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Melrose Garden

Melrose Holiday TreeAs many of you may have noticed, there is a new garden behind the Melrose Diner. And this week, it got a Christmas Tree.

What you may not know is that the Newbold CDC worked for several years coordinating with PennDOT, Philadelphia Streets Department and Department of Parks and Recreation to create a series of cut outs in the new road improvements to add some green space to the West Passyunk Corridor. Now the cut outs are here, we are working in partnership with the West Passyunk Neighbors, Newbold Civic Association, and local businesses along the Avenue to plant these spaces and beautify the neighborhood.

So far we have planted native grasses and shrubs that will come back fuller and greener every year. And, starting the spring Melrose Garden will be full of color with hundreds of daffodils and tulip bulbs. Thanks to everyone who supported Newbold CDC in bringing these gardens to life. If you would like to find out more, or volunteer to help out at the garden please don’t hesitate to contact us.

November FlashMeal: Gennaros!

Gennaro's Tomato Pie
It’s getting cold and close to the holidays. What better time to have one last blast with some neighbors at the coziest restaurant in Newbold? Join us at Gennaro’s Tomato Pie on Thursday, Nov. 21st at 7:00 PM. 

If you like crispy pie with delectable toppings followed by the yummiest desserts in the city–then I think you will enjoy Gennaro’s.

See you Thursday Nov. 21 at 7:00 PM 1429 Jackson St, Philadelphia, PA 19145. It’s BYOB and cash only!

Still don’t know about #FlashMeal? Here’s a quick explanation.

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reNewbold greener homes begin construction

reNewbold Ground BreakingSouth Philadelphia’s first Housing Community Seeking LEED Certification, reNewbold, broke ground this week.  LPMG, Newbold’s own property management and development company, is bringing about the single largest private investment in Newbold in more than 50 years. With the groundbreaking of “reNewbold,” we will have the only sustainable residential development seeking LEED Platinum certification in South Philadelphia.

LPMG Companies, after several years of planning, will bring this opportunity to neighborhood residents who have overwhelmingly embraced the proposed green South Philadelphia infrastructure. LPMG has chosen the successful, award-winning combination of Postgreen Homes and Interface Studio Architects to manage the construction and design of the project.

reNewbold will be the first attainably priced modern and super insulated homes in South Philadelphia. The development will include:

– 16 Rowhomes – A mix of two and three-story homes with onsite parking.
– 2 Condos – Spacious condo units above the retail space.
– 1 Retail Unit – Integrated corner retail

The ground breaking ceremony included principles of LPMG, PostGreen Homes, Valley Green Bank, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, and community leaders. The ceremony was then followed by a community cook out where neighbors mingled to learn more about the development and the LEED certification.

Newbold CDC Annual Fundraiser – Oct. 30 at SPTR

Newbold CDC Fundraiser Oct. 30

Join us to learn about what Newbold CDC has accomplished this year and what our plans are for 2014.

$50 per guest – suggested donation

October #FlashMeal is at Cafe Con Chocolate

It’s going to be a good one! Join us at Cafe Con Chocolate on Thurs., Oct. 17th at 7:00 PM.

Cafe Con Chocolate is a charming little Mexican restaurant at 21st and Snyder. We are all really looking forward to the yumminess!

Oh, and just in case you are wondering what a #FlashMeal is . . . a few months ago, NewboldCDC started a new fun project to promote restaurants in Newbold and West Passyunk. We’re calling it a FlashMeal (TM!). It’s a hybrid of a ‘flash mob’ and meal. Every month we will pick a restaurant to show them our support and promote them in the neighborhood.

So far we have been to Indonesia, Cousin’s Grubhouse, and Amalia’s Cafe.

September #FlashMeal is on at Amalia’s Cafe

Come join us on Thursday, September 26th at Amalia’s Cafe at 1431 W. Passyunk at 6:30 for #Flashmeal. It’s BYOB. See you there!

Branzino at Amalia's

Branzino at Amalia’s

Next #Flashmeal Sunday August 18 10AM at Cousin’s Grubhouse

Cousin's Grubhouse The second FlashMeal has been scheduled for Cousin’s Grubhouse at 2340 S Hemberger St (23rd and Passyunk) on Sunday, Aug. 18th at 10:30 AM.

This is a special edition FlashMeal BRUNCH!

Make sure to mark your calendars and let me know if you think you can make it. Thanks to our West Passyunk friends for putting this together and I am very excited to get my brunch on.

The first FlashMeal at Indonesia was great fun and we have so many more places to go. Here’s the photo ICYMI.

I hope to see all of your smiling faces on Aug. 18th.

What’s a FlashMeal?

NewboldCDC is starting a new fun project to promote restaurants in Newbold and West Passyunk. We’re calling it a FlashMeal (TM!).  It’s a hybrid of a ‘flash mob’ and meal. Every month we will pick a restaurant to show them our support and promote them in the neighborhood.

The first FlashMeal will be at Indonesia at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, July 16th.

Indonesia is at 1725 Snyder Ave. It’s a BYOB. (Don’t worry, I called them and gave them the heads up that we are coming.) Here’s the Yelp page.

We will be promoting these FlashMeals every month via Twitter and Facebook so be sure to *LIKE* and *FOLLOW* us at:

NewboldCDC Facebook

Other restaurants on the shortlist are:

Miss Rachel’s Pantry
Sky Cafe

Dati’s Homemade Water Ice
Cafe Chocolate
Hibachi 2 Go

We are totally open to suggestions for more, and of course we can always go back to our faves! Please email us from our contact page here with suggestions.

I hope you can join us on Tuesday at 7:00 at Indonesia!

Kwelia Maps Philadelphia’s Rental Market

The article “Philly’s Hottest Rental Neighborhoods in May” was originally posted on the blog. Kwelia uses proprietary market data to build sophisticated statistical models to determine theoretical market values for specific units in specific areas based on their detailed characteristics; more details can be found on their website, and their interactive map of the Philadelphia rental market can be found here.

Philly’s Hottest Rental Neighborhoods in May, 2013

Lately, it seems as if neighborhoods have been all the rage here in Philly. Recent blog posts have been indicators of this trend. There was this one in Philly Mag that identified the hottest neighborhoods in Philadelphia based on home sale velocity. Then there was this one in Curbed Philly that highlighted up-and-coming neighborhoods according to the sentiments of RedFin agents. What was most interesting about these posts, was that the top neighborhoods were ones that we would least expect. So, although some of these lists included the “usual suspect” neighborhoods, there were several sleepers. For example, Phoenixville, Brewerytown, and West Germantown were the top three up-and-comers according to agent sentiment at RedFin. In the Philly Mag piece, Graduate Hospital (of all places) was dubbed the hottest.

As data geeks, these articles got us thinking. If Phoenixville is hot according to agent sentiment and Graduate Hospital is hot according to home sales, where is hot according to apartment rental pricing? Considering that we track this kind of stuff, we figured we would find out by ranking Philly neighborhoods according to apartment rental pricing. Some past experiences have indicated that heat maps are a great way to visualize pricing trends of different geographic areas. With that in mind, here are the results for the month of May (click image to get to interactive version of it):


Who’s Number One?

At a whopping $2.41 per ft2, Fitler Square was the priciest rental neighborhood in Philly for the month of May. While the neighborhoods of the top 10 are mostly the “usual suspects” as referred to above (Rittenhouse Square, Old City, etc.), this was a mild surprise. As for what could be behind this, we have a couple of theories. The first is what we’ll call the “Naval Square effect”. For those not aware, Naval Square is an upscale megaproject by Toll Brothers. Despite being a condo project, owners there list their units for rent from time to time. Now although Naval Square is technically a part of the Graduate Hospital neighborhood (according to our neighborhood shapes), it does border Fitler. This could mean that some Naval Square price observations are getting included in Fitler, which would give it a nice price boost. The other theory is that since Fitler has a high ownership rate, the quality of units there may be higher than other parts of town. We’ll continue to monitor Fitler and tweak things like the minimum number of units per neighborhood. Stay tuned for updates in a future post.


Our Up & Coming Neighborhoods

Although outside of the top 10, we thought it was worth noting that a couple of the Germantown neighborhoods are fairly highly ranked on the list. For example, Germantown – Westside came in at number 14 and West Central Germantown came in at number 18 for the month of May.


Though surprising to some non-Philly/Germantown folks, this may not even be a fresh trend based on other charts we have. Both of these neighborhoods have more or less held steady near $1.50 per ftfor the past several months. One does wonder whether these neighborhoods are uniformly hot or whether certain complexes are single-handedly propping up rates? In otherwords, are a few upscale complexes responsible for a higher-than-normal median rent? A closer look at complexes like Rittenhouse Hill, or Delmar Morris, or Cloverly Park shows that median rents there are all well north of $1.50 per ft2. We’ll take a deeper dive into these neighborhoods and report back accordingly.

Leasing Season Is upon Us

As most real estate pros will acknowledge, May is actually the beginning of “leasing season”. From now until September, listing volumes and rental prices will be at their highest points for the calendar year. When considering academic calendars and weather patterns, this rhymes with common logic.

There are a couple of neighborhoods affected by leasing season that we thought it noteworthy to mention.


The first is University City, which went from number 5 in the (unpublished) April rankings ($1.86 per ft2) to number 12 in May’s rankings ($1.62 per ft2).Students typically sign and make new leases around this time of year, so it follows logically that apartments marketed towards students might be higher in April than May.We will keep you posted in how this neighborhood continues to trend.


The second one is Society Hill, which went from number 19 in April to number 9 in May. Like University City, seasonality may be a culprit here. In addition to a strong rise in median rental price, we saw more than double the number of listings in Society Hill from April to May. This is perhaps an indicator that a glut of leases in this neighborhood reset during this leasing season. We shall see.

Methodology Notes

Neighborhood ShapesWe were able to cluster our data in neighborhood shapes thanks to our friends at Azavea. We were certain to only include neighborhoods that had a minimum number of price observations, which might explain some holes in the map.

Unit of MeasureThe unit of measure here is the median rental price per square foot per neighborhood. Although imperfect, we felt that the price per square foot was the best way to capture price levels across all unit mixes. In other words, it was the best way to do an apples-to-apples comparison across all neighborhoods because one may have a lot of one bedrooms or studios, etc.

BiasLastly, note that we were careful to minimize any bias that outliers would cause by using medians and not averages of pricing data.

Parting Shots

In true startup fashion, we will continue to iterate our methodology to produce the best results for this. Stay tuned for future posts, as we will be reporting on neighborhood pricing movements on a monthly basis. This should get interesting!

The Increasing Long-Term Value Of Real-Estate Investment in Newbold

Newbold was formerly a part of the much large Point Breeze neighborhood. The neighborhood derived it’s new name from the former name of Hicks street (running between Wharton and McKean streets).

New neighborhoods and hotspots in Newbold include South Philly Taproom, Station Bar & Grill, Brew and Ultimo Coffee. The Newbold real estate market also benefits from clost proximity to Center City, and is only a few blocks from the Broad Street subway line.

In addition to the development of commercial real estate, dozens of Newbold homes for sale have been rehabbed, and there’s plenty of new construction. The largest project currently underway is the reNewbold Development. The development will feature 16 rowhomes, a public courtyard and will be LEED platinum certified. A huge plus in the increasingly eco-conscious world of new construction homes.

The Increasing Long-Term Value of Newbold Real Estate

The Increasing Long-Term Value of Newbold Real Estate

Newbold real estate remains relatively low compared to most other “hot neighborhoods” in Philadelphia, with a median listing price of $133,320. Much more affordable when compared to Passyunk Square right across Broad Street, which has a median listing price of $327,700. Although prices are low now, it is anticipated that Newbold homes for sale will increase in value in the next few years. The neighborhoods excellent location, convenience, plus the revitalization effort of neighbors and developers alike make it an excellent and worthwhile investment.

This is an edited version of an article, originally posted On March 22nd, 2012 By Mickey Pascarella: CLICK HERE for the full, original version.