Philadelphia Churches Get New Life

Philadelphia Business Journal highlighted a development project from Direct’s parent company, Elfant Pontz Properties, in a recent article about the adaptive reuse of Philadelphia Churches.

From the article:

“As churches increasingly come under siege in Philadelphia as tear-down targets for future projects, some developers are finding converting them into new uses gives them a property with unique and, in some cases, irreplaceable features. For example, Elfant Pontz Properties along with Baker Street Partners completed last year the redevelopment of the former St. Lucy’s Roman Catholic Church on Green Lane in Manayunk into apartments. And Guy Laren’s Constellar Real Estate paid $250,000 for a church at 4700 Kensessing St.,

“I buy stuff and figure it out later,” Laren said. “None of this makes economic sense.”

In spite of the cost, Laren is nearing the completion of a $2.5 million, five-year conversion of the circa 1890s church into four commercial spaces — one of which is a day care — and used the sanctuary to carve out 21 apartments. “You have to look not at 40-foot ceilings but four floors,” he said. “The rentals are turning out to be better than we thought and the concept of a unique design is more popular than we initially thought possible.”

We love seeing adaptive reuse projects! Especially when they make economic sense. We recently financed the acquisition of a 1930’s church in East Falls for redevelopment.

Read the full article from Philadelphia Business Journal here (paywall).

newsMolly Gavin