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Last summer we welcomed eleven new Postgreen Homes’ family members to the 1700 block of Folsom St in Francisville. There was a lot of interest in additional condos at Folsom Powerhouse from the market, but unfortunately we experienced some permitting delays that kept us from building the next two corner buildings as quickly as we had hoped. We had to hold back launching sales of those units for a few months.

Well, the time to launch has come. Our sales team at KW put the four condo units in the 1744 Folsom building on the market a little less than two weeks ago. There have been a lot of walk throughs and two were put under reservation quickly. One couple’s plans fell through last night and now we are back to three of the four being available as of today.

There are a couple of things about this building that we are particularly excited about here at Postgreen Homes. Let’s review.

1. Low Price Range

The units in this building are just the right size and share the construction efficiencies of being under one roof and on top of one shared foundation. This allows us to price these in our favorite sweet spot in the $200K’s to $300K’s. We built this company on a core philosophy of bringing higher quality, design, health and efficiency to a new market that typically doesn’t have these options. This building has our lowest priced unit to date at $185K (sorry that’s the one that is still reserved). We’ve done our homework and there just is no comparing the features you can get in this price range anywhere in Philly right now. Period.

2. Ridiculous Energy Efficiency

Our townhomes are typically just over twice as efficient as a normal new construction home. Not bad, but guess what happens when you use the same energy efficient designs on a mult-family building with less exposed wall area per unit and more connection to neighboring conditioned walls, floors and ceilings? The efficiency goes up even more. Now imagine what would happen if we had our friends at Solar States install an 8.8kWh PV array on the roof that would be shared by all of the owners in the building? Utility bills take another sharp turn down. We’re still waiting on the calcs from our Energy Star consultant, but are pretty sure they are going to be our lowest estimated utility bills in any homes we’ve built to date. Yippee.

3. Corner Building + Big Windows + Big Park Across the Street

Light, Air and Views. Big plusses in any home. Even better when you’re on a corner and located across the street from a huge park, pool and rec center that will never have anything tall built on it to block any of that precious light or air. Plus you don’t have to leave your living room to catch a local ball game. Just pull up a chair and grab a tasty chilled beverage from your fancy fridge with a separate glass door made for easy access to your favorite fridge contents (more on that soon).

4. Quality & Efficient Living on less than 4 Levels

We love a good 3-story townhome with finished basement. Don’t get us wrong. But there is something liberating and just so easy about living on one or two only. We’ve still found room for double height cutouts like we put in the big homes and don’t forget about the light, air and views mentioned above. In a town of stairs and narrow, shotgun floorplans, consider something different…

OK, enough of us yammering about why we love this building and these units so much. Let’s get into the details. Or at least the floorplans.

Unit B

At 1,427 Square Feet, this is the largest unit in the building. It is the one that just came back on the market. It’s also the only one on the ground floor with it’s own private entrance and it’s own small back patio. To round out the exclusive features, it is the only unit with access to storage in the basement and it is fully accessible on the first floor with an ADA compliant full bath on the first floor. You could literally live on the first level only and rent out the top floor if you were into that sort of thing.

Unit C

The only one bedroom. The smallest unit. Our lowest price home built to date. That’s this guy. He’s sold. Not shocking.

Unit D

Chad’s favorite unit. The top floor bi-level corner unit. Amazing light and views and one of our classic double height spaces that impress friends, family and those attractive folks you’ve recently met that fit in neither category, but you’re really hoping will soon.

Unit E

The neighbor to the D unit. Not a corner, but still quite nice with big windows and that double height space. What you’ll lose in windows from the corner you’ll gain in lower utility bills. Just slightly.

There you have it. The latest listings at Folsom. We’ll have more posts soon highlighting lots of new options available in these and all of our units soon. For now, check out the project and take one of the units for a test customization run. It’s fun and it’s free.

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An urban renewal is quickly hitting Kensington south and the Howard/Hope St. area between Kung Fu Necktie and El Bar seems to be the epicenter.  With 20 new homes going up at the other end of the block, one across the street, our 8 units  and 8 more lots recently cleared and soon to be underpinned, this block is due to become home to nearly 100+ new souls by the end of 2015. With our Duplexcellence II framed, cladded and rocked we’re more than keeping up with the pace of development here. Its an exciting thing to be a part of, although with so much construction in one area empty dirt lots still dominate the landscape.

But if you round the corner of Thompson St from Kung Fu Necktie the first thing you’ll notice is perhaps the brightest thing in Kenzo South; some awesome Graffiti work by Glossblack. We couldn’t stand the Russian winter-esque atmosphere that had washed the block due to all the construction and as the corner lot, we felt it was our responsibility to bring something bright back into the streetscape. Glossblack was gracious enough to help us out and give us the most eye popping construction fence we’ve ever seen. Not only that he did the whole fence in a day. A day! How is that even possible?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess the less time you spend with a can of spray paint on a narrow Kensington street the better off you are, even if you are a legitimate, hired artist. To thank Glossblack for his quick work in the dead of winter we made a short video showcasing his work. Check it out at the link below.

We found Glossblack as the result of a quick tweet and some well connected followers. After checking him out on Glossblack.org and instagram @glossblack we thought his legible style would be a cool treatment for our fence. The result was a collage of local street names each with its own aesthetic and layer of sprayed graphics. Naturally he nailed it when it comes to transforming the overall atmosphere of that corner. But then managed to exceed our expectations with the amount of detail and depth he was able to achieve in his lettering while maintaining that legibility.

From there we figured why not give him free reign with any surface area we had and so we set him loose on the adjacent stucco wall. Although this will be covered up by phase two of Duplexcellene II he still came through big with a pretty sick chrome “Philly”.

For now we can boast about the nicest construction fence on the block but our vision for this work has always been temporary street art for Kensington and permanent private art for the residents. Once construction quiets down we plan to move these fence panels to the backyard of our new homes as a permanent backdrop to their urban rear yards. We we’re conscious to paint with a recently treated fence which we expect to expand and contract a little as it dries and the weather warms. Likely a faded weathered, gritty look is in this pieces near future.

Hopefully we can get some pics of how it changes. For now we can thank Glossblack for his quick spraying to help us out.

For those interested in Duplexcellence II now is the time to move as these homes are about 30 days away from completion. Still plenty of customizable options to choose from. Plus if you sign on now you’ll be all moved in and ready to open a beer and relax on your roof deck as you watch your new neighbors unload their U-Haul in the oppressive summer heat! Ugh, sounds brutal.  You can check out our website for customization options and more info.

 

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The corner of 18th and Folsom had long been home to construction vehicles and storage sheds as Phase I of our Folsom Powerhouse project set 11 units in the ground. Now that those homes are home to actual people the construction vehicles have moved up the road to Phase II and we anticipate improved street life is on the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helping spur that along we’ve had custom railings designed and fabricated by Jenny Sabin to enclose the upper stairway of our super-stoop. We’ve been calling it the polyvine railing. With a pretty savvy understanding of some digital fabrication techniques she was able to create an organic pattern of vines which could be CNC’d into steel sheets. It was a cool technique, something we still haven’t quite wrapped our heads around. If you’re looking for detailed info on the process of making something like this I’d recommend talking to Jenny or someone from her studio. She’s the expert there.

The design of the streetscape was something we deliberated over through the project, and it seems like we didn’t finalize something until the project was well underway. I think this worked to our advantage as we were able to use Jenny again and get her to modify her polyvine so it would hold up as the steel sheet was bent into a bench. These benches now line 18th st and add another surface to hang out on. As if that super-stoop wasn’t enough.

Thanks to Jenny and the end of Phase I we’re expecting a cool urban atmosphere along this stretch of 18th street.

With the details wrapped up on phase I were on to Phase II.  This phase adds 5 units along 18th street, one of which is a commercial corner building.  The rooftop solar panels will add the “powerhouse” portion of the project namesake as well.

These units are a bit different than those in Phase I. The overall size and shape of that corner lot gives us a more square footprint to work with. Something I’m sure our Architect, ISA was excited to design as we’ve pushed them to come up with more than enough row home designs, AKA “the Philly Special”. Hopefully we have the opportunity to get more units out that break the mold in the near future.

So far Phase II has seen foundations poured and framing begun. As the corner building takes shape the block takes on a more complete urban feel, something we hope to restore to this block.

We anticipate sales to be strong in phase II as every home of Phase I presold before a stick was in the ground. Another update will be coming as soon as we get Phase II up and running on our website and open it for sales.

 

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Project Update: Awesometown

January 29, 2015

The goings on thus far at Awesometown can really be summed up into two categories; excavation, and pouring foundations. They may be two of the less visually exciting parts of construction but they are very critical. As it turns out pouring foundations in the dead of winter is a less than convenient time to start. [...]

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Project Update: Duplexcellence II

January 27, 2015

An urban renewal is quickly hitting Kensington South and the Howard/Hope St. area between Kung Fu Necktie and El Bar.  With 20 new homes going up at the other end of the block, one across the street, our 4 homes and 8 more lots recently cleared and soon to be underpinned, we estimate at least [...]

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Postgreen Homes Home Performance Label Revised – Again

December 11, 2014

This post revives an idea that we had in 2011, revised later in 2011 and now have a renewed sense of urgency to implement. Back in 2011 Nic Darling had a brilliant plan for what we called the “home performance sticker” which was kind of like a mileage sticker you might see on a new [...]

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Earthship Biotecture – Rural vs. Urban Sustainability

November 19, 2014
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnkv_qj1xUc”

We’ve been building lean and green since the start of the “great recession” and even in that relatively short time we’ve seen a lot of change come through the green building industry. It’s been getting bigger and better every year and it looks like that trend is only going to continue. With that being the [...]

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