Light of Hope for Philadelphia Multifamily Developments; RDA Approves New Commercial Projects

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor Recent data from IHS Global Insight released last week show a 14.6 percent increase of multifamily housing developments in June as compared to May figures, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. New apartment and condo developments rose 30.4 [...]

Recent data from IHS Global Insight released last week show a 14.6 percent increase of multifamily housing developments in June as compared to May figures, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. New apartment and condo developments rose 30.4 percent, with a 6.9 percent growth for building permits, and single-family developments increased 9.4 percent with building permits up just 0.2 percent. Patrick Newport, economist with HIS Global Insight, concluded that single-family home construction is still striving for recovery, while multifamily numbers show signs of hope.

The Inquirer also quotes Jonathan Smoke, research director for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, who said that after facing high levels of foreclosures, the ‘Gen Y’ generation is now choosing to rent or consider lower-risk investment strategies. As for house prices, after several consecutive quarters with declining figures, Philadelphia is finally enjoying a tiny 0.2 percent increase in the second quarter as compared to the first.

In other real estate news, PlanPhilly.com reports that Philadelphia’s planning commission approved last week redevelopment plans for a new supermarket and retail shopping plaza on Girard Avenue at N. 9th Street. Following the approved zoning changes, the North Philadelphia Redevelopment Area Plan will be amended so that the area bounded by Girard Avenue and N. 9th, Thompson and Hutchinson streets will be changed from mixed-commercial and industrial land use to commercial. The Southwest Temple Urban Renewal Plan will be modified as well, and the proposed land use will be changed from mixed-commercial and industrial to area shopping center. According to the approval request submitted by 901 Girard Associates LP to the RDA, the plans include a supermarket and a retail strip center of about 20,000 square feet each, informs the Philadelphia Inquirer.