As this is a blog that covers real estate development, we don’t often find ourselves visiting the Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood, due to the general lack of construction in the area. Like many neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, this section of the city fell on very hard times starting in the 1950s, and today there’s vacancy and blight on virtually every block. Still, with Temple Hospital on the neighborhood’s eastern edge, one would think that people whose main goal is to have a short commute would at least consider moving to this part of town. The owners of Temple Lofts are making a significant wager that these people are out there.
You might recall, we brought the property at 1419 W. Allegheny Ave. to your attention roughly three years ago, noting that developers had purchased the vacant six-story apartment building with an eye toward renovation. This building was constructed in the late 1960s and certainly looked the part, with architectural flourishes evoking a bland suburban high school. Still, the building had pretty good bones.
At the time, we noted that the building had been sitting empty since 2006 and we were hopeful that a renovation might serve as an anchor for additional development in the area. At the same time, we recognized the challenge of the location and accepted the possibility that a development plan could fizzle for the property and it could continue to sit vacant for many years into the future. Turns out, the developers were indeed able to follow through with their project and the building is now leasing up.
Though the exterior looks pretty much the same, the inside of the building has been completely renovated into 54 units, with mostly 2 bedroom units but a handful of 1 bedrooms and 3 bedrooms mixed in. Currently, we see a 1 bedroom listed at $1,250/mo, a 2 bedroom as high as $1,800/mo, and a 3 bedroom listed at $2,195/mo. There are also units being rented by the bedroom, at a price of $700 per room. Tenants interested in a parking space can pay an extra $75/mo.
These rental rates feel a little high to us given the location, but we still suspect the building will get fully leased. Again, we have to think that this building is targeting Temple Hospital employees that are prioritizing living close to work, and price may be secondary to the location for many of those folks. And as far as we can tell, this is the newest and nicest building in the area at this time. As an added bonus, not only will the location be extremely convenient for people that work at the hospital, but the proximity to the hospital will likewise be a boon for anyone suffering from lobby-floor-induced vertigo.