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Thread: Philly's Powelton neighborhood. What's it like?

  1. #1
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Philly's Powelton neighborhood. What's it like?

    I was browsing the web and found this website: Urban & Bye Realtor

    It's got a bunch of residential properties for sale in Philadelphia. Some of them are really nice.

    Of most interest to me were these two listings:
    3909 Warren Street for $109,000


    3907 Warren Street for $89,000


    They are, as you can see, adjacent rowhouses in the Powelton neighborhood.

    I want to know what this neighborhood is like and if these would be good deal for an ambitious young professional or any other thoughts people have.

    Because the mortgage for a $298,000 double rowhouse couldn't be unbearable for a well educated and well paid professional. Plus, it would probably be a great investment if the neighborhood is good.

    (I'm not interested in these properties, but I thought it would be a cool thing to share)

    I would love to find a similar situation here in Chicago.
    Last edited by mendelman; 09 Mar 2004 at 5:47 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    I was browsing the web and found this website: Urban & Bye Realtor
    Addresses in Philly are really easy to figure out, especially if you already know what neighborhood you're looking for.

    Any street that doesn't have an "N" or an "S" in front of it runs east/west.
    If, for instance it's "923 N 10th St." then it's on 10th St 9 blocks north of Market St. If it's "1302 S. Juniper St." then it's on Juniper 13 blocks south of Market St.

    Very few addresses in the city have an "E" - if they do that means they're east of Front St. For all the rest you can get an idea of the general location by the house number.

    3909 Warren St. is 4 doors in from the corner of 39th & Warren.
    4501 Warren St. would be on the corner of 45th & Warren.

    *********

    I saw this house when i was house hunting with a friend back in january. The street isn't bad and the neighborhood is on it's way up. It's actually just steps from the 10 trolley on Lancaster Ave.

    If you see a house for $100k in Philly that means that it's in move-in condition in an up and coming 'hood. Since prices south of Market St. have crossed the $100k mark for a shell the area north of Market is feeling the pinch. I have friends who live in the area between Spring Garden and Market from the river to 40th St. and it's a safe place and the restaurants and other ammenities are popping up here and there but once you cross Spring Garden it deteriorates rapidly. There are few places in Philly that scare me but i have to say that the Baring neighborhood that borders Powelton scares the crap out of me. I don't even like to walk around there during the day.
    Even parts of Mantua closer to the zoo can be pretty scary. I doubt it's really that dangerous but the whole area is basically meadows with random rowhouses. It looks like something out of some old civil war pictures - only in living color. It's creepy.

    you'll see in this map that the University City District very neatly defines where you should go. Your street is in the very corner of the map. UCD has big plans for this area and i know it's a lot nicer now than it was 3 years ago
    http://www.golucy.org/visitor_map/list.cfm?Quad=c1

    Check this out too -
    http://www.golucy.org/ucd_programs/LancasterAve.cfm

    so yeah, like i said, it's def. up and coming and the street itself is fine and so is the neighborhood but you don't have walk far to find trouble.

    . . . i guess that goes for anywhere in Philly and in Powleton Village there are some really posh Victorian houses that can fetch $400k but in Baring the devastation is so final that i worry about what follows. Neighborhoods that are semi-intact with an empty lot here or there or just lets of shells are easy to put back together. Baring will either wind up the dumping ground for some more HOPE VI McHousing or it will wind up $800k townhouses. Your guess is as good as mine at this point.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    I know a guy who bought a greystone twoflat in Garfield Park. His morgage is $500/mo

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    Baring will either wind up the dumping ground for some more HOPE VI McHousing or it will wind up $800k townhouses. Your guess is as good as mine at this point.[/QUOTE]

    Off Topic (I browsed the trhead because Philadelphia always has interested me, for some unknown reason )

    I know what you mean about Hope VI McHousing, but I have to admit that some of the Hope projects in San Francisco, even five years later, still look very, very good. There is no denying the social pathologies (I watched a group of 8 year olds chase a bum down the street throwing bottles at the poor guy), but...its a definite improvement over the old Hayes Valley Projects, which had been allowed to decay and were never very nice.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    BKM - i agree that HOPE VI is a marked improvement over the projects but i think we can do better in terms of design.

    But more to the point it's poverty pimping. Too many people have their hands in the trough and they wind up making lives much more difficult for people just starting out.


    Here's positive news on one new HOPE VI project.
    http://www.phillyweekly.com/archives...asp?ArtID=7020
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    I know a guy who bought a greystone twoflat in Garfield Park. His morgage is $500/mo

    I just bought an 800 sq. ft. rowhouse that i paid cash for. I borrowed $25k from my grandparents (my dad's line in their will - shhh!) to take it out to 1200 sq. ft. My "mortgage" will be about $400 a month for 5 or 6 years.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Heh, that was a bit of a Chicago injoke for mendelman. I mean, the guy did buy it, but there's a picture of Garfield Park in the dictionary next to the definition of "dah hood."

    What kind of neighborhood is your rowhouse in?

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    jordanb - sorry didn't exactly get the "nudge, nudge, wink, wink", but the image that came to my mind was "young, urban pioneer".

    I wouldn't mind a greystone, two-flat myself. Just maybe not Garfield Park.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  9. #9
    That city is obviously pretty pricey!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Heh, that was a bit of a Chicago injoke for mendelman. I mean, the guy did buy it, but there's a picture of Garfield Park in the dictionary next to the definition of "dah hood."

    What kind of neighborhood is your rowhouse in?
    It's in this 'hood.

    South Philly - on the other side of the tracks from where i live now. Of the 18 lots on my side of the block 12 have houses on them. Three of those are abandoned, not including mine. Across the street is about the same and behind is me much morse. My girlfriend and I will be the only white people in the neighborhood, but for good or for bad, probably not for long.

    If you've seen Jill Scott or Missy Elliot videos then you've seen this neighborhood.

    It's actually about 3 blocks from the kid's house in the Sixth Sense.
    Last edited by jresta; 02 Apr 2004 at 1:53 PM.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  11. #11

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    Mendelman -- you could probably find similar deals in Chicago without going into "da 'hood," but you'd definitely be bordering it. Consider the neighborhoods of Pilsen, Humboldt Park and Logan Square.

    jresta -- I worked on a project in West Philly about 3 years ago. My firm worked on a corridor plan for Lancaster Ave. (and that's LANK-a-stah, not Lan-cass-terr) from about 47th St. (I think?) to City Ave. We gathered a lot of info on Philly and I was amazed at how affordable it is compared to other East Coast cities -- and even to Chicago. I remember seeing 800-1000 sf rowhouses selling for $60k-$70k, and thinking they'd easily go for twice that in Chicago.

    We toured a lot of West Philly and North Philly to pick up on local context, and I came away really liking West Philly. I remember the areas west of Edgebrook High School, on either side of Lancaster, being pretty nice. Even the bad parts there didn't have the vacant lots you find here. I guess that was left for... North Philly.

    I hung out near Penn's Landing and on South Street; only saw South Philly coming from and going to the airport; didn't see Northeast Philly at all. I came away with a great appreciation for Philadelphia.

  12. #12
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Pete-Rock - I do like the neighborhoods you mentioned, especially Pilsen.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

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