Sunday, December 8, 2013

Goldtex Apartments' Next Uphill Battle

Now that Goldtex has defied convention and won the war against the region's unions, let's talk about the new apartment building that stands to define the city's latest hip address.

It's certainly grand. Post Brothers brought ambitious design, high end appliances, and the kind of amenities usually reserved for condos to the rental market. But their next challenge could be finding those renters.

Starting at almost $1400 for a little more than 500 square feet, Goldtex must compete with luxury rentals in Rittenhouse and Society Hill. In fact, the main thing more appealing about Goldtex than similar Center City rentals is easy parking and freeway access, and one can find those conveniences in University City or the suburbs for far less. 

Come on, who shaves like that?

But that could all change. Goldtex may be the catalyst Callowhill needs bring the same success found in hip islands like Passyunk Square closer to Center City. Although it's not comparable to the Piazza, more foot traffic at 12th and Wood can encourage other developers to explore the vicinity's vacant warehouses and surface lots, even those across Vine Street.

The nearby State Office Building has already been transformed into Tower Place. With 50% of Post Brothers' Goldtex units rented before their building is even complete, they've given Bart Blatstein the fire he needs to begin converting his nearby Inquirer Building.

Still, Goldtex is unique. Philadelphia is not a transient town. Most renters ultimately want to buy, and are often willing to settle for standard amenities with modest rent in the mean time. Over time the Post Brothers may find themselves regretting the decision to use stainless steel appliances and lavish amenities, amenities that need to be maintained and replaced throughout the years.

Luxury rentals aren't easy to sustain, and where they survive, they're paired with a premier address. Still, while we leap to 18th and Walnut when we think of that premier address, luxury rentals have helped transform Northern Liberties and University City into mighty fine addresses.

Callowhill's grit has always been baffling considering its proximity to Center City. It's dynamic and urban unlike emerging areas of South Philadelphia much farther from City Hall and public transportation. It may take just one, wildly publicized and successful building to remind people how close the neighborhood is to everything.


  1. Hi Wes - though my brother and I were born in the Washington, DC area, we both moved here when we were 18 to attend Drexel and have lived here since, 15 years for me, 19 for my brother. We started our company in Philadelphia, and only operate in Philadelphia. As it relates to rents - everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however I can let you know that we are nearly 50% rented at the current asking rents, and that is before construction is complete. I would encourage you to come see the building, or to reach out anytime if you want to ask questions. Thanks,
    Mike Pestronk

    1. Hi Mike - Thanks for the info! I'll update the post. Glad to hear you're already half way rented. As a neighbor, I've been a huge fan of the project since it was pitched.