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Taking the roofdeck to new heights

Penn Treaty Village Pennthouses’ ‘SkyDeck’ is so big they added a walking track.

This month, Penn Treaty Village Pennthouses will debut their "SkyDeck," which is billed as the biggest rooftop deck in Philly. Of course, size doesn't mean much if the view is lackluster, but the Pennthouses seem to have that under control, too.

"The one thing that this rooftop has that no other location has is the water and city skyline views," explains Justin Cleary, CEO of The Philly Apartment Company, which leases the property. "No other building offers those views from a SkyDeck in Philadelphia."

So they've got that whole spectacular view thing down. But once you've had your fill of ogling the pretty lights, what are you supposed to do up there? For starters, relax. The designers clearly went for swanky with the plush, canopied outdoor daybeds. There are the typical amenities that you would expect from a rooftop lounge -- grills, a huge television for sports -- plus a few extras, such as the walking track.

When developing this common space for residents, Cleary and his team researched what people wanted. "The process involved talking to residents of other buildings with common area rooftop terraces," says Cleary, "as well as research on other similar rooftop terraces in other cities to get a feel for what residents were searching for in that kind of amenity."

Space -- whether on the roof or in the kitchen -- is one thing that draws residents to this increasingly condo-heavy stretch of Delaware Ave. If you're looking to buy, it's the rare waterfront bargain. "You can get great values that are harder to find or more expensive in Center City," says Frank L. DeFazio of Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors. "There's more square footage, views, parking and outdoor space."

Not everyone’s buying

There’s no shortage of new condos on Delaware Ave. Not all of them, however, are selling. For some, the location has proven problematic: Although these building boast breathtaking views, when it comes to actually making the trek to Center City, things get less posh. “The waterfront properties are not readily accessible because of I-95, which makes it hard for owners to walk to Center City. Residents end up taking shuttles or cabs but walkability is severely minimized,” says DeFazio.

More waterfront views

The Residences at Dockside

(717 S. Columbus Blvd.)

View: The Delaware River, Benjamin Franklin and Walt Whitman Bridges

Bonus: Private and communal terraces

Waterfront Square

(901 N. Penn St.)

View: The Delaware River, Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Bonus: On-site dog park, private terraces

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