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"Rejuvenating Clusters" - suggestions from BillHK

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Rejuvenating Areas (originally gentrifying Clusters) - suggestions from BillHK


(received by email)


I have identified a number of Gentrifying clusters (or strips) that roughly lie on the inner edge or outer edge of the "doughnut of death" (of course it's not really round due to geography like the rivers, and due to transport infrastructure). Alleghany Ave should be on the outer edge of the doughnut and has good transport with its own commercial cluster at Allegheny Station on Kensington Ave. Many key pieces seem to be in place, but I haven't seen much signs of things taking off or good grassroots local community involvement. There's the Walgreens and pizza shops, but they are mainly surrounded by appliance, furniture, and auto repair type stores instead of more innovative F&B, or services.
Some other clusters that I'm keeping an eye out for are : -
  1. Mantua (but prices are already too high, and the opportunity now is more for developers rather than rehabbers)
  2. Parkside (from W Girard then up Parkside Ave all the way to 52nd St)
  3. Cobbs Creek (Mainly along 60th Street from Spruce to Arch, and along Market from the 60th St Station to the 63rd St Station, and then a bit around the Station along 63rd St). Although all the areas around Parks tend to get a bit of a boost and are already more expensive anyways.
  4. I like all of South Philly, but XXX doesn't have anything down there (even the one Grey's Ferry is priced way too high. Only 9% and it's a small and ugly looking duplex!)
  5. I think that you may be on to something with Wayne Junction, but there're not enough good retail shops there to really benefit from Gentrification yet. Therefore in that area, I would prefer to be closer to LaSalle U, than the train station. (I should really have bought that place across from the JW's)
  6. I think that the Feltonville commercial hub area has potential, but I need to investigate this more. Across from it, there has been some news about the Logan Triangle, and houses around there seem to be a bit higher priced than one would expect considering the history and recent usage of the Logan Triangle.
There's more, but it all gets a bit pricey and suburban, so I won't go into it except to say that if I were to live there, it would most likely be in the Manayunk/Wissahickon area, or right in Center City / University City.
> (received by email)
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(the above post came out of a prior conversation):


Bill :

What do you think of Allegheny Ave from 5th
Street over to Kensington Ave (Allegheny Station)?

Do you think that the area and street will improve in the near future? How would you compare it to say,
Lancaster Ave, or Germantown Ave? There sure are a lot of low-end retail premises along the street, and it seem to be
wide enough, but on Google maps, it looks like it's not gentrifying well.


A :

GENTRIFICATION in the Alleghany Ave. area seems to be more theoretical than actual.
I started to look at that area with some enthusiasm, because I thought it might be a good area to live,
as a jumping off point to commute to NYC.
But there is no evidence that this is happening.
We might have to walk the neighborhood to gain insight into WHY it is not happening

Gentrification seems to involve herding behavior, and people move in crowd, following pioneers.
There are probably a limited number of pioneers and a limited number of areas that will gentrify.
We did well in spotting Brewery Town and West Philly, along the Baltimore Avenue trolley line.

These seem to be top areas for gentrification, and a big uplift in Zillow valuations in 2015/16.

This seems to be driven by the proximity:
+ to Center City, for Brewery Town
+ to University West, for the Baltimore Avenue corridor

We saw the right signs when we walked our areas. This is a momentum and crowd behavior thing, and maybe it is best to way for evidence that the gentrification is starting in a new area before jumping in. On the other hand, Jay's structure, and the guarantees may justify an experiment, if prices are low enough. Since many of the new investors are from NYC - perhaps an area like Alleghany will get its early stage pioneers too.

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  • 1 year later...

Philly may actually be benefiting from brain drain


The Smartest Americans Are Heading West
Three Colorado cities are in the Brain Concentration Index’s top 10.
(Not all are west. People are also heading for Washington DC, where many govt jobs can be found.)

October 10, 2017

Three cities in Colorado — a state whose fortunes have been tied to the boom and bust of oil, gas and other commodities — are among the top 10 leading destinations for the nation’s best and brightest as old cow and mining towns morph into technology hubs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Another Colorado city is plotting a 21st century revival.

Boulder, the small college town located just north of Colorado’s capital, is ranked No. 1 nationally in the Bloomberg Brain Concentration Index, which tracks business formation as well as employment and education in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fort Collins and Denver follow at No. 4 and No. 10, respectively.


Heralding the progress in the Fort Collins metropolitan area, the website of the Northern Colorado Economic Alliance declares the region as “nerdy and proud of it” with major universities producing “a robust workforce of young, highly-educated individuals.” An estimated 35 percent of the population holds a bachelors degree or higher, according to the alliance.

. . .

The disparity from one end of the state to the other is not unique to Colorado. Muskegon, Michigan, a once bustling manufacturing town, tops the Brain Drain Index, while the state is also home to one of the country’s most educated work forces just 2.5 hours away in Ann Arbor. The city, which comes in at No. 12 on the Brain Concentration Index, is home to the University of Michigan and has an unemployment rate of just 3.9 percent.


> https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-10/the-smartest-americans-are-heading-west-as-computer-chips-replace-cow-chips

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