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Neighborhood Guide: Queen Village

An urban village defined by community and diversity.

Try to describe Queen Village without using cliched words like “quaint” and “picturesque,” and you might just find yourself at a loss. For this historic quarter — roughly bounded by Front and Sixth streets to the east and west, and Lombard and Washington to the north and south — boasts cobbled streets, hidden mews and more charm per square foot than nearly anywhere else in the city. The area the Lenni Lenape referred to as "Wiccaco," meaning “pleasant place,” was settled by Swedes before William Penn reached these shores and named it Southwark. Rechristened in the 1970s to honor Sweden’s Queen Christina, the neighborhood has retained its historic character, while embracing subsequent waves of immigrants and their cultures.

According to Michele Golembeski, a Realtor with Plumer & Associates and longtime Queen Village resident, what makes the neighborhood so attractive is that it does actually feel like a village. “It’s one of the city’s most walkable and bike friendly neighborhoods,” she reveals, “with plenty of green space for enjoying nature, and dog parks to share with your four-legged friends. And there are so many restaurants and local pubs to choose from, you wish there were more days in the week. It’s a neighborhood where people frequently say hello when you pass by them.”

The median sale price of a single family home is $610,000, while the median sale price of a condo is $316,921, making Queen Village one of the city’s pricier neighborhoods. Its livability, however, makes it a great value, says Golembeski.

One of the things that best defines Queen Village is its sheer number of locally owned businesses. Longtime resident Richard De Wyngaert describes it as “a dynamic blend of multiple generations, economic diversity and forward-looking, engaged residents who take real pride in supporting independent businesses.” He should know: his bookstore, Head House Books, has been a neighborhood staple since 2005.

There is real cultural diversity, as well, with shops, restaurants and markets reflecting the heritage of generations of immigrants who have called this neighborhood home.

Rentals average $1,423 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, with many of these clustered around the newly revitalized Fourth Street Fabric Row. One of the most recently gentrified corners of Queen Village, the stretch of Fourth Street between Lombard and Christian — once the heart of Philadelphia’s textile industry where businesses stayed in families for generations — is now seeing an influx of new, younger business owners, bringing with them trendy boutiques, buzzworthy dining spots and even a cat cafe.

This type of revitalization is in keeping with the changes that Golembeski has witnessed first-hand as a resident. “Queen Village has really evolved with me,” she notes, “from the time I came here as a young professional, then raised my kids here and now as an empty nester.” De Wyngaert agrees: “Queen Village is exceptionally vital — it just keeps getting better and better.”

ON THE MARKET

For sale
517 Randolph Court, Unit D
$565,000
3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 1 half bath

This bright, contemporary townhome in desirable Randolph Court is in move-in condition, with an updated kitchen and refinished hardwood floors. The outdoor area is private and perfect entertaining al fresco. Plenty of storage and garage parking are added perks. Best of all is its convenience to great restaurants, shopping, and cultural and historic attractions.

Contact: Michele Golembeski, Plumer & Associates, 215-922-4200, mgolembesk@plumerre.com


For rent

530 S. 2nd St., Unit 747
$1,550/month
1 bed, 1 bath

This Abbots Square apartment features a balcony with a great view of the cityscape. There’s plenty of room for a sectional sofa and dining area, and the bedroom — with walk-in closet — is spacious enough for a king size bed. Amenities included 24/7 front desk service, a gym and plenty of places to socialize.

Contact: Michele Golembeski, Plumer & Associates, 215-922-4200, mgolembesk@plumerre.com

LOCAL HANGS

Kanella South

Dine at one of Kanella South’s outdoor tables, and you’ll find yourself transported to a sunny Greek garden without the jetlag. Konstantinos Pitsillides’ Cypriot spot turns out perfectly prepared Mediterranean fare such as braised rabbit leg with yellow split peas, kale, feta and dill. Cocktail ingredients — date molasses, pomegranate and fig-rosemary honey — evoke sea breezes and sunbaked soil.

757 S. Front St. kanellarestaurant.com

New Wave Cafe

A neighborhood favorite since 1985, this welcoming corner taproom serves up pub favorites with a twist — the catfish BLT gets rave reviews. An impressive craft beer list and friendly staff keep locals coming back. As comfortable as your basement den, New Wave is the perfect place to catch the game, shoot some pool or just chill with friends.

784 S. Third St. newwavecafe.com

WHAT IT COSTS

$610,000 median sale price for a 3 bedroom/2 bath single family home with parking
$1,423 per month is the average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment
$316,921 median sale price for a single family condo

New in the Neighborhood:

Once mainly known as Philadelphia’s garment district, Fabric Row (Fourth Street between Lombard and Christian) is poised to be the next East Passyunk. Hip boutiques and restaurants — like the newly opened Hungry Pigeon — are breathing fresh life into what’s now being billed as Philadelphia’s “premier independent shopping strip.”

 

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