Looking to Invest in mixed use property in Philadelphia

24 Replies

Looking to make moves on property (4-5 bed + commercial unit ground floor) in Brewerytown in the ballpark of 60-70k. Strategy is to buy, renovate, rent out. 

Anyone interested in this space and want to chat? 

Steven,

There are a lot of properties in Philadelphia that are mixed-use with a commercial space on the 1st floor, and residential above it. I am curious, what has led you to Brewerytown? It is often touted as having a lot of potential, yet what has always concerned me about the area is its proximity to transit. I live and work in the city, and would be happy to discuss your strategy. Feel free to reach out.

-James

Originally posted by @James Brand :

Steven,

There are a lot of properties in Philadelphia that are mixed-use with a commercial space on the 1st floor, and residential above it. I am curious, what has led you to Brewerytown? It is often touted as having a lot of potential, yet what has always concerned me about the area is its proximity to transit. I live and work in the city, and would be happy to discuss your strategy. Feel free to reach out.

-James

 It has a trolley line and at least three bus lines that run through it, not bad IMHO. 

Originally posted by @Steven Rasovsky:

Looking to make moves on property (4-5 bed + commercial unit ground floor) in Brewerytown in the ballpark of 60-70k. Strategy is to buy, renovate, rent out. 

Anyone interested in this space and want to chat? 

 I live and invest in Brewerytown, I'm curious how you landed on this particular neighborhood from across the country? I'm also curious why you specifically want a commercial space? They're not in demand and can be problematic to rent out. Residential space gives you a much better return in most of Brewerytown these days. We have a CMX-1 building now we're working on rezoning or getting a variance for as it's in a residential area. There's no (very little?) demand for small commercial spaces not on Girard. 

As long as you don't expect to be on the main commercial corridor, you'll easily find a property zoned CMX-1 that will fit your needs in that price range. There are plenty of them in Brewerytown, too many really, as the need for commercial properties on literally every corner has gone away. The zoning still reflects having small local shops on every corner like a butcher, baker, etc. Those days are long past but the zoning hasn't changed with the times. 

Great question. Honestly, it's not the most informed decision at this point. Planning to walk the neighborhood this weekend to get a better idea. 

I sell granola bars to coffee shops in Philadelphia and have been asking around about where the new cafes are popping up and where artists are moving. Many have said Brewerytown. Seeing trends in NYC, I have started getting into the mindset of following the artists to find the next hot spot. 

I am totally open to other neighborhoods. Trying to learn the area. Any tips would be awesome. Fishtown is on my radar as well.

Originally posted by @Steven Rasovsky:

Great question. Honestly, it's not the most informed decision at this point. Planning to walk the neighborhood this weekend to get a better idea. 

I sell granola bars to coffee shops in Philadelphia and have been asking around about where the new cafes are popping up and where artists are moving. Many have said Brewerytown. Seeing trends in NYC, I have started getting into the mindset of following the artists to find the next hot spot. 

I am totally open to other neighborhoods. Trying to learn the area. Any tips would be awesome. Fishtown is on my radar as well.

 You're 10 years too late to get into Fishtown my friend. So you need commercial space for your own business? 

Originally posted by @Troy S.:
Originally posted by @Steven Rasovsky:

Looking to make moves on property (4-5 bed + commercial unit ground floor) in Brewerytown in the ballpark of 60-70k. Strategy is to buy, renovate, rent out. 

Anyone interested in this space and want to chat? 

 I live and invest in Brewerytown, I'm curious how you landed on this particular neighborhood from across the country? I'm also curious why you specifically want a commercial space? They're not in demand and can be problematic to rent out. Residential space gives you a much better return in most of Brewerytown these days. We have a CMX-1 building now we're working on rezoning or getting a variance for as it's in a residential area. There's no (very little?) demand for small commercial spaces not on Girard. 

As long as you don't expect to be on the main commercial corridor, you'll easily find a property zoned CMX-1 that will fit your needs in that price range. There are plenty of them in Brewerytown, too many really, as the need for commercial properties on literally every corner has gone away. The zoning still reflects having small local shops on every corner like a butcher, baker, etc. Those days are long past but the zoning hasn't changed with the times. 

So it's a bit confusing since I can only show one location on my profile, but I'm actually from York, PA and am doing a grad degree out in Seattle. I come back to PA to run my family granola bar business quite often and am looking to go into partnership with my dad in buying, rehabing and renting out spaces in Philly. Thanks for the insight on commercial demand. I am looking to potentially use the commercial space myself for an upcoming project.

Looked at your site by the way. Did you rehab the dover st. location? Looks awesome, congrats on sell!

Definitely a fair point, its not an island by any means. I would hold that appreciation in Philly is most directly tied to the speed with which one can get to Center City though, which is most efficiently accomplished by the MFL/BSL subways. The 15 trolley travels basically horizontal to Market in that area, which is helpful if you are seeking nightlife in Fishtown. I am a huge fan of the bus system here too, but as a mode of commute for your typical 9-5er I think the subway is more ideal. Just my $.02....

Originally posted by @Steven Rasovsky:
Originally posted by @Troy S.:
Originally posted by @Steven Rasovsky:

Looking to make moves on property (4-5 bed + commercial unit ground floor) in Brewerytown in the ballpark of 60-70k. Strategy is to buy, renovate, rent out. 

Anyone interested in this space and want to chat? 

 I live and invest in Brewerytown, I'm curious how you landed on this particular neighborhood from across the country? I'm also curious why you specifically want a commercial space? They're not in demand and can be problematic to rent out. Residential space gives you a much better return in most of Brewerytown these days. We have a CMX-1 building now we're working on rezoning or getting a variance for as it's in a residential area. There's no (very little?) demand for small commercial spaces not on Girard. 

As long as you don't expect to be on the main commercial corridor, you'll easily find a property zoned CMX-1 that will fit your needs in that price range. There are plenty of them in Brewerytown, too many really, as the need for commercial properties on literally every corner has gone away. The zoning still reflects having small local shops on every corner like a butcher, baker, etc. Those days are long past but the zoning hasn't changed with the times. 

So it's a bit confusing since I can only show one location on my profile, but I'm actually from York, PA and am doing a grad degree out in Seattle. I come back to PA to run my family granola bar business quite often and am looking to go into partnership with my dad in buying, rehabing and renting out spaces in Philly. Thanks for the insight on commercial demand. I am looking to potentially use the commercial space myself for an upcoming project.

Looked at your site by the way. Did you rehab the dover st. location? Looks awesome, congrats on sell!

 Got it. If you're looking for commercial for yourself, you'll be in great shape, I wouldn't want a commercial property in the residential areas if you're expecting to rehab and rent to others due to demand. Yep, Dover was our first project we've done as a company. 

Originally posted by @James Brand :

Definitely a fair point, its not an island by any means. I would hold that appreciation in Philly is most directly tied to the speed with which one can get to Center City though, which is most efficiently accomplished by the MFL/BSL subways. The 15 trolley travels basically horizontal to Market in that area, which is helpful if you are seeking nightlife in Fishtown. I am a huge fan of the bus system here too, but as a mode of commute for your typical 9-5er I think the subway is more ideal. Just my $.02....

Yeah, Fairmount has really been hampered in the appreciation dept without a subway :)

Kidding aside, I don't disagree that an el or sub would do wonders for Brewerytown, but my wife and dozens (hundreds?) of others take the bus into Center City daily in our area. It's 15 or 20 minutes from 29th and Girard into CC and the buses run every 6 minutes during the rush hours. If you're looking for an appreciation play, I'd definitely stay as close to the bus routes as you can, which, for most of Brewerytown, runs down 29th St. 

Originally posted by @Troy S.:
Originally posted by @James Brand:

Definitely a fair point, its not an island by any means. I would hold that appreciation in Philly is most directly tied to the speed with which one can get to Center City though, which is most efficiently accomplished by the MFL/BSL subways. The 15 trolley travels basically horizontal to Market in that area, which is helpful if you are seeking nightlife in Fishtown. I am a huge fan of the bus system here too, but as a mode of commute for your typical 9-5er I think the subway is more ideal. Just my $.02....

Yeah, Fairmount has really been hampered in the appreciation dept without a subway :)

Kidding aside, I don't disagree that an el or sub would do wonders for Brewerytown, but my wife and dozens (hundreds?) of others take the bus into Center City daily in our area. It's 15 or 20 minutes from 29th and Girard into CC and the buses run every 6 minutes during the rush hours. If you're looking for an appreciation play, I'd definitely stay as close to the bus routes as you can, which, for most of Brewerytown, runs down 29th St. 

Copy that, I think bus outlooks are a bit of a mixed bag. I shoot up from South Philly on it all the time and have never had an issue, but have had friends and colleagues paint a miserable picture of the experience.

Would definitely like to hear how your rezoning/variance process goes. I could not agree more that there are far too many of those mixed use properties out there than there is demand for, if any. I have come across a few that I have had interest in so if you have success definitely pm me the details and any tips you might have. Granted, it is definitely heavily dependent on who from the neighborhood turns up to give you a hard time. I have heard some horror stories. 

Hello @Troy S. and @Steven Rasovsky,

There have been a number of local news reports lately about the proposed/planned future for Lower North Philly which includes Brewerytown.   There are so many vacant and dilapidated properties in this area, there is a school of thought that is gaining traction to turn much of  the area over for open spaces, such as, parks, side yards, and farming.  The Philadelphia Housing Authority also released a plan recently to acquire a large portion of the Sharswood neighborhood (right next to Brewerytown)  for relocation of their headquarters from Center City and to develop the rest of the space for residential and commerical use.  Brewerytown is certainly changing but I am not sure into what.  With it's proximity to the Parkway and a short bus ride or drive to Center City I believe it is an area to watch. 

As an FYI.  I  had relatives who lived in Brewerytown and the surrounding areas.  Recently my cousins' home was taken by the City through Eminent Domain to make way for a new housing development. 

It looks to me that the direction City Planners are moving towards are walkable neighborhoods.  Everything you need, restaurants, entertainments, shopping, etc. will be accessible within a short walk from your front door.  I think a commercial building with rental units make sense in Brewerytown because I think the demand for commercial space will pick up.  I am just not sure the time is right to pick up a commercial space with rentals right now.  My sense from having grown up in the area and knowing the neighbor is that most renters prefer single family homes.  I don't believe there is enough turnover in the neighborhood to attract renters above a storefront.

Below is a link to an article that talks about the future of Lower North Philadelphia.

Also @Steven Rasovsky, if you are not set on staying in proximity to Center City Philadelphia, take a look in the Germantown/ Mt. Airy sections of the city.  These areas are 25-30 minutes outside of Center City but have easy access to public transportation and there is a demand for commercial units in these areas.  Many of which have apartments them.  Oh yeah, there is a small artist community in the area as well.

http://planphilly.com/articles/2013/07/17/more-vacant-property-than-can-be-filled-in-lower-north-Philadelphia

"I'd definitely stay as close to the bus routes as you can, which, for most of Brewerytown, runs down 29th St."

I'm only interested in areas that have access to public transportation.  I'm having a lot of trouble, though, finding what those areas are, if they're not near the BSL or MFL. I more or less ignored Brewerytown at the start of my search because I assumed it was for car people only. 

I have had no luck finding a transport map that includes buses and trolleys. It's disappointing that at least the trolleys aren't on the subway map since they're integrated. I love Philly's commitment to public transportation, but it seems a little weak on the map/documentation side. Any tips for identifying neighborhoods that are a SEPTA hop and a skip from Center City either by bus or trolley? If I had my way, there would be a redfin filter for access to transportation and low crime. 

Originally posted by @James Brand :

Definitely a fair point, its not an island by any means. I would hold that appreciation in Philly is most directly tied to the speed with which one can get to Center City though, which is most efficiently accomplished by the MFL/BSL subways. The 15 trolley travels basically horizontal to Market in that area, which is helpful if you are seeking nightlife in Fishtown. I am a huge fan of the bus system here too, but as a mode of commute for your typical 9-5er I think the subway is more ideal. Just my $.02....

Let's see now ... The 15 trolley line has a stop at Broad and Girard, and so does the Broad Street Line (BSL); so that would be a single transfer, and quite frankly most riders on BSL and MFL get to those lines via another public transit route (in other words, a transfer is quite typical).

And there is also the 48 bus ... goes right downtown ...

Public transit isn't problematic in Brewerytown ...

Do these maps help you?

Of course I've seen those maps, and no, that's not what i'm looking for. 

I would like something comprehensive that shows buses, trolleys and subway or failing that, shows buses separately. Something like this.

The bus system is the hardest thing to learn.

Thanks for the article, @Paulette Midgette. Helpful tips as always. 

@Mike Girard I want to address your question about the bus and trolley routes.  We don't have anything like the example you provided in Philly.  But what we do have are bus and trolley schedules (link below).  There are some challenges to using the schedules.  One, they are listed by the bus route numbers or letters. Two, the neighborhoods for the start of the route and the end of the route are the only descriptors provided.  You will need to click on the bus route to see the specifics.  However, one in you will find very detailed and highly visual route areas.  Streets, neighborhoods, highway routes are all shown on the map.   So, if you want to know which buses run in Brewerytown you will need to click on each bus schedule until you find it.  You may already know all this, so forgive me if I am giving you information you don't need.  The easiest thing to do may to   ask BP members familiar or living in an area your are interested in when you have questions about transporation routes.

http://www.septa.org/schedules/bus/index.html