Seems hardly a day goes by that I am not asked for my two cents in the general arena that is Center City Condos. As a professed uni-blab, big-brained know-it-all in this field, I have to confess that I eat, live, breathe, think, and dream downtown Philly condos for a good portion of each day. I was once asked what I believed would be the best long-term "hold" in terms of condominiums, and have come to the conclusion that the answer lies on the northwest corner of 13th and Spruce Streets.
The Lenox was converted from apartments to condominiums in 2005-2006 and exemplifies the pre-war midrise condominium building here in Center City Philadelphia. Thirteen stories tall, clad in a dark red brick with bay windows on every side, the building does have a fair dose of curb appeal. At 250 S. 13th St. is indeed Center City's diamond in the rough. Grossly undervalued for what the building could be, and is becoming, the Lenox hold some truly unique floor plans, a central location, and topped off with a few TRUE penthouse units. Add in the fact that it is a doorman building with a generous loading zone out front, and the pieces of the puzzle (that being Value) begin to fall into place.
I believe the building is an excellent value based on the current resale dollar per square foot. A nicely finished two bedroom, one bath, complete with newer kitchen and bath, original architectural details, and two to three walk-in closets can be purchased around the $340,000 mark. Close to Jefferson Hospital is a real plus, as are the oak herringbone floors, plaster walls, and detailed, yet nonworking fireplaces. The owners association is currently undergoing a host of capital improvements (see the scaffolding encircling the building), and looking into a few rule changes or upgrades that one day may permit washer/dryers in each unit, as well as central air. Those are currently two factors that are greatly (and I mean GREATLY suppressing resale value). Word on the street is that the Parker Hotel across the street is possibly being eyed by the University of the Arts. Such a move would be a boon for the owner of 250 S. 13th St. as well.
If long term value is what you are seeking in a Condominium, then you might want to consider a look at The Lenox at 250 S. 13th St. in Center City Philadelphia, as it is my guess that if the building can improve, or have improved unto it, a few details, that the units within the building will shoot up in value more than most Center City condominiums will over the next ten to twenty years.