All posts by Georges Lafontant

Hamilton Crossings fuels increase in LANTA ridership

Morning Call

Anthony Salamone – Contact Reporter
March 17, 2017

LANtaLANTA (Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority) says shoppers and employees heading to Hamilton Crossing Shopping Center are riding its buses so much that ridership rose nearly 20 percent in the first three months since major stores have opened at the Lower Macungie Township retail development.

LANTA spokesman Chuck Genna said about 31,000 people rode the agency’s Route 322 buses November through January. That is an increase of 18 percent, or nearly 6,000 people, over the same three-month period a year ago. He said ridership has increased each month, to a high of 31 percent in January. [Read full article]

Goldenberg readies for summer groundbreaking on $150M Temple student housing project


The View II - seen from Cecil B. Moore Ave

The student housing project will have 874 beds.

The project would serve as the second phase of a development on the former Wanamaker school site.

Goldenberg Group is moving forward with a new $150 million student housing complex at the former site of the John Wanamaker Middle School in North Philadelphia.

It would be a companion tower to the View at Montgomery, which was a $100 million mixed-use development that the Blue Bell-based developer constructed and opened in the fall of 2014. That 14-story, 320,000-square-foot building has 832 beds in 238 residences along with 11,000 square feet of first-floor retail. It caters to Temple University students as will the new tower.

“It’s been 100 percent leased since we opened and it tells me that Temple students were starved for good residential product,” said Kevin Trapper, senior vice president at Goldenberg. “The university continues to grow year after year. We feel bullish about the next phase.”

The new project, referred to as View II at Montgomery, would total 460,000 square feet and have 874 beds spread over 352 fully-furnished apartments. It would have 22,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Trapper said that there were some lessons learned from View I that the developer tweaked when designing View II. For example, Goldenberg incorporated more community spaces – especially study rooms that are large enough for groups to gather and work together. Even with View I, Goldenberg revamped what had been a game room and some other spaces and turned them into study rooms and computer labs. In addition to adding study spaces, more amenities and commercial spaces have also been planned for the second phase.

Such projects are part of a new generation of student housing, according to national student housing report by Abodo. Higher enrollments have put pressure on schools’ on-campus housing, leading private developers to fill a void. Private rentals now account for 62 percent of the student housing market.

These new student housing projects are typically located within walking or biking distance from a campus and are amenity rich with common areas that promote social interaction, study rooms, fitness centers, pools, sand volleyball courts, outdoor BBQs and fire pits.

“Some student housing properties have attracted attention for the ‘Club Med’ style of living,” the report said. “From the manager/owner’s perspective, such properties loaded with amenities and unique features also receive a significant benefit from social media and viral marketing. When students invite friends over for volleyball or movie night, they quickly realize what they’re missing out on.”

At the View I, Goldenberg touts the property as “the only, all inclusive resort style student apartments for rent near Temple University.”

This housing does come at a cost with students paying higher rents for the location and amenities.

In Pennsylvania, Drexel University ($1,199), the University of Pennsylvania ($1,198), Temple University ($1,170) and Villanova University ($1,052) have some of the highest student monthly housing rents, according to the Abodo research. At View I, monthly rents run from $799 for a shared room, $979 for a private room and upwards of $1,699 for an entire apartment.

Goldenberg bought the former school in the 1100 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue in 2008 for $10.75 million. It had originally wanted to convert the school into residential use but those plans were nixed when environmental issues were reportedly insurmountable. As a result, the property was razed to make way for new construction. Its original plans involved a three-phase project with three buildings but that was scaled back to two.

“The sooner we get to market, the better,” Trapper said. The developer would like to break ground this July and have the project completed by fall 2019.

JV Tops out 322-Unit Residential Tower in Philadelphia’s Center City

By Amy Works
Jan. 27, 2017

Located in Philadelphia’s Center City, 1213 Walnut will feature 322 for-rent apartment units and 7,200 square feet of retail space.

PHILADELPHIA — A joint venture between The Goldenberg Group, Hines and ASB Real Estate Investments has announced the structural topping out of 1213 Walnut, a residential tower located in Philadelphia’s Center City. The 26-story, 300,000-square-foot building will feature 322 for-rent luxury apartment units, 7,200 square feet of retail space, 11,000 square feet of amenity space, a 3,000-square-foot fitness center, rooftop deck, dog park and bicycle storage. Preleasing will begin in April, with occupancy slated for July. [See Article]

1213 Walnut, aka Fergie Tower, tops out

Curbed Philly

Apartments begin leasing in April
By Melissa Romero Jan 24, 2017, 1:30pm Est

The 1213 Walnut tower has topped out. | Photo by Melissa Romero

The 1213 Walnut tower, known to many as the Fergie Tower due to its neighboring pub, has officially topped out.

Developers Goldenberg Group and Hines Development announced that the 26-story tower topped out on January 10, reaching its full height of 285 feet. Now, construction crews are finishing up the facade installation and have moved indoors to begin building up the 322 luxury units. [Read Full Article]

Coming soon to Snyder Plaza

South Philly Review
 Bill Gelman
Dec. 8 2016

When Shop­Rite re­lo­cated to Whit­man Plaza earli­er this year, an­oth­er nearby shop­ping cen­ter was left with a massive empty space. Call it a tem­por­ary set­back. Earli­er this month, ACME Mar­kets and real es­tate de­vel­op­ment firm, The Golden­berg Group, an­nounced the sign­ing of a lease to con­struct a new su­per­mar­ket in South Phil­adelphia. [Read Full Article]

ACME Coming to Snyder Plaza in South Philadelphia

ACME Markets and real estate development firm, The Goldenberg Group, announce the signing of a lease to construct a new supermarket in the City of Philadelphia.  The new full-line grocery market will be located in the Snyder Plaza Shopping Center and will serve the Pennsport and Whitman neighborhoods as well as the greater Center City area.  The new ACME will include both Starbucks coffee, as well as a beer and wine shop.

See recent news coverage here:

ACME at Snyder Plaza Opening this SummerNBC 10 Philadelphia
Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Business Journal
Curbed Philadelphia
Passyunk Post
Philly Voice