More residential growth for University City

As if UCity did not have enough projects going on already, add another one to their long list of successful growth.

University City’s famed Science Center is planning to build a 27-story apartment building at the corner of 36th & Market. Their main motivation for this building is to create “a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Given that this place is expected to house 364 apartments (1 and 2 bedroom options), a fitness center, resident lounge, rooftop pool, parking, and 17,000 sq ft of ground floor retail space, you might be asking, “who is their target market for residents?”

Well, that’s a great question.

According to the article, the Science Center is looking to market the building to local professionals and business owners in the immediate area, as well as both Penn and Drexel students.

I completely agree.

Over the last 10 years, UCity has slowly turned into an education/medical/tech hub for students (both graduate and undergraduate), young professionals, and families. Not only for schools/jobs, but for living options as well. Considering that this building will have high-end features (granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, etc.) and amenities (fitness center, rooftop pool, etc.), I think they hit the nail on the head.

The industries that are growing in this part of Philadelphia all support the income level needed for this type of living, and it also encourages future growth for more of the same.

Oh … and I forgot to mention, this building will also be sustainable and environmentally friendly (with the Science Center shooting for LEED Silver Certification).

Is the real estate market better today than it was 4 years ago?

Well, it depends on who you ask. But if you asked me, I would say yes.

For someone who worked in the real estate industry and saw the highest-of-the-high back in 2004 and 2005, and the lowest-of-the-low back in 2008 and 2009, it’s easy to see if/when the housing market wins small victories: appreciation, affordability, etc. It’s these small victories that add up over time and create more demand for real estate.

Are we still in a buyer’s market, or has it already turned into a seller’s market?

Without a doubt, we are still in a buyer’s market and should be for some time. Prices are low, rates are unbelievably low, and contracts still favor buyers (e.g. prices, contingencies, etc.). Supply has gone down, but not enough to stir a home buying craze just yet.

If the real estate market is better today than it was 4 years ago, wouldn’t that mean we are now in a seller’s market?

Not necessarily. The poor market we are clawing out of was one of the worst (if not the worst) housing markets in US history. Values dropped considerably, supply piled up, and jobs were lost. All of the ingredients needed to start a recession, which we are still in to an extent.

When will real estate finally be back to normal?

That’s a question nobody can truly answer. But to provide some evidence, check out the chart in this article to see how some of the major housing indicators are doing now as compared to a few years ago. If the momentum keeps swinging the right way, you may see me writing a post next year about how we are now in a seller’s market.

What’s in store for Market East?

Apparently, lots of potential changes.

Market East wants a new look. Not just the kind where sidewalks are repaired, new street lampposts are installed, and flashy news sidewalk banners promote the immediate area.

The city is looking for a complete overhaul.

New retailers (preferably big anchor ones), more street presence (because The Gallery is just not cutting it), and a glitzy, new Times Square look where advertisers will be lined up to invest in the US’ 4th largest media market.