They gather on Bridge Street on Thursdays and Fridays, millennials and baby boomers bustling in and out of the Steel City Coffee House, Molly Maguire’s Irish Restaurant and Pub, and the other restaurants, breweries, and boutiques that have inundated Phoenixville.
Yards away, residents come and go from a lavish new four-story apartment building set along the main drag, hosting friends inside the rental complex adorned with lounges, fire pits, and an exclusive theater before heading out for the local nightlife.
In the Upper and Lower Merion submarket, categorized by REIS as one collective market, rents increased 3.5 percent in the last year. Rents in the West Chester market rose 1 percent. Rents in Center City climbed more than 8 percent in that same period.
“I have not seen these new luxury units hurt affordability,” said Barbara Denham, an economist at REIS. “Many of the new developments are already in well-to-do suburbs … so when you hear of [these places], you don’t really think of poor neighborhoods getting gentrified.”
Indeed, many communities seeing an influx of higher-rent apartment projects do have higher median incomes. Yet pockets of poverty exist, too. Phoenixville is slated to add 2,000 midtier and luxury units within the next few years, with hundreds already built and occupied. In King of Prussia, more than 2,000 units also are in the works. Lower Merion and West Chester await more than 2,500 combined luxury and midrange units.
Source: Philly.com, Upscale apartments are booming in Philly's suburbs - Caitlin McCabe.