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Ryan Garrity's Blog

By Ryan C. Garrity | Agent in Philadelphia, PA

Riverwest Condominiums - Rittenhouse Square - Philadelphia, PA

Riverwest Condominiums is located on the northwest corner of 21st and Chestnut Streets.  The building is 18 stories and consists of studios, 1 bedroom units, and 2 bedroom units.  I believe the building was orginally a hotel, then an apartment building, and then converted to condos back in 2005/2006.  The conversion was handled by Crescent Heights, which is the nation's largest condominium company.

Amenities:

The building does have controlled access which requires keyfob entry to the building, the communal lounge in the lobby, as well as, the gym on the 2nd floor.  So, as you have now concluded there is both a gym and a communal lounge in the building.

The communal lounge is on the lobby floor.  It consists of a few communal computers, a lounging area with a flat screen tv, and a separate study room attached.

The gym is on the 2nd floor.  It consists of some free weights, along with multiple machines such as treadmills, elipticals, stair climbers, etc.  It is free to use and a nice perk.  While it doesn't necessarily compare to your local gym that charges membership fees, it does have the essentials and you don't have to leave the building.

 There are 2 communal laundry rooms for the building.  The first is on the lobby floor and the 2nd is in the basement.  It does cost money to use the washers/dryers.

In addition to the controlled access, there is a 24/7 front desk attendant 365 days a year.  They screen guests, retrieve your packages, and are helpful in resolving any issues in your unit.

The building also contains some commercial space.  One space is occupied by a nail salon.  Unfortunately, I know nothing about the nail industry, so I can't really speak to the quality or lack thereof, but the other commercial space is operated by Mix, which is a pizza joint with a small bar.  Their food is quite tasty (highly recommend the buffalo chicken pizza) and you don't even have to leave the building to grab a beer (there is an entry to Mix in the lobby in addition to a separate street entrance).

Two features on the units themselves that I am not a big fan of are: 1) You can not control the heat in your unit.  It is controlled by the building.  So, if you are cold there's not much you can do, and if you're too hot you can always run the A/C (have heard stories of people on the higher floors, since heat rises, of having to run the A/C during the winter months.  2)You do not have central air, but rather wall units.

When the units were sold back in 2005/2006 they were sold as-is, so there are units that are still in the same condition as they were sold in, and others that have been completely rennovated.

Parking is also available in the building for an additional monthly fee.

Location:

The location is top notch in my opinion.  You're technically in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood and only 3-4 blocks from the actual square itself (http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia/rittenhouse-square/).  You're close to Walnut St. shopping and dining.  You're within walking distance to University City (the building is actually on UPenn's shuttle route).  Septa busses travel east on Chestnut St. down to Old City and Penn's landing (there is a stop in front of the building).  You're 2 blocks from Trader Joes, you're surrounded by markets, you're a quick walk to multiple bars and restaurants (including Stephen Starr's El Rey which is only a half block away).  You're also a short walk from both 30th St. Station and Suburban Station should you need to take a train out of the city.  Just about any of your needs can be fulfilled within walking distance.  

Occupants:

If I had to guess, I would say the average age in the building is 25 or 26.  There are lots of Penn and Drexel grad and undergrad students mixed in with a lot of young professionals.  The tenant occupied to owner occupied ratio is pretty uneven as most units are tenant occupied.  The units do serve as great rentals considering that condo fees cover all utilities, which allows landlords to charge an all encompassing flat fee to tenants (the condo fee even includes DirecTV).  There have been a lot of cash buyers in the building. 

Note: Due to the majority of the units being owned by investors and used as rentals, it has become extremely difficult to get financing for the purchase of a unit.  Banks like to see a more balanced ratio of owner occupants to tenant occupants. 

Price:

The last 2 bedroom unit sold for $225,000, the last one bedroom unit sold for $159,000, and the last studio sold for $139,000.  This is undoubtedly one of the most inexpensive, if not the most inepxpensive, building in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.  

Below is a link to the building's website.  Thanks for reading!

http://www.riverwest-condos.com/index.html

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