Why so much buzz lately about Market East?

PREIT’s rendering of the new Gallery at Market East

The Market East section of Philadelphia that is, not the regional transportation hub.

Maybe it’s just me, but almost everywhere I look in the local media these days, people are buzzing about Market East.

Some of those discussion topics, over the last year or so:

Girard Square

The Gallery

Market8 Casino

Times Square-esque Digital Signage

Everyone is talking, and for good reason. Out of all the original Center City neighborhoods (Logan Square/Circle, Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square, Society Hill, and Old City), Market East (or Center City East) is really the only one left with copious amounts of potential.

All of the others have already been redeveloped, or are in the process of.

The reason I found this story so blog-worthy, was because of that aforementioned potential. Center City has become so prominent/noticeable in Philadelphia’s comeback story, that it has literally spawned an entire army of coveted neighborhoods.

Graduate Hospital

Passyunk Square + East Passyunk





Northern Liberties


The #1 reason why these varying and unique neighborhoods have caught fire within the local real estate market, is because of Center City’s success (and University City’s too, if you want to get technical).

Original Center City has become expensive and is short on supply, which is why the spillover demand has landed in these neighborhoods. In reality, there was really no where else to go but to follow the concentric circles.

Now, it’s not just because of CC + UC that Philadelphia has changed so much over the last 20+ years.



East Falls

Chestnut Hill

Mount Airy



As you can now see, the demand is spreading all over town, into historic neighborhoods, and for different reasons. Main Streets, universities, small businesses, networking groups, night markets, food trucks, and everything in between.

Market East may currently be the trendiest name in town, but it sure is not the last.

Brewerytown’s neighborhood promotion strategy is brilliant

Rybrew opened in 2013 – Brewerytown, Philadelphia

Let me first ask this question: “What is the best way to get people to notice you and what you do?

As a licensed real estate agent, I have to ask myself this question everyday.

More times than not, real estate agents are independent contractors. Which means they do not get a wage/salary, health benefits, retirement account, etc. As a trade off, real estate agents get freedom, workday flexibility, and the ability to earn as little or much as they want. Plus, they’re basically they’re own bosses.

Because this is the case, each agent has the opportunity to uniquely promote himself/herself to the buyer/seller/renter market, as well as pick and choose what services they do and do not want to offer to the general public (e.g. buyer/seller representation, residential/commercial, etc). That is why if you have ever bought or sold a home before, you have seen that each agent offers something different. Strengths and weaknesses that are uniquely suited to his or her business focus.

That is also why this article really caught my attention.

If you are a regular PUL reader, then you have definitely seen multiple blog posts from me in the past focused on Brewerytown’s resurgence as a desirable Philadelphia neighborhood. Not only as a place to live, but also as a place to grow a business. Although its boundary lines are skewed (and vary depending on the information source) Brewerytown sits just north of the Fairmount/Francisville neighborhoods, just south of Templetown, east of the Schuylkill River, and west of Broad St.

Again, those are general boundaries (especially, knowing how far Brewerytown’s eastern boundary extends).

Here are some helpful posts on Brewerytown (in case you need a refresher):

MM Partners finds success in Brewerytown

Brewerytown plan wins at international competition

Momentum continues in Brewerytown

MM Partners, a local development/community group in Brewerytown, has been described as “Brewerytown’s most tenacious evangelists.” At a recent networking event held at Rybrew, a new cafe along Girard Ave that hosts an impressive food/beer selection, MM came up with a simple, organic strategy.

Invite local real estate agents to a fun-filled event with food and beer, and encourage them to mingle with local business owners and residents sporting name tags saying, “Ask me how Brewerytown is booming!” Genius, IMHO.

My opinion is that their strategy worked, or I wouldn’t even be posting about it today.

More apartments planned for Kensington

After a friend gave me a tip to a good article, I decided to tweet it back on February 11th (here’s the link to the article, if you don’t feel like searching through my past tweets).

Now that Philadelphia is really starting to gain more national recognition as an affordable, livable, big city located in the heart of the Northeast US (located right in between NYC & DC, if you have never been), it not only opens up opportunities for home buyers but also for investors. After all, investors are usually the first ones to open up a ripe market. They sniff out the deals, improve the housing stock, and create new demand; sometimes it’s inflated demand, but most times they are actually fulfilling a need.

In Philadelphia’s case, I truly believe it is fulfilling a need.

Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood has been getting a lot of press lately, from myself included. To put it simply, Kensington is what I would refer to as a “fringe” neighborhood (or “spillover” neighborhood); please don’t take either of those terms the wrong way, as I’m simply referring to supply and demand as it relates to real estate.

Why am I putting it so bluntly (and potentially insulting local residents)? Because I am looking at it from a Realtor’s perspective, which takes into account the demand of all buyers, sellers, investors, and renters today. I’m also trying to educate my loyal readers, and mean no disrespect from my terminology.

So, what is creating demand for Kensington in 2013?

Well in a general sense, it’s a lot of pent-up demand from both Northern Liberties and Fishtown (2 fairly well-defined neighborhoods) with a similar location (e.g. close to Center City, Delaware River, highways, public transportation, etc). In other words, when prices get too high in Northern Liberties and Fishtown (supply is low, demand is high) investors and buyers start looking for alternative options; enter Kensington.

Now don’t get me wrong, all 3 of these neighborhoods have long-time residents who stuck it out through the bad times (i.e. Philadelphia’s industrial decline) and are still living in these neighborhoods and taking care of them (while reaping the benefits of price appreciation). But the real demand in 2013 is new Philadelphia residents looking to buy real estate in popular neighborhoods throughout the city, on the back of a real estate market that’s just starting to heat up. Not only to settle down in a cool, hip neighborhood, but to be close to their job, Center City, highways, nightlife, restaurants, coffee shops, and a new found community spirit that is taking place in lots of Philadelphia’s older neighborhoods.

The good news is that I am starting to see a lot of potential in Kensington. Not only because of the things I already mentioned above, but because there are some key anchor projects taking shape; like the one in this article that inspired this post (and this one too, if you want more information). That’s how Northern Liberties was rebuilt (think Piazza, Liberties Walk, etc.), and I’m starting to see that same positivity in Kensington.

It could be 20 years before Kensington really starts to see its full potential, but there are positive signs in the news right now. It may come sooner than we all think.