We all know that green spaces and parks are great for a neighborhood. They provide outdoor space for community members to exercise, engage, and just relax under some coveted shade on a blistering August afternoon. It's no surprise that having a green space nearby has not only a mental benefit, but a monetary one as well. We spoke with several realtors about the green gold that is local parks.
"I believe Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square to be considered beachfront property," says Al Perry, broker at Century 21 Advantage Gold. "People love great views of the skyline, but nothing is better than looking out and seeing the Square where people are sitting and eating, talking and interacting."
It might be all that interacting that makes a local park so desirable. "When you look at green spaces, it adds such a quality of life to the urban environment," Perry continues. "It brings together people of diverse cultures and backgrounds."
Timothy Garrity, co-founder and COO of Copper Hill Real Estate, agrees. "Green space is always going to offer three things: better quality of life, healthy living through recreation and a stronger, safer neighborhood with civic centers and people who care about the park," he says. Garrity points to his local spot, Gorgas Park on Ridge Ave. in Roxborough. What was once an underutilized and unkempt chunk of land has been revitalized into something people love to use. "(Civic association] Friends of Gorgas Park got people together and cleaned it up on their own. Now you can't drive by without seeing 30 people in the park," says Garrity.
It's easy to see how green spaces improve a neighborhood, it's another thing to be able to quantify what that's worth when buying and selling. "I don't know if I can put a dollar amount on the impact of green space, but it certainly helps homes sell faster, which in turn helps maintain a property's desirability, sale-ability and value," says Noah Ostroff, realtor at Keller Williams. The hope is that the people moving into these homes will become invested in their parks and help maintain its integrity.
Public space makeover
Love Park at 16th and JFK is Philly's most iconic park, thanks to its Robert Indiana sculpture, and it's about to get a makeover. The $15 million project is still in the very early stages. In March there was a public meeting held to gauge which of four redesign options people preferred. Philadelphia's Parks and Recreation website shows that residents' top priorities for the new look of the park include more green space, additional seating and a food truck area.