A local couple upgraded this neighborhood near the stadiums and FDR Park with 14 brand new, solidly built townhouses like this one.
“In for money.”
And at the high end of the new construction market, that usually means you’re getting a home that’s attractive, well-built, and packed with amenities. In Philadelphia, such houses can usually be found in booming neighborhoods, like Fishtown, or those that have already arrived, like Northern Liberties or Manayunk.
Most of these homes are built to on-site specifications by experienced builders. This new townhouse for sale in Packer Park is also built by an experienced builder, but not your typical new townhouse.
Here I should ask: would you pay a million dollars for a manufactured home?
Frank Scaramucci, the builder, and his wife, Barbara Capozzi, who markets this 14-unit development called Renaissance Estates, bet you would.
Frank, you see, is a perfectionist. And what he produced at Renaissance Estates were homes built tight like a drum thanks to top quality control factory build offerings.
In a factory, building materials are not exposed to the elements, nor does inclement weather delay wall assembly. Building the walls in a factory and assembling them on the job site also means less disruption to neighbors. “I couldn’t imagine all those bangs and trucks coming in and out,” Capozzi says.
It also means that the components can be built to a higher standard. Using computer-controlled saws and planers, framing studs are fabricated to finer tolerances. At the factory, the boards were designed so that a two-by-four measures precisely 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches.
And there are more of them. Each vertical support in the frame consists of two two-by-four posts instead of one, and the pairs of posts are spaced only 12 inches apart. And they are joined by nails inserted according to precise counting and spacing.
“If we were to rebuild, I wouldn’t hesitate to use this type of construction,” says Scaramucci. “This house is so strong.”
In addition, not only were the frames protected from the elements at the factory, but they were protected once they arrived on site. Scaramucci covered everything with a waterproof tarp at the end of each working day. “No water has penetrated [these houses]– we couldn’t sleep at night ”if they were left exposed to the elements, says Capozzi.
The technique used here differs from modular construction in that modular construction provides a complete finished box with drywall and ductwork on site. “But then you couldn’t move anything,” says Scaramucci. In other words, no possibility of customization.
And at this price, buyers expect to be able to customize their homes. This model unit gives you an example of what is possible.
The 14 townhouses have four full floors, a basement and a roof terrace. Some of the basements, like the one in this model, are partial. All have unusually large window wells that let in lots of natural light and provide an emergency escape route. They make great media rooms, like here, or home gyms, or game rooms, or game rooms, or… well, you fill in the blank.
The ground floor has a garage for two cars at the rear, a living room at the front and a powder room for your guests.
The main living room is on one floor. It has a totally open plan, with a living room in the front, a dining room in the middle and the kitchen in the back.
The living room has large windows and plenty of wall space to hang your artwork on.
Not only is Scaramucci a perfectionist, Capozzi also has a keen eye for modern design, as evidenced by his choice of a chandelier to hang above the dining room table. (The chandelier is something the buyer chooses in the other units.)
And they also have great tastes in kitchens. Base model includes Porcelanosa cabinetry with under cabinet lighting, granite countertops, six-burner Wolf range (or four-burner range with hotplate), dishwasher, W0lf microwave, refrigerator -Sub-Zero freezer and a peninsula with bar seats and a cascading counter. A Wolf built-in wall oven like the one in this kitchen is also available. Also note that the glass tile backsplash runs the full height of the kitchen wall.
A balcony behind the kitchen has connections for a gas grill.
Two of the three bedrooms and the laundry room are on the third floor. Each bedroom has its own en-suite bathroom.
The same, of course, is true of the master bedroom on the fourth floor.
All bathrooms are elegantly equipped with Kohler plumbing fixtures. The main bathroom also has marble floors and a walk-in shower as well as two sinks.
A bar with wine fridge sits between the four-person, five-stop elevator (“I had big elevators installed because I’m a claustrophobic,” Capozzi explains) and the door leading to the private balcony at the back. from the master suite. It alone offers a magnificent view of the city center.
But the roof terrace at the top of the spiral staircase leading from the balcony offers an even better panoramic view.
Another feature of this house that you cannot see will save you money. Not only is it solidly constructed, it is also well insulated and hermetically sealed. Frank sprayed foam insulation around all openings for electrical wires and conduits as well as between studs. “The insulation factor is probably [R-]22 for the walls, ”says Frank. This is significantly higher than the R-13 to R-15 wall insulation found in most new homes. (The roof insulation has a standard R factor of 38.)
As a result, the dual zone air conditioning system won’t have to work so hard to keep you comfortable. When I visited the model unit on a cold January day, the temperature inside was pleasant and warm even though the heater had not been turned on that day.
Scaramucci did not choose to build this house to passive house standards, but he came as close to that standard as one can get for a conventionally equipped house. (Passive House is a super airtight, super insulated building standard that does not use mechanical air conditioning or direct fossil fuels.)
Of course, all of this costs money – about 40% more than it would have cost to build it using standard methods, Capozzi explains. But the extra money was worth it for many reasons which you will also appreciate if you buy one of the units like this model new townhouse for sale in Packer Park. And since most unsold units haven’t been fully finished, you’ll have the flexibility to customize them as you wish. (Although Capozzi says post-COVID, many buyers “just want to be done with it” and go with standard packages.)
Finally, a word on the location. Capozzi and Scaramucci have made Packer Park their home for years, and although many consider it remote, it is only in relation to the city center. “It’s the safest and most accessible area in town,” says Capozzi.
The NRG station on the Broad Street line is just eight blocks from here, and the stadiums, Wells Fargo Center and Xfinity Live! are an additional two to five minutes walk away. Just two blocks away is FDR Park, one of the city’s gems, and the Philadelphia International Airport is a seven-minute drive from here.
Not to mention, if you want to get out into the city center, the Broad Street Line will get you there in ten minutes. Add neighborhood shops to Quartermaster Plaza, about a 15-minute walk from here, and you get not only accessibility and safety, but convenience as well.
THE FINE PRINTING
THERMAL: 3 full, 1 half
SQUARE FEET: 3,200
SELLING PRICE: $ 1,175,000
2007 Renaissance Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19145 [Barbara Capozzi | Keller Williams Philadelphia] | Renaissance Domains website