The real-estate story in the Conshohocken area over the past few years has been the wealth of buyers and a consistent lack of inventory. This has driven listing prices for the limited number of new-construction homes into the half-million-dollar range and higher.
The situation is improving. There are now a handful of new communities either under construction, approved or likely to start construction in 2015. One project already underway is PRDC Builders’ Parkview on 7th, which will have 40 townhomes once completed. And a redevelopment effort by Tisons Homes will transform the former Hale Pump factory into a mix of singles, twins and townhomes.
“The borders of Conshohocken are ever-expanding,” says Binnie Bianco of Long & Foster. “There has been a lack of new inventory and a growing number of buyers who want the charm of Conshohocken. With limited construction opportunities on the avenues, builders have pushed back the borders of Conshohocken to include Connaughtown, Cedar Heights, the Spring Mill Area of Whitemarsh and the upper end of Colwell Lane in Plymouth Township—plus areas even a little farther out.”
Developments on the edges of Conshohocken include The Cutler Group’s Oaks of Lafayette Hill, Tisons Homes’ Spring Mill Crossing and Sal Paone Builders’ Whitemarsh Station.
Why is Conshohocken so popular? “Conshy has become a hub for millennials, who love the location and restaurant scene,” says realtor Mike Sroka. “When they decide to settle down, there’s a huge desire to stay, or be as close as possible. For the first time, there is a pipeline of new construction that will give people getting married and having kids the opportunity to buy in—or close to—Conshy.”
“It also important to note that older homes are being updated and brought back to life without having to knock down and rebuild,” adds Sroka. “This helps maintain a neighborhood’s value, curb appeal and tax base.” The Conshohocken market is attracting major players in the real-estate business. Three new brokerages have opened offices in the market over the past year. Plus, a growing mortgage company, GMH Mortgage Services, has moved to Conshohocken. “For GMH, the decision to move our entire organization to Conshohocken was to offer our employees and prospective employees access to all major thoroughfares as well as mass transit,” says Joe Macchione, president and CEO of GMH. “We have also found Conshohocken itself to be a hotbed from a recruiting standpoint, with many of our recent hires living right in the borough. We’re hopeful that, while Conshohocken thrives from new residential and retail development, the town remains the cultural melting pot that gives it a distinguishable value versus other local towns.”
Handling the growing transportation issues is key, and there are plans for improvements in and around Conshohocken. Sroka says SEPTA has a plan in place to build a new train station and add additional parking. Bianco is excited about new turnpike access near Conshohocken Road and Ridge Pike. “There are also plans to improve the lights on Fayette Street via an adaptive traffic system that will allow people to cross the bridge and enter 76 and 476 more quickly,” says Macchione.