Ask anyone from the Philadelphia or southern New Jersey region what they long for most from home, and a few items usually pop up. First is usually — inexplicably — hoagies from WaWa convenience stores. These sandwiches are fine, but nothing spectacular if you ask me. I generally go for the second item on the “miss list,” i.e. the legendary cheesesteaks from places like Jim’s Steaks. Moving into the non-hoagie-related categories, you will no doubt hear about the also-unspectacular (the less charitable might call it “swill”) Yuengling beer. Living in the land of Harpoon and Sam Adams, you should not feel like you’re missing out if you have not had a chance to taste it. And while they have the great Phillies baseball team, Boston is Title Town these past 10 or so years.
But what is relatively rare and missing here in the Boston area, is the “Philly-Style” apartment/condo/townhome layout. Sure, the layout is not entirely uncommon, but the standard triple decker is more par for the course around these parts. What the Philly Style offers, though, is the feeling of separation of living and sleeping areas that a duplex brings. Usually the term refers to two units in a house that share half a floor. Picture two Z-shaped units, one atop the other, where the bottom unit has the whole first floor and half of the second. The top unit shares the other half of the second floor and occupies all of the third floor. The layout works great for people who want to feel like they are in a house and not a flat. The name likely derives from the rowhouses that constitute a large portion of the housing in Philly and Baltimore. It is more of a side-by-side situation than the stacked triple deckers or two-family houses in the Boston area.
Rare though may be, my biz partner and I just happen to have beautiful specimen of a Philly-Style home hitting the market this weekend.
This excellently located Philly-Style unit was converted and renovated in 2003. The layout offers a spacious 1426 square feet, three bedrooms (two upstairs, one down), one-and-a-half baths, a modern kitchen, a gracious foyer, living room, and large formal dining area. It is located a short jaunt from nightlife and restaurants of Davis Square and the T, and Tufts. The price is $475,000. More details and photos here, at modernmass.com.
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