Natalie Kostelni, Philadelphia Business Journal
While most new apartments in Philadelphia are ground up projects, the Lyndon at the Curtis is an exception.
When Keystone Property Group bought the Curtis, a 12-story, 880,000-square-foot office building at 6th and Walnut streets in Philadelphia, it decided to convert a 90,000-square-foot portion of the building into 63 apartments. Since the apartments started to be marketed to renters beginning last fall, 49 of the units have so far been leased, said Jessica Scully of Scully Co., which is managing the property.
Rents range from $2,205 for a one bedroom upwards to $12,000 for a 1,681-square-foot unit with three bedrooms and two baths overlooking Independence Hall and Washington Square.
What makes these apartments so pricey is their location overlooking two parks and the building itself as well, Scully said.
“It’s unique compared to a lot of other projects in the city,” she said. “It’s very thoughtfully designed and respectful of the historic nature of the building. Its finishes are more like condominium finishes and it resembles more of a condo lifestyle.”
Some units have views of each park, original parquet flooring and woodwork, as well as expansive terraces. The Lyndon has a variety of apartments — some are two-story units as well as 23 different floor plans.
The brisk lease up has meant rents have ticked up. “While the market is giving concessions, we’re increasing on average $300 a unit,” Scully said.
Most of the project’s primary competition comes from other apartment buildings that were recently developed and many with several hundred units each such as Hanover North Broad, Dalian on the Park and 1213 Walnut. The Griffin, Divine Lorraine, and Franklin Tower Residences are among the apartment projects that involve converting existing buildings.
At the end of March, 3,974 units were under construction in the city and expected to be completed during the next three years, according to Delta Associates’ first quarter report. The inventory pipeline is down by 7.4 percent compared with the same period a year ago. There are 11 projects in the process of being leased and each project averages leasing 10 units a month, according to the report.
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