The new shops and restaurants are original and creative, and they make walking the upper reaches of Germantown Avenue feel like you’ve stumbled upon some adorable little Main Street in some small town in Upstate New York or New England. There’s a timeless feel to the place; as Korman put it, “it’s been 300 years in the making but it will always be this way.” But timing was also at play here: our society’s renewed love of walkable urban centers in sylvan suburban settings was really what made this all possible.
In real estate, the descriptor ‘convenient’ is often relegated to the Center City set (conveniently located near SEPTA! Restaurants! Retail!). But the same could easily be said for Chestnut Hill’s Germantown Avenue, which is not only the charming neighborhood’s main drag, but also nearby Regional Rail stations, Morris Arboretum, the extensive trail system of Fairmount Park, and, not to mention, all of the boutiques and eateries that parallel the tree-lined avenue.
Of course, living in Chestnut Hill will certainly put you in close proximity to all of these conveniences, but there’s somewhere even closer — and more luxurious — right on the Avenue: the soon-to-be-open One West. The maintenance-free condominium homes are contemporary, expansive, and, yes, convenient.
While still a strong presence on Germantown Avenue, One West draws up to its neighbors as comfortably as an easy chair before a fire. That has as much to do with the placement of the retail as it does the superb architectural craftsmanship and wedding-cake setbacks on the upper floors. The brick-and-stone building was a joint production of Runyan & Associates and SPG3 Architects, which designed the Whole Foods building on South Street.
Apartments in small commercial districts (and not just Center City) are a growing trend. As the population ages, they allow people to downsize while sticking around the neighborhood. Residents like the activity, explains Snowden, who owned hundreds of apartments near Germantown Avenue, including one he lives in. "You walk out your front door and it's a party," he says.
“Take a look at Willy Penn.”
That’s what Rob Lamb, Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors’ co-listing agent for One West Chestnut Hill, tells prospective buyers as they stand on the Penthouse 2 terrace. High above the hustle and bustle of Germantown Avenue, the penthouse’s three homes offer tree-top views of Pastorius Park and Center City’s skyline that include the statue of William Penn that stands atop the tower of City Hall.