Optimism or Caution? How Do Germantown Residents Feel About the Rise of Residential Development?

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Rendering of Kenyon Lofts in Germantown
Image via Kenyon Lofts/Odin Properties
Kenyon Lofts is one of two new developments Odin Properties unveiled in December 2023 as part of the real estate development company's investment in Germantown.

Toward the end of 2023, Odin Properties cut the ribbon on two modern apartment buildings on Germantown Avenue, and residents have thoughts about this and the rise of residential development in the neighborhood, writes Aaron Moselle for WHYY.

For decades, few private developers wanted to invest in Germantown.

That is no longer the case, as Germantown has experienced a wave of residential construction as at least a dozen developers have entered the market in the past few years.

While some think the influx has the potential to improve Germantown, others find the rate of new development alarming and could result in gentrification. 

“We’re seeing property values increase slowly. We’re seeing rents increase slowly. And that is resulting in less blight in Germantown, which is what we’re after,” said Ken Weinstein, who leads Philly Office Retail.

As someone who started investing in the neighborhood nearly 40 years ago, Weinstein is cautiously optimistic that Germantown can avoid the kind of rapid gentrification Northern Liberties and University City have experienced.  

However, residents like Rosalind McKelvey see cause for concern as adding small apartments won’t spur the kind of neighborhood improvement longtime residents like her want to see.

Read more about how Germantown residents feel about the influx of residential construction to the neighborhood and its potential long-term ramifications in WHYY.

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