Fireball Printing, a small business specializing in custom print jobs of all kinds, turned to Solo’s Jeff Carpineta (who also helped them find their first home) when they felt ready for their own building. We took them to look at a bunch of different places, including some real fixer-uppers. Eventually, owners Paul and Catherine toured their perfect fit – an old table pad company on Coral St. They were excited at the prospect of keeping it local, only a few minutes from their home.
We connected Paul and Catherine with the right contractors to help make their renovation ideas a reality. After a lot of work, what was once a copy machine in a living room grew into a warehouse renovation and investment in the local economy. “Artists and grassroots start-ups aren’t always the most important clients for some real estate agents,” Jeff says, “but they are part of the soul of a community. Helping them is a joy.”
The idea for the Kensington Community Food Co-Op came from East Kensington resident Lena Helen and Solo agent Jeff Carpineta, both residents of the area who were deeply inspired by their time shopping at co-ops both in Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon. A field trip to Weaver’s Way inspired a dozen neighbors to form a steering group, research how to start a food co-op in Kensington and begin the grassroots work.
Kensington Community Food Co-Op
Jeff stayed on the leadership team of the project, and years later, together with Deborah Solo, they were instrumental in securing a building. Mike and Sue Wade, owners of Knights Abstract title company, played a huge role and purchased the building when it became available. Deborah and Jeff helped select Studio 6mm architects and helped with fundraising to transform what was formerly O’Reilly’s Pub into the beautiful grocery and cafe you see today. The Co-Op finally had a place to call home, and a valuable community resource was born.
Because the built environment accounts for nearly half of all carbon emissions in the United States, how we develop our homes has an enormous influence on our communities at large. Solo seeks to build and renovate properties in ways that reduce their environmental footprint. For new developments like Kensington Yards, Solo incorporated a suite of features intended to reduce waste and minimize carbon including robust insulation and reclaimed materials.
Solo aimed to provide great light and large, usable spaces that prioritize the daily living experience of the residents while also aiming for energy efficiency. We offered residents something more than what else is out on the market, creating a building that is additive to the community at large. While respecting the current built environment, we created something new, modern, and interesting to view from the neighborhood.