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We Like it on Top: The Top 7 Percent of Philadelphia Realtors, that is.

Five Star Real Estate AgentCheck out the September issue of Philadelphia Magazine for your 2010 FIVE STAR: Real Estate Agents, the Somers Team.  Philadelphia area consumers named us tops for Overall Satisfaction. FIVE STAR's awards are given to only 7 percent of professionals in a given industry and market area. It is such a great feeling and an honor to be rewarded, and we humbly thank our clients and peers for this recognition.

To qualify for this distinction, an agent must meet the criteria before moving on to an evaluation that calculates scores based on satisfaction of clients, peers and industry experts. We are thrilled to have made the list this year!

Five enormous thank yous for five stars that we will do our best to uphold.


Food Co-op Comes to Kensington

When you're out and about this First Friday, take a break from art for a minute and turn your attention to food. The Kensington Community Food Co-op will be launching their membership campaign with a party at 2205 Frankford Avenue from 6 - 10pm. Take in 4 local bands and plenty of local beer all for the cause of local food. The KCFC will be discussing their project and membership opportunities. There is a $5 suggested donation. From the KCFC:

"Wouldn’t it be great to be just minutes from your favorite grocery store?  Wouldn’t it be great to completely trust that your store has your best interests in mind?  Wouldn’t it be great to have regular access to local fresh and organic foods at an affordable fair price?  It will be great! A handful of your neighbors, people not much different than you, came together in 2008 with the mission to open a member-owned cooperative grocery store in the Kensington area."

The Co-op is finally coming to fruition. See for yourself this Friday and lend your support, Kensington.


New Construction in Old Kensington: Meet the Builders Tour is Back!

The Meet the Builders Tour is back for September. The timing was right for two projects in Old Kensington that have been on our radar, and so, north of Girard we go!

Meet the Builders Walking Tour: Old Kensington

Thursday, September 9th 5:30-7:30 pm

1353-57 Mascher St

Come join us on a Fun Walking Tour of 2 Old Kensington New Construction Projects where you can actually meet the builder !

Meet builders, ask questions, get insider tips and rub elbows with the pros. Then stick around to enjoy 2nd Thursday in Old Kensington, a night of new art exhibits at nearby galleries, with a tour of Crane Arts Event Space.

Who should attend?

  • Rehabbers and Investors looking for tips
  • Those who are interested in learning about Old Kensington
  • Buyers looking for more information

To RSVP to this event, text your email to (215) 650-3454.

Your information will remain private and we do not spam.

Featuring 2 of the Latest New Construction Ventures in Old Kensington

The Flats at Girard Pointe - 1221-33 N 3rd St

Developer: JD International

Jeff Tubbs from JD International will be walking us through the Flats at Girard Pointe, a series of single family homes that combine eco-friendly design and arts-loving location into an affordable and customizable package.

Project details here.

1353-57 Mascher St

Speaker: David Gleeson

This dynamic new construction is artfully designed and is unlike any other new construction home in the area. Three units are available. For more information on 1353-57 Mascher St, view project details here.

We'll be unlocking the mysteries of Old Kensington for those that are curious about this inspiring and sometimes hard-to-define neighborhood. One of the owners of Crane Arts, David Gleeson, will be our speaker at the new Mascher Street properties. Gleeson is a niche investor rooted in the success of the neighborhood and not only does he invest here, he lives here. He is currently in the process of rehabbing a church in Old Kensington, which will become his new home.

Check out our last Meet the Builders Tour:

If you Build it, They Will Come: Meet the Builders Tour Recap


Beating the Odds at the Flats at Girard Pointe

The odds are at

1221-1233 North 3rd Street...

You'll find an urban oasis that's hard to beat.

Odds that meld 3 desires of today's urbanite: Eco-minded construction, an eclectic atmosphere to live in, a price that's not flat-out intimidating.  The Flats at Girard Pointe at 1221-33 North Second 3rd St. in Old Kensington are your chance to embrace the odd - Getting what you want for a price that's right in a creative and rapidly-growing neighborhood.  The highlights?

  • The Energy Efficient Features include Energy Star Appliances, light fixtures, and windows that will make the Flats 20-30% more efficient than standard homes. Built-in insulation with Superior Walls, WaterSense toilets and faucets, Tankless Water Heaters, and a Solar-Ready home to reduce installation costs of solar heating should you choose it in the future. Select from eco-friendly solutions for Countertops/Backsplashes, Zero Voc Paint, and Flooring types: Cork, Bamboo, or Carpet FLOR.
  • "Urban Topiary" Living Sculpture composed of over 100 digitally fabricated aluminum tubes with Boston Ivy designed to "bring a playful and energetic feeling to the neighborhood while weaving together public and private space."
  • 10 Year Tax Abatement
  • 1,500 + SF of Living Space
  • Off Street Parking Available
  • 1 -2 Bedrooms, 9 ft Ceilings
  • Balconies and Urban Garden Sanctuaries
  • Custom Landscaping and Sculptural Fencing by PrePost


It appears that the odds are in your favor. Join us for a special tour of the Flats at Girard Pointe on our next Meet the Builders Tour in September. Details coming soon!


Sonata – A Northern Liberties Delight !

Sonata - A Northern Liberties Delight !

If you have not been to Sonata yet in Northern Liberties, you are in for a treat !  This BYOB has all you can ask for:  a great atmosphere, terrific service and delicious food !  When we were dining outside, folks walked by and exclaimed  "It is in the best food in Northern Liberties ! " And you know what ?  They may be right !

Stephanie and I definitely plan on going back to test other items on the menu.  The night we went we had the blackened  tuna and the sirloin steak for entrees and a wonderful clams casino soup for an appetizer.   The sirloin was so tender I could have sworn it was a filet !  Did I mention they also have a great brunch menu for Saturday and Sunday ?

Outside at Sonata - Northern LibertiesBlackened Tuna at Sonata - Northern Liberties

Sirloin Steak at Sonata - Northern Liberties


Opening Tomorrow: Three Potato Four.

We love the look of a few choice antique objects placed in a contemporary setting. At Three Potato Four, a home decor shop that opens tomorrow in Manayunk, you'll find such items along with vintage hardware, prints, signs, and more.  The shop, which started out online,  is located in an old mill along Shurs Lane, to add to the charm. It will be open on Fridays and Saturdays and by appointment only.


Mid-Century Style at Wholesale Prices? Only in Fishtown.

Those looking for that extra pop of interior style come fall, take notice:  Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse, located at 1217 E Columbia between Moyer and Girard in Fishtown, has just announced ANOTHER warehouse sale this Saturday, August 28 from 12 - 5 pm. That means 3,000 square feet of Mid-Century and Danish Modern furniture, art, and lighting to shop amongst, channeling the most whimsical of your imaginative powers.  Heidi Duffy from Mid-Century promises "Everything will be priced wholesale (think Ikea prices)."

To see highlights of the collection (think of it as pre-shopping!), visit Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse.


Did Someone Say Herman Miller Chairs in Fishtown?


Are you Ready for THE RAW TRUTH, Fishtown?

I received an eye-opening email from a native Fishtown woman. I will call her K. She was delightfully candid about a topic that has been nagging at her. I'd guess that her points are probably eating away at other folks that have lived in Fishtown for many, many years, particularly as they watch their tight-knit community become one of the "hot" Real Estate beds for homeowners to buy and RE investors to invest in. K's comments were real and honest and much appreciated. After reading her email, I realized that what she was writing about was important. Really important and worth discussing.

K's comments were about a genuine concern for the future of her neighborhood and standing up for the integrity and honor of Fishtown. It was awesome and filled with idealism which is a catalyst for change. The biggest of K's concerns were Realtors who are exploiting the recent popularity of Fishtown for their own benefit and that the message that "new people" moving into the neighborhood are hearing are not what is important. New people must also know why Fishtown is great and it is not the Memphis Taproom or Johnny Brenda's or Greens Grow or any new business like that. Fishtown greatness was built on the backs of native Fishtown values.

I read between the lines a little but I think what K was saying is that she thinks Realtors (like us) should take a deeper look at the neighborhood and not just promote the area's new businesses. But to give equal consideration to the beating heart and soul of the neighborhood by discussing long standing landmarks, businesses, and history of the area. K mentioned that "new people" moving into the neighborhood should be made aware of the common values that the Fishtown community shares, such as (but not limited to) clean streets, being a friendly and a courteous neighbor, picking up after pets.  Okay, so those things may not be as glamorous and sexy as a cool new bar or cafe, but let's get real...who wants to walk out of the trendy bar to trip over an unkempt sidewalk just to step in a pile of dog poo then be scowled at by a neighbor? Not me, my friends. And certainly not you.

I will guarantee that there are tens of thousands of other Philadelphians in different neighborhoods that are biting their lip about the changes transpiring in their now "trendy" neighborhoods. Change is all too obvious to these long time residents who were there in the neighborhood long before we Realtors said it was the cool place to live. Like K said, "Please be reminded, Fishtown was great before and will remain so..."

I got your message loud and clear, K. As Realtors and bloggers, we should consider talking about what makes a community great. But we don't know it all. So, I hope people will read our blog and share some information that they know and love about their neighborhood.

By the way:

1) In Philadelphia, there is a fine for not picking up after your dog, so beware.
2) Landlords and homeowners: trash day is only 1 day out of the week and there is a hefty fine that you will get for trash left out any other day.
3) There is no fine for not saying hello to your neighbor, but do it anyway. This is the City of Brotherly Love, you know.

Thank you, K, for your letter. I hope you read this in the good spirit in which it was written.


Who’s on 13th Street in Philadelphia?

What's to love about 13th Street? We can think of plenty, but it's nice to see that business owners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran have turned it into a blog.

We Love 13th Street is the blog's name, and it lists all of the inspiring duo's restaurants and shops.  They have quite a few, so it makes sense for them to promote their destinations with one big love letter.  Shall we count the ways?

Bindi - The yummy modern Indian BYO that heats up 13th St with a Thali Tuesday special for carnivores and vegetarians.

Barbuzzo - Set to open any day now, this Mediterranean kitchen and bar will feature house-smoked meats and fresh pasta dishes.

Grocery - The charming takeaway shop has a multitude of gourmet products and healthy, creative options from their salad bar and hot food case. There is no reason to settle for leftovers with the quick grab and go dinners and desserts that make you feel like you're dining at one of Turney and Safran's restaurants. Even if you're parked out in front of your television watching Top Chef.  Lolita's Mexican Tiramisu from the comfort of your home...

Lolita - Inspired Modern Mexican that is perfect for a date or for groups.

Open House - Our favorite place to admire cheese boards, furniture, and home goods. The choice selection of conversational pieces is careful, thoughtful, and always chic.

Verde - Home to Marcie Blaine Chocolates, this flower and gift shop should be on your list whenever you need a special touch or thank you.  The chocolates are created with the flavors of Turney and Safran's restaurants and Philadelphia in mind.  So if you want a La Colombe coffee-flavored whiskey chocolate? You got it.  The Mango Lassi chocolate? It's yours. A Love Park printed raspberry ganache? That, too.

13th Street has been a lucky number for these successful hotspots. What do you love about 13th Street in Philadelphia?

Discover more about Life in Washington Square West. Ready to search for Washington Square West properties?


One Hour in Washington Square West

Modern Urban Living at Open House


A Toast to Fishtown: Penn Treaty’s 5th Annual Champagne in the Park

On Friday, September 10, it's time to break out the bubbly for Penn Treaty Park's 5th Annual Champagne in the Park. Refreshments from Johnny Brenda's, Ekta, and others will be served and drinks will be flowing as live jazz music fills the air in celebration of the park and its future. Some of the  ideas to improve the Fishtown riverside destination include a lighting project that would install solar powered lights and new playground equipment.

To purchase your $35 ticket, contact [email protected] or call Nancy Martino at 215-426-1090.

Champagne in the Park

September 10, 6:30 - 9 pm

Penn Treaty Park

Columbus and Delaware Avenues


Phone: 215.253.6818