You may be familiar with Point Breeze
in Philadelphia, and you may have never even heard of it.
If you're like me and you consistently keep up with news and development in Philadelphia, you hear about PB weekly
; almost daily.Change.Controversy.
Those are just some of the buzz words that have been thrown around over
the past year or so, by longtime residents, neighborhood newcomers, and
unbiased onlookers.But who's right?
Well, neither the long-timers or newcomers are; in my opinion. I feel
that it's more a matter of, "How can everyone work together to deal with
the changes currently taking place?"
Point Breeze is currently at the epicenter of a few urban issues: 1) Changing Demographics
, 2) Non-Profit vs For-Profit
, and 3) Old vs New
Let's start with "Changing Demographics." PB used to be comprised
largely of diverse, working-class Philadelphians, and the neighborhood
was supported by local businesses, churches, and families. Once "The
Breeze" began to change in the 70s and 80s (due to drugs and crime),
residents moved out of the neighborhood, values declined, and homes were
left unattended; leaving behind blocks and blocks of decaying real
When I say "Non-Profit vs For-Profit," I am generally referring to
projects in the neighborhood developed by local organizations (both
residential and commercial), versus those funded by private developers.
Since the neighborhood started changing some 40 years ago, and the
population declined (which is never good for any neighborhood), local
civic leaders worked hard to stabilize Point Breeze; and they're still
working on it today.
Then you have a very common problem in Philadelphia that I am calling
"Old vs New." Problems stemming from the differing opinions of current
residents and new residents is nothing new for any of America's older,
larger cities; and it's certainly not new in Philadelphia. This problem
can become even more exacerbated when property values and taxes come
Being a Realtor who works in all of Philadelphia's diverse and unique
neighborhoods, I feel that I can clearly see the changes taking place in
Point Breeze, from a real estate perspective; it's a case of Supply
& Demand. Some 40 years ago, demand was low and prices dropped. In
2013, demand is high and values are rising. Couple that with the drastic
effect AVI will likely have on most of South Philadelphia's property
taxes, and you now have major issues that are of a concern to PB's
Personally, I can see why both sides would be upset, but I have never
been a proponent of resisting change just because its different. Change
can be both good and bad, and it has to be carefully planned with lots
of community input; but resisting change altogether can yield some of
the worst results. Point Breeze is a dense, urban neighborhood, that's
affordable, walkable/bikable, and in a great location (close to Center
City, jobs, restaurants/bars, shopping, public transportation, and major
roads/highways). PB has a great housing stock, and offers all of the
advantages of big city living in a tight, historic, residential
neighborhood. It's all of these factors that have created a renewed
sense of demand for real estate in Point Breeze.There is no doubt that PB is changing
: new homes, new residents, new businesses, higher demand, higher values, and higher taxes.
It just depends on who you ask, whether it's good