Townhouse

The extravaganza comes to Fitler Square

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The four-unit Extrava at Fitler Square project is the most ambitious yet for the partnership between developer Zatos Investments and broker Jim Roche.


The team developing Extrava at Fitler Square, which now rises at 24th and Ionic Streets, says these four extra-wide townhouses are unlike any other new townhouse construction in the city. And they might just be right about that. | Rendered courtesy of JRRE Homes

If you follow real estate in Philadelphia, you’ve probably noticed that a slew of real estate brokers have embarked on creating their own offering of homes for sale over the past decade.

Some of them, like Philly Living’s Noah Ostroff, are doing the development themselves. Others stick to their last, so to speak. They partner with experienced developers to produce the homes they will then sell.

Jim Roche falls into the latter camp. The leader of the Jim Roche Real Estate Team at Keller Williams Philly began partnering with developers since joining the company in 2017. His idea: Identify plots suitable for development or redevelopment, then offer them to developers who would build on them. They would then in turn give his team the finished product to sell.

Lately, he has used this path to develop something else: a luxury real estate sales operation. And for this he relied on Zatos Investments building the houses for at least two years through a partnership called JRRE houses.

“In 2017, we started to see a real recovery in our development [activity]explains Roche. He also noticed that the action was taking place at the top of the market. “And I wanted to build a niche for my business.” Zatos, which specializes in high-end projects, has become the vehicle for him to develop this niche.

And in June, the partnership inaugurated its most luxurious project to date: Extrava at Fitler Squarewhich will place four five-story townhouses on the site of a former light industrial building at 24th and Ionic streets, just steps from the Fitler Club on the northwest corner of the neighborhood.

Roche describes how the partnership works as follows: it acquires development sites, then Zatos determines the ideal way to develop them.

In this case, says Zatos founder and CEO Tom Familetti, the company decided that townhouses would be the best fit for the site. “When Jim handed the land over to us, the zoning was CMX-4, so we had unlimited possibilities for what we could do there. Technically, we could build a skyscraper with this zoning. But we really love townhouse developments, and having the build in-house is kind of our bread and butter.

Of course, Zatos could have built a condo tower on the site; after all, Carl Dranoff had built one just two blocks south five years before. But Familetti says the rather isolated site of the lot – it has the 2400 Chestnut apartment tower for a neighbor across the street and sits in the shadow of the Chestnut Street bridge over the Schuylkill – has it led him to conclude that townhouses, which offered more privacy, were the way to go.

These are no ordinary luxury townhouses, however. For starters, they have extra-wide footprints: each of the four has a 26-foot frontage. Zatos had originally considered putting six units with 19.5 feet of frontage on the site.

The difference in size therefore gave Zatos the opportunity to make the Extrava townhouses even more extravagant. gnome architects their design gives them a feeling of solidity facing the street while providing lightness inside.

Each unit will contain 5,300 square feet of interior space. The townhouses will all have four bedrooms, four full and two half bathrooms, elevators to all five floors and the rooftop terrace, and a three-car garage.

The renderings you see here give you an idea of ​​what is possible with these townhouses.

extrava living room townhouse overview

Living room

The first floor contains the three-car garage and a foyer with a two-story skylight. Stairs from the foyer wrap around the elevator and lead to the main floor, which features a two-story living room with a gas fireplace.

extrava townhouse overview dining room and kitchen

Dining room and kitchen

Under the mezzanine overlooking the living room, the dining room and the kitchen form a homogeneous whole. The dining room features a wall of built-in wine storage, while the kitchen features Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, Mobalco cabinetry, and an island with a quartz waterfall countertop. A terrace next to the kitchen, one of three outdoor areas, has a built-in grill for outdoor cooking and dining.

extrava townhouse overview loft

Attic

The mezzanine overlooking the living room can function as a games room, as here. Behind the attic is one of the four bedrooms and a corner next to the staircase can be used as a home office. Or any of these parts could serve other purposes.

master bedroom

master bedroom

main bathroom

Main bathroom

The fourth floor contains two further bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and the fifth contains the master bedroom. It has a bedroom with a private terrace, a large walk-in closet and a sumptuous bathroom with Porcelanosa tile flooring and fittings. (All other bathrooms have these same two features.)

roof deck pilot house

Pilot house on the roof terrace

Above the master suite is the roof terrace, accessible from a pilot house equipped with a bar.

Roche explains that buyers can customize these homes not only by choosing finishes, fixtures and fittings, but also by functions. For example, he says, “If a buyer wanted to have a cigar room or a wine tasting room, we can hide a door” above the alcove next to the stairs to the balcony. “Or if they wanted to make the balcony a playroom or the bedroom a gym, there is an option to build it. Or there is an option to put a sauna or steam room in one of the rooms bathroom.

“The buyer’s ability to specify that is something you don’t typically see in the city at this square footage.”

Roche says these homes are designed to appeal to a certain class of buyers, particularly those who fled the city for the suburbs when COVID hit. These homes, he notes, would offer more flexibility than similar condo units in The Laurel or Arthaus, and in most cases more overall space as well. So, he adds, they could accommodate anyone from a single person to a couple raising or planning to raise a family.

Familetti explains that Extrava is for the buyer who wants all the amenities one can find in a luxury condominium project but doesn’t want to pay high condo fees for them or have to share them with dozens of neighbors. Because of this, home buyers enjoy great flexibility in equipping their homes without having to pay much more for the equipment. “One of the slogans we’ve had internally is that there’s no upselling because everything in the house is already an upgrade,” he says.

The Extrava project also marks the debut of Roche’s luxury division. Called Rarity, it will focus on luxury properties in the city and suburbs. Roche expects Zatos to supply a good percentage of the homes it markets.

Of course, all of this comes at a price: $4.85 million to start. But, says Roche, things in town have gotten to the point where buyers who may have left town to get what they want are ready to come back, and these homes should appeal to them.

More information about Extrava, including virtual tours, is available at the project website.


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