Matthew A. Pestronk says he knows better than to buy a beloved and beautiful building and tear it down—especially after last night's Spruce Hill Association meeting where the Post Brothers president fielded questions from concerned residents. "Everything here is historic. We are not tearing down any buildings," Pestronk said.
Last month the Post Brothers announced their $250 million investment in seven properties in and around University City, including the 1920s-era Garden Court Plaza on 47th and Pine Street. "If I had to point to one single fact that made us want to invest here, it was that this was the only neighborhood in Philly that kept growing during the recession," said Pestronk, a Drexel University alum.
While Pestronk says there are no plans to demolish any buildings, each property will undergo significant interior renovations to bring them to livable standards. He says one renovation of a three-, four-, or five-bedroom apartment in the Netherlands building on 4300 Chestnut St. could cost $10,000 to $15,000 "just to make it habitable."
Various residents of Garden Court Plaza expressed concern about price hikes in rent, parking, and being forced out for renovations. Pestronk explained that they can expect renovations to the lobby and within individual apartments as renters move out—a 2-bedroom will stay a 2-bedroom, he added. But the Post Brothers are particularly focused on bringing in more businesses with "sustainable track records" to the ground level of the building, which includes about 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of retail space that's currently under-utilized, Pestronk said.
Here's a look at all of the West Philly properties that are now owned by Post Brothers.
↑ Blenheim Apartments (4311 Spruce St.)
↑ The Netherlands (4300 Chestnut St.)
↑ 4400 Walnut Apartments (4400 Walnut St.)
↑ Garden Court Plaza (47th and Pine)
↑ Chester Plaza (Farragut and Chester Ave.)
↑ Chester Hall (4205 Chester Ave.)
↑ Hamilton Court (3800 Chestnut Ave.)
· Residents concerned as Garden Court Plaza sold to developer with big plans [West Philly Local]
· Real estate company sees opportunity in University City [Philly Voice]
· Post Brothers make big move into University City [Philadelphia Business Journal]