real Estate Market 2018: The BackStory

Philly’s Economy

You probably haven’t heard much about the Philadelphia real estate market 2018, its economy or much else for that matter. But, believe it or not, that can be a good thing for a real estate investor. It’s simply because it can be a sign of stability, one of the best things for successful real estate investing.

No one’s saying the economy of Philadelphia is soaring nor are they saying it’s something Philadelphia real estate investors should worry about. Instead, know that when you invest in Philadelphia real estate, you’ll be surrounded by an economy that is growing, slowly but steadily. This makes for a low-risk Philadelphia real estate investment with the potential to greatly appreciate as the surrounding location experiences growth.

Philly’s Job Market

Addition of jobs is, of course, a major factor in the growth as well as the key to the rising demand for Philadelphia investment property. In 2017, the rate of job growth in Philadelphia was actually faster than that of the national rate.

Even with a fast-growing job market, a Philadelphia real estate investor might be wary of the high unemployment rate of 6.2%. Although much higher than the national unemployment rate, it is declining more than anywhere else in the country. This means things are improving in the Philadelphia real estate market 2018.

As real estate investors know, a location with obvious signs of improvement and growth make for the best places to invest in real estate. This is due to the fact that Philadelphia real estate prices are affordable compared to everywhere else in the current housing market and are likely to see some real estate appreciation as the city improves more and more.

Philly’s Population

Because of this growing job market, the Philadelphia real estate market 2018 enjoys steady population growth. Just another box to tick in the checklist for the best place to invest in real estate. This population growth furthers the positive trends of the economy, mostly because of the large influx of residents that are more educated and wealthier.

Why the BackStory Matters

Keep in mind that while the backstory doesn’t paint an ideal picture and the Philadelphia real estate market 2018 can’t boast all kinds of titles and rankings, it’s heading in the right path. This means great things for a Philadelphia real estate investor who buys investment property right now. The future of the Philadelphia real estate market 2018 and beyond is a bright one for sure.

 

Philadelphia Real Estate Prices: The Plot Thickens

Let’s continue our real estate investing story with Philadelphia real estate market trends. These are significant, of course, to know before you decide to invest in Philadelphia real estate.

 

Philadelphia Real Estate Market 2018: The Stats

Median Property Price: $243,672

Traditional Rental Income: $1,310

Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 2.59%

Traditional Cap Rate: 2.59%

 

Philly’s Real Estate Prices

This is where the plot thickens in the Philadelphia real estate market 2018. A report from Philly.com earlier this year for the reassessment of Philadelphia real estate prices reported a jump of 10.5% in the median property price. Every Philadelphia real estate investor was stunned, as this reassessment comes along with property tax hikes. With the 10.5% increase, it’s likely taxes would increase somewhere between $500 and $1,712.

While these facts might deter you from investing in Philadelphia real estate, local authorities are doing their best to deal with the situation. A bill came soon after that proposes that the City Council should be able to control Philadelphia real estate assessments in the future, preventing unnecessary tax hikes. In other words, the City Council is doing its best to remedy the situation for Philadelphia real estate investors and residents alike.

Despite the fear of higher taxes on investment property, real estate appreciation can be a good thing. If you buy now, Zillow predicts that Philadelphia real estate will go up 5.1% as the year continues. Luckily, this is the kind of real estate appreciation that makes it relatively possible to enter the Philadelphia real estate market 2018 and eventually sell an investment property for a good return on investment.

Philly’s Housing Inventory

The housing inventory in the Philadelphia real estate market 2018 is currently tight. This would explain the Philadelphia real estate market trends with the rising prices. But for 2018, a lot of new real estate development is in the works, especially for multi family homes. Single family homes, on the other hand, will continue to give Philadelphia real estate investors fewer options due to tight inventory, even with new construction plans.

Airbnb Philadelphia: The Subplot

The Philadelphia real estate market 2018 is Airbnb-friendly. Airbnb is legal in Philadelphia while other major cities continue to battle Airbnb or enforce strict regulations on these investment properties. Airbnb Philadelphia welcomes real estate investors with open arms.

Airbnb Philadelphia: The Stats

Airbnb Philadelphia Rental Income: $920

Airbnb Philadelphia Cash on Cash Return: 1%

Airbnb Philadelphia Cap Rate: 1%

With an Airbnb occupancy rate of 67% and general short term rentals having reported record occupancy rates in 2017, Airbnb Philadelphia is a great choice for real estate investors in this housing market.

The Best Neighborhoods in Philadelphia for Real Estate Investing

Interested in investing in Philadelphia real estate? You should be. The Philadelphia real estate market 2018 is only getting better and better with time. Even with Philadelphia real estate prices on the rise, they are relatively affordable compared to other popular real estate markets but still offer a great return on investment.

Of course, this return on investment will only come in the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Because some Philadelphia neighborhoods are experiencing drops in real estate prices, high crime rates, and loss of population, a Philadelphia real estate investor really needs to be able to differentiate the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia from the not so great ones. Always be sure to check on such facts before investing in Philadelphia real estate

Old Kensington

  • Median Property Price: $439,999
  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,583
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 1.87%
  • Traditional Cap Rate: 1.87%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $2,876
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 4.77%
  • Airbnb Cap Rate: 4.77%
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 57.57%

Greenwich

  • Median Property Price: $259,900
  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,549
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 3.23%
  • Traditional Cap Rate: 3.23%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $1,814
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 4.3%
  • Airbnb Cap Rate: 4.3%
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 43.52%

West Poplar

  • Median Property Price: $502,000
  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,715
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 1.32%
  • Traditional Cap Rate: 1.32%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $2,820
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 3.37%
  • Airbnb Cap Rate: 3.37%
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 51.86%

East Poplar

  • Median Property Price: $614,900
  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,730
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 0.95%
  • Traditional Cap Rate: 0.95%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $3,061
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 3.19%
  • Airbnb Cap Rate: 3.19%
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 50.28%

East Passyunk

  • Median Property Price: $332,500
  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,635
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 2.41%
  • Traditional Cap Rate: 2.41%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $1,792
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 2.89%
  • Airbnb Cap Rate: 2.89%
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 44.64%

Dickinson Narrows

  • Median Property Price: $329,900
  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,863
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 2.73%
  • Traditional Cap Rate: 2.73%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $1,720
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 2.4%
  • Airbnb Cap Rate: 2.4%
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 43.95%

Graduate Hospital

  • Median Property Price: $479,900
  • Traditional Rental Income: $1,873
  • Traditional Cash on Cash Return: 1.92%
  • Traditional Cap Rate: 1.92%
  • Airbnb Rental Income: $1,952
  • Airbnb Cash on Cash Return: 2.11%
  • Airbnb Cap Rate: 2.11%
  • Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 45.26%
October 26, 2018

Philadelphia Housing Market Predictions 2018, 2019, 2020

Philadelphia is perhaps the brightest housing market in the nation, with one report suggesting a price growth of 16.6% (now 13.4% in May). See the national housing report and the housing forecast for 2019.

Prices have risen 11.3% in the last year and an astonishing 31% in the last 2 years according to Zillow. DOM are at record lows. Buyers are eager, but listings are scarce.

You can see how Philadelphia’s prices contrast to other cities and the general forecast for the US.
That’s much higher price growth than in the Bay AreaLos AngelesMiamiHoustonSeattleSan DiegoNew York and Boston.. For investors, Philadelphia might be one of the best cities for capital appreciation by 2020.

 

Philadelphia Sales Price History and Forecast courtesy of Zillow

 

2018 has been a phenomenal year with new construction releases so plentiful, and while sales and apartment rentals were buoyed by free concessions, the demand is getting so intense that incentives won’t be needed to fill homes and condos being built.

Home buyers in Philadelphia and real estate investors are wondering whether this is a good time to buy in Philly.

How does this city compare with the best cities to invest in? Prices are expected to rise 13.4%, listings have fallen 1200 during the last month, foreclosures are up, and sales actually rose 18% last month.  Sold vs list price was 98% which is much stronger than average in the last 2 years.

Rent Price History courtesy of Zillow

Philadelphia Community Homes For Sale Median Sale Price Price Growth Price Growth Forecast
Bustleton 37 $239,900 7.8% 9%
Chestnut Hill 35 $737,500 7.80% 9%
East Mount Airy 55 $200,000 1.10% 1.60%
Fishtown 122 $324,947 8.40% 10.70%
Fox Chase 23 $229,900 10.30% 9.80%
Mayfair 47 $179,000 11.80% 14.20%
Millbrook 7 $195,000 12.40%
Overbrook 67 $153,900 5.20% 13.80%
Oxford Circle 68 $156,750 9.40% 14.90%
Point Breeze 164 $309,900 23.20% 4.30%
Rhawnhurst 34 $229,900 11.40% 14%
Rittenhouse Square 103 $554,450 1.60%
Somerton 35 $243,400 6.10% 8.70%
West Mount Airy 44 $349,900 1.10% 1.60%
West Oak Lane 79 $140,000 0.60% 12.20%

What’s Driving Philadelphia’s Market

Although not enjoying the same employment rate growth of Dallas or Phoenix, job growth in Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metropolitan Statistical Area rose 39,700, or 1.4% over the year, according to the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Demand for homes is steady but availability is the issue as it is in so many cities across the country.

Word is, that the market is driven by Millennials and Babyboomers. It seems millennials are selling their big houses in favor of renting. As rental opportunities appear, we might see more sell their homes.

Median List price rocketing in 2018. Screen Capture courtesy of Zillow

Since 2015, rents have risen about $150 on average, not the same rate as home prices during the same period.

 

Article By: 

October 26, 2018

Baltimore’s Mayor Catherine Pugh Pushes Development In Real Estate

Baltimore has seen an impressive amount of improvement in recent years to areas like Fells Point, Canton and the Inner Harbor, but most are well aware of just how incomplete its revitalization has been.

“When developers take a real interest directly in the neighborhood, it creates jobs and can transform the neighborhood.”

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, speaking at Bisnow’s Baltimore State of the Market event on March 29, 2018

“Our transformational work has been in the white neighborhoods in town, and over the 44 years we’ve been here, there has not been a ton of progress in East and West Baltimore,” Cross Street Partners principal Bill Struever said at Bisnow’s Baltimore State of the Market event March 29.

Real progress is underway on both ends, with the ultimate goal of stitching East and West Baltimore together, according to Struever. To the east, Cross Street Partners is part of a group tasked with a massive redevelopment of the Perkins Homes, Somerset and Old Town Mall areas. But as with any impoverished area, special concern has to be given to avoid displacing the residents who have lived through the worst times.

“It’s really a social mission, because it would be awful to live in a dilapidated neighborhood for decades, and finally, when the spigot turns on, for it now to be a great neighborhood, you’re no longer there,” La Cité Development President Dan Bythewood said. La Cité is underway on its own sizable development in West Baltimore called Center\West, which will ultimately deliver around 3,000 residential units, 20% of which will be designated as affordable housing. Like in East Baltimore, La Cité will depend on a patchwork of funding from federal, state and local governments, along with nonprofit investment.

“The city supports us in every way that they can,” Bythewood said. “We’ve been fine for financing, and when we put a shovel in the ground, our project doubled the amount of [expected] inclusionary housing in the city of Baltimore.”

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is well aware of the impact developments like Center\West can have, calling it “something unheard of” in her keynote address. Pointing out how cities like Detroit and Cleveland relied on private investment to jump-start recoveries, Pugh committed to doing more to entice such capital sources.

“We’re looking for private investors to look into communities that deserve that kind of investment, but we should also have more skin in the game,” Pugh said.

 

Pugh said the city will be launching its own investment vehicle with $50M behind it, with the goal of enticing private partners to join in and multiply the capital and its impact. “Help us to get to $200M a year, which over the next five years is a $1B investment that can turn our city around,” Pugh said.

Pugh’s proposal is another example of what Struever referred to as American cities’ increasing self-reliance in the face of the shrinking budget at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “You can’t blame it on this administration; the federal government has been taking money away going back to the Reagan administration,” Struever said. “They’ve been disappearing from the funding environment. Fortunately, many cities have been investing in projects, and they have [experienced] growth that allows them to self-invest.”

The development team behind the East Baltimore revival plan is still hoping for federal funding not to disappear completely — the group, led by McCormack Baron Salazar and including Beatty Development Group, has applied for a $30M grant from HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative program.

Beatty Vice President Tim Pula called the $30M “a drop in the bucket,” but emphasized how developers have to scratch and claw for every bit of funding when affordable housing is involved. “Debt and equity is relatively easy to figure out, but all the different layers of funding from city, state and the federal government are very significant and very difficult to deal with.”

 

M&T Bank Administrative Vice President Chris Beach and Himmelrich Associates President Sam Himmelrich

To that end, Pugh made two encouraging announcements: For four straight months, violence has decreased in Baltimore City, a total decline of over 30% in every single category. The city is also planning to build 23 new schools in the coming years, not including the City Springs elementary and middle school that will be replaced as part of the East Baltimore project.

“We will build more new schools in Baltimore City than in the entire state of Maryland,” Pugh said. The city’s show of results essentially amount to a bet that it is hoping businesses call. With a promise to continue to decrease taxes for the city, Pugh emphasized the need for private help.

“One of the things that I said when I came in as mayor in 2016 was that the city can’t do everything by itself,” Pugh said. La Cité, Beatty, Cross Street and the other developers attached to neighborhood revitalization projects have answered the call, which Bythewood characterized as doing a public service.

“Since developers control the purse strings, it depends on how much you want to drive into these communities,” Bythewood said. “When developers take a real interest directly in the neighborhood, it creates jobs and can transform the neighborhood.” La Cité put Bythewood’s philosophy into practice with the $80M investment it made into Center\West, but it had help from major national capital sources — a point Bythewood emphasized.

“You guys in Baltimore need to have more faith that growth is coming,” Bythewood said. “BlackRock has put money into West Baltimore. Think about that.”

Matthew Rothstein, Bisnow Philadelphia

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/baltimore/news/economic-development/

October 26, 2018

Baltimore Seeks $102.3M TIF For Massive Redevelopment In The East

Baltimore officials are seeking a tax increment financing package totaling $102.3 million to help pay for a nearly $900 million redevelopment of a blighted area between Harbor East and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The TIF would pay for some of the redevelopment of Perkins Homes, a public housing complex, the former Somerset Homes site, a new City Springs Elementary and Middle School, two new public parks, infrastructure and a network of roads and sidewalks in the community.

The massive redevelopment was first detailed in March by the Baltimore Business Journal. It would total $155 million in infrastructure improvements, $309 million in commercial and mixed-use development and $425 million in new housing, according to figures unveiled during a special meeting of the city Board of Finance on Monday.

A team of private developers that formed PSO Housing Co. will spearhead the project led by Beatty Development Group, St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar; Cross Street Partners, the Henson Development Co., founded and owned by former city housing commissioner Daniel P. Henson III, and Mission First Housing, a low-income housing group based in Philadelphia.

The downtrodden area slated for redevelopment is only blocks away from Harbor East and Harbor Point, the fast-developing waterfront neighborhood and commercial districts. Among projects being built there are high-end residential and commercial towers, as well as a 50,000-square-foot Whole Foods.

The city has applied for a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and should receive an answer by the end of the month, Mayor Catherine Pugh told the finance board.

“We are one of six cities now vying for three grants,” Pugh said.

Pugh said the move to start the process to establish the TIF portion of the redevelopment was timely considering the federal grant timeline.

“This is a neighborhood TIF that will help to improve neighborhoods,” she said. “This is the kind of TIF my administration is pushing.”

In the past, the city has approved TIF packages for projects that include Harbor Point, Mondawmin Mall, the East Baltimore Development Inc. and Clipper Mill. None of those approached the dollar amount approved for Port Covington, the development proposed by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s real estate arm. Sagamore Development Co. was awarded $660 million in tax increment financing for the project in 2016 but has not set a date for selling the bonds yet.

The TIF to PSO Housing Co. would be spread out in three separate bond sales, said Keenan Rice, president of MuniCap Inc., a private financial consultant hired by the city.

The first bond sale would fund the demolition and replacement of Perkins Homes at an estimated cost of $13.4 million. The replacement of City Springs would cost $33.8 million and the new parks and a recreation center in the neighborhood would cost $20 million, a report to the finance board by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City said.

Work could begin on razing 629-unit Perkins Homes later this year and replacing them with 737 units of affordable housing, said Stephen Kraus, deputy director of the Department of Finance.

A total of more than 2,100 new housing units are expected to be built in the nearly 200-acre footprint — a mixture of public housing, affordable and market-rate units. In addition, Caroline Street — that runs north and south along the footprint — would be framed by bike lanes.

The city’s Board of Finance voted unanimously to approve the “concept of the TIF” and legislation will soon be introduced before the City Council to begin the private bond sale process, Kraus said. Public hearings will be held by the council in the coming months.

The 393-unit Douglass Homes public housing development could also be razed and redeveloped as part of the project, said Bill Struever, a member of the development team, earlier this year. Tania Baker, a spokeswoman for the city housing authority, said it was not included in the plans.

The redevelopment of the Somerset Homes site would be overseen by Henson, who is including the 16-acre Old Town Mall redevelopment in his plans. Some of the designs have been presented to the city’s design panel in the past six weeks. In January, the state Department of Commerce re-designated the Old Town Mall area an Enterprise Zone, making it eligible for tax credits upon redevelopment.

Overall, there are 3,715 new jobs projected as part of the redevelopment, city finance officials said.

By Melody Simmons  – Reporter, Baltimore Business Journal

October 26, 2018

Baltimore Home Prices Rise To 10-Year High!

Median home prices rose again in June, reaching $285,000, a 2 percent increase from last year, according to monthly data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

The June price was the highest for the month in a decade and near the top price of $289,900 reached in 2007.

The region’s housing market continues to suffer from declining inventory, with active listings of homes for sale falling 8.7 percent to 10,136 at the end of June. It was the 34th consecutive month of year-over-year inventory declines. But June was also the second month in a row in which that drop was below 10 percent.

The low inventory may explain why fewer homes were sold in June, 4,230 compared with 4,509 a year earlier. The sales volume fell 5.4 percent to $1.37 billion, year-over-year.

Despite the decline in sales, demand appears strong by other measures, with sellers fetching 97.4 percent of their asking price for homes sold in June, up from 96.6 percent in June 2017, but down from May’s record-setting 97.5 percent. The median number of days homes were on the market before going under contract was 15 in June, four days fewer than a year earlier and the fastest sale time in the last 10 years.

Howard County continues to have the most expensive homes, with median sales prices in June up 2.4 percent to $448,000. Baltimore City remained the most affordable, with prices up 3.7 percent to $170,000.

Harford County home prices jumped the most, up 9.5 percent to $276,000. Carroll County prices were up 1.8 percent to $325,000.

Baltimore County home prices dipped 0.4 percent to $249,000, while Anne Arundel County homes decreased in price 0.5 percent to $340,000.

 

Meredith Cohn – Contact Reporter

The Baltimore Sun

October 26, 2018

Turnkey Properties – A Hands Off Real Estate Investment

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Acquisition Process

We conduct an extensive survey of the market to find the best available investment properties. We acquire our Turnkey Propertiesthrough brokers, wholesales, auctions, bank foreclosures, short sales and tax sales.

Turnkey Property Pro will work with you to identify what your long-term goals are, and find the best available properties to meet your criteria. We then walk you through the entire process of purchasing the property, including helping you set up your own LLC, if you don’t already have one. Our Turnkey Properties have low purchase price points, high cash flow, and possibilities for future appreciation.

Construction Process

We adhere to a strict 120 day construction process that allows you to start collecting rent on the 121st day of the process. Our fully renovated Turnkey Properties include a full interior demolition of the property and a beautiful facelift consisting of new electric, plumbing, full HVAC, drywall, kitchens, bathrooms, floors and roofing. A full renovation will minimizes maintenance in the first few years of leasing.

We guarantee our construction will remain within budget. When you buy a property with us, Turnkey Property Pro will ensure accurate budget costs and expenses. We will not come back to you for more money if the rehab goes over budget.

Tenant Placement

Once the rehab project is complete, we will put the property on the market. Turnkey Property Pro makes it a priority to find the best-qualified tenants to occupy the property. Part of the process also includes conducting extensive background investigations on all potential renters. Once your property has a tenant, the property will be transferred to our property management team. You will receive rent and a monthly statement on the property.

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