Philadelphia Real Estate ‘LEEDs’ the Way in Green

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor Finding the right bit of real estate seems to be the perfect recipe for successful shops located in Downtown Philadelphia. A 10,000-sq.-ft. building at 1923 Chestnut Street purchased five years ago by Breakaway Bikes and Training [...]

Finding the right bit of real estate seems to be the perfect recipe for successful shops located in Downtown Philadelphia. A 10,000-sq.-ft. building at 1923 Chestnut Street purchased five years ago by Breakaway Bikes and Training Center is now a thriving retail and sports place. In an interview for The Bicycle Retailer Glenn Krotick, the company’s co-owner said that buying the building was risky after two years of renting; however, he is confident that the transaction will prove to be profitable in the future. The first floor has been converted into retail space with bike prices ranging from $15,000 to $90. The second floor includes a fitness area and an indoor training studio equipped with two banks of eight trainers.

Bryan VanArsdale, a 37-year-old former bike messenger and shop mechanic, has recently purchased an 1,800-square-foot retail space at 756 South 4th Street, in Southeast Philadelphia. The shop has enjoyed steady growth in sales and service thanks to its great location near art galleries, restaurants and coffee shops.

Jay’s Pedal Power, another successful Philadelphia bike store located in Fishtown, is owned by Jeff Rosenblum and his wife. Rosenblum purchased the former Penn Treaty Democratic Club over three decades ago and converted it into one of Philadelphia’s green buildings.  He installed new heating equipment and a structure of solar panels on the roof which led to a drastic decrease of the electric bill, from hundreds of dollars to $77 in April.

Also making news in Philadelphia green real estate is the completion of the city’s first LEED-certified affordable housing community announced by Project H.O.M.E. and Bethesda Project which were joined by Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Brian Hudson from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and rock star celebrity Jon Bon Jovi. The eight-story Conelly House located at 13th and Market Streets comprises 63,620 square feet. It will provide a place to live for 79 formerly homeless Philadelphians. The building includes 79 single residential units, a multi-purpose room, a laundry room, kitchens, offices, and storage and exercise room. According to a recent press statement issued by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, the building is equipped with a green roof, highly insulated walls, a rainwater collection system for irrigation and non-potable use, and high-efficiency mechanical systems and lighting.