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June 1, 2007

The Pursuit of Happiness : The Birthplace of Our Nation is Experiencing a Rebirth of Its Own

Unique Homes Magazine -- Spring 2007 | Ken Weingartner

Any discussion of Philadelphia invariably must make reference to W.C.Fields’ barbs toward his hometown (Fields’ proposed epitaph : “On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia”) and its famously callous sports fans, who are known for having booed Santa Claus.

Those allusions, however, reflect the Philadelphia of the past, not the present City of Brotherly Love, which thanks to commercial and residential construction booms and a cultural rebirth over the past decade have made Philly a desirable place to live. It may never rival the grandeur of New York City, just some 90 miles to the north, but the Philadelphia-metro region has made great strides, as indicated by the luxury home market.

“Philadelphia has undergone a tremendous commercial and cultural renaissance,” says Steve DiFrancesco of Hunter, Reed and company in Haverford. “There is a lot of new development. Our new stadiums are world-class facilities. Philadelphia will never compete with New York in sheer size, but the City has a different, very dynamic quality now. There was a time when affluent people were leaving the City, but I think that’s partially reversed. We’re seeing a lot of young professionals, in addition to people who have traditionally lived in the suburbs that want to be closer to the cultural resources. There’s a lot to do here.”

— Ken Weingartner