Or more appropriately, could I possibly offend an entire subset of Philadelphia Condominium owners if I continue? I think the possibility of both is worthy of consideration. Rittenhouse Square, named after David Rittenhouse- a somewhat famous, if not boorish Philadelphia historic figure of note, has been the destination for those upper tier Philadelphia condo buyers for many years. With the arrival of 1830 Rittenhouse Square in 1912, "The Square" has been home to many Philadelphians seeking a lifestyle rife without the burden of yard work, roof work, or many of the mundane maintenance items that fill the daily lives of their suburban contemporaries. Urban high rise dwellers have long sought carefree lifestyles within the confines of The Barclay, 250 S. 18th St.
, 1900, and The Plaza at 18th and Walnut Streets. In the post war era, Philadelphia saw the arrival of such pieces as The Rittenhouse Regency (now the Parc Rittenhouse), the Savoy, The Dorchester, and 220 W. Rittenhouse Sq.
Then came The Rittenhouse, and today we have the creation of Ten Rittenhouse. Can some of the Square's former attractiveness and glory be lost with so many new choices for the upper class to reside, in terms of Philadelphia's luxury high-rises? Could the 'Grande Dame of Philadelphia living" be losing its luster and appeal to a much younger, hipper set of Center City Condos? And a potential buyer would definitely have to consider the contemporary styles in Old City, such as 108 Arch. The building offers on-site parking and sleek design. Or the Ayer on Washington Square- replete with the kind of contemporary styling I have not yet seen in this town. Not to mention the alternatives like the Ritz across from city hall, which promises the utmost in pampering, or the Symphony House on South Broad Street, which seems to be a magnet for those looking to be close to the cultural center of town. Not to mention Two Liberty, whose units begin on the 40th floor.
And talk about your views of the square! I have personally dropped more than one hint about my willingness to move into Two Liberty, at my dinner table, only to be routinely ignored. Looking at other Philadelphia condominium alternatives, you certainly couldn't ignore the proliferation of the luxury Brownstone condos along the Spruce/Pine corridor from Front to 26th Streets. The unbelievable amenities including the high ceilings and the ornate pre-war detailing to the original random width pine flooring, there is a serious challenge to the current offerings of the square. And now, even the Delaware River-front developments are catching on her in Philadelphia. Some of the views from the 22nd floor verandas at Waterfront Square play well to those considering a move into a downtown Philadelphia condominium or loft. If we look at the basic composition of the offerings of the Center City condo market, we can see some dramatic changes over the years.
The outright growth and popularity of condos here in Center City has been remarkable, to say the least. The overall perceptual acceptance, physical expansion, and increased livability of neighborhoods like Old City, and the water front for example, gives an incoming Center City condo buyer a lot more options than they might have had twenty years ago. And just a mere twenty years ago, the idea of a low rise, brownstone styled condominium was not widely accepted as a luxurious alternative to a Rittenhouse Square high rise condominium. In today's market, any real estate possiblilty could exist.
Two great examples are Knightsbridge Condos at 10th and Spruce and The Coles House on clinton Street. So with all the options to the incoming Philadelphia condominium buyer today, has the square indeed become passť? Maybe a bit tired in its old age? I would have to argue that all in all, the square is still the destination of choice for a vast number of incoming. The open park setting, the shopping, the ease of access to major highways, not to mention 30th street station all are positives in the mindset of those seeking to make the square their home. And truth be told, where else are you going to find say, "a Pre-War, doorman building, that realtors can describe as Triple Mint"? You aren't. Rittenhouse Square is still chic, still in vogue, and definitely still has some of the most well-known, expensive, and luxurious condominiums here in Philadelphia. Maybe in 20 years you can check back and ask me again.
However, unless we all live on the moon, or say underwater in the year 2028, I am going to have to guess that Rittenhouse Square will still be the destination of choice for all those upper tier Philadelphia condominium buyers.
During the late 1980s, Mark fell in love with the Philadelphia real estate market. Having been inside countless condos in the Center City real estate area, Mark is intimately familiar with the available properties. Mark prides himself and impresses others of his vast knowledge of what's trendy and knows which finishes buyers look for when selecting a home. You can view his recent sales and current listings at http://www.centercity.com