On the edge of Brewerytown and Fairmount Park, there are no signs of slowing down at the historic Pyramid building, where the graffiti-laden exterior is gone, replaced with a fresh coat of paint, repointed brick, and brand new windows.
And people are starting to notice. About one month ahead of the first round of July 10 move-ins, the Pyramid Lofts, as it’s now being called, is already 66 percent leased; all one-bedroom units have been rented. It’s bucking the current trend of the rental market in Philly, where a number of developments are experiencing a lag in leases.
Project manager David Glassner suspects that has to do with the low rental rates at the Pyramid Lofts. The 50 units, a mix of studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units, range from $960 to about $2,450.
Glassner says the “rental rates wouldn’t have been feasible without the use of historic tax credits,” on the project.
The triangular-shaped behemoth on a hill has sat vacant for 15 years at 3101 W. Glenwood Avenue, becoming an underground community for graffiti artists. But it dates back to 1922, when it was designed by architect Leroy B. Rothschild as a furniture warehouse for Harry C. Kahn & Sons. When that company closed up shop, Pyramid Electric Supply Company moved in during the 1960s.
Developer MMPartners bought the property one year ago and immediately began work to convert the warehouse into apartments.
Curbed Philly recently checked in on the Pyramid Lofts’ progress since its last visit in March. In the last three months, the building’s facade has been restored and is close to completion; a new, custom-made sign that reads “Pyramid Lofts” will eventually stretch across the west-facing facade.
Here’s the east-facing facade in March versus today.
About $1.3 million in federal and state tax credits went toward replacing every single window with original glass fit-outs.
Glassner says it hasn’t been decided if the graffiti-laden doors will be kept or repurposed in some way with the project. Inside, numerous works by graffiti artists have been preserved throughout.
To the left of the building in this photo will be a gated parking lot for 31 spaces, as well as a small dog-run and bike storage room. There will also be access to the building’s ground-floor commercial retail, which is still under negotiations.
There’s a public open house of the Pyramid Lofts on Thursday, June 8.
- Photos: Inside Brewerytown’s Pyramid Electric building [Curbed Philly]