new digs

New Digs: A Spacious Loft at the Abbot Building in Philadelphia

When Carolyn McIntyre and Jerry Feierstein decided to relocate from their Washington, DC home to Philadelphia, they knew exactly what they wanted. 

“We are both very urban,” said Jerry. “We wanted to be someplace we could walk around and where there was adequate public transportation. We talked about Northern Liberties, the Arts District, and Society Hill. We were open.”

Carolyn had a specific vision. She wanted a loft. “But not one where walls had been erected to create smaller rooms. “We saw one in Old City that would have required extensive work,” she said. “We wanted 2,000 sq ft. Even the places that had the right square footage were often broken up into small rooms and that layout doesn’t work for us.” 

Deborah Solo, Broker and founder of Solo Real Estate, showed them many properties but only one, a two-bedroom condo with an open floor plan at the Abbot Building, 201 N. Broad St. met their requirements. 

“The minute I walked in, I wanted to own this condo,” said Carolyn. They looked at other properties but kept coming back to the Abbot. However, at the time, the Abbot condo they wanted was only available as a rental. They decided to rent it for two years and kept looking for something more long-term. By the time the lease was up, they had gotten a Tibetan Terrier puppy who enjoyed having the run of the condo.

During those two years, the couple discovered there’s always a lot going on in the parks or on the parkway. “The City seems to do a lot to bring people into the town,” said Carolyn. Victory Brewing is always hopping and there are always people walking on the Parkway.

Jerry, who grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, hadn’t been back in 50 years and was impressed by how much the City had changed – the restaurants, theaters, concert halls, and jazz clubs. “My daughter and her partner, who live in Brooklyn, joined us for dinner at Friday, Saturday, Sunday and were amazed at the liveliness of the City,” said Jerry.

Philly now offers so many dining options that it took two years for them to discover Bistro La Minette, a French eatery at Sixth & Bainbridge. While they’ve been to Chris’ Jazz Cafe on Sansom Street, they have yet to experience South Jazz Kitchen on North Broad. “Kamala Harris was at South Jazz recently,” remarked Jerry.

The Abbot Building, developed by MGC Real Estate Group, was originally built in 1911 and designed by architect Charles Webber Bolton, a prolific designer of churches and synagogues in Philadelphia, as well as 1516 Chestnut, an impressive office building that was converted to residential space. When it was erected, North Broad Street was an affluent residential district and the new Abbot Building was directly across the street from Hahnemann Hospital which had opened in 1885.

The developers made an interesting choice and one that persuaded them to not only rent but to buy their condo. Instead of chopping up the building into as many units as possible, they created a boutique condominium with just one condo on each of the building’s seven floors, all with oversized windows that face South, East, and West, allowing for plenty of natural light throughout the day. That was a selling point, especially for Carolyn.

Another thing they enjoyed was the building’s location North of the Avenue of the Arts. Walking distance from their condo, they can catch a live performance at Kimmel Center, explore the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, or see what’s happening at Dilworth Park which features fountains in the summer, ice skating in the winter, art festivals, and live music throughout the year. When they have late-night munchies, they could stroll to Chinatown.

Solo Real Estate welcomes Jerry and Carolyn to Philly and wishes them good luck in their new home!

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