Going with the market flow

The strong market for rentals has led another Philadelphia developer to convert their project in mid-construction.

West Village Condos, an 86-unit gated development in the Mill Creek section of West Philadelphia, is now offering three- and four-bedroom units starting at $1,500 per month, according to the project’s realtor. That’s after initially advertising for-sale units starting at $225,000, which the developers had called ideal for West Philadelphia professionals.

“Whatever you’re going to get with that unit you cannot find it in Philadelphia for this price,” Hillel Tsalfati, of West Village Group said in September.

Avi Cohen, partner with Citywide Realty, said the group decided to change course “because of the idea of the market.” But he added “if somebody is looking [to buy], we will sell it maybe in the future.”

Cohen declined to say whether the project was running short on financing. Instead he focused on the first six units, which are expected to be complete by February as precedent to 14 more by April. Model units are now available for tours and leasing started this week, he said.

Cohen is confident they will be able to reach full occupancy for the building at the price they are offering, citing the developers’ goal to create a luxury community west of University City.

“We’re trying to create [something] like Society Hill,” he said. “We’re trying to redevelop West Philly.”

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