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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

SoPhilly Spotlight: Jehovah’s Witness Hall Rehab edition

We love it when real-estate developments we report on finally come to fruition, which is why for this week’s SoPhilly Spotlight, we’re bringing you an apartment at 1237 Federal St.

That’s the former Jehovah’s Witness hall that has been converted to eight apartments in two stories (as opposed to the originally planned 10 in three stories with parking on the ground floor).

Unit No. 8 at 1235-37 Federal, which the developer is calling the Southern Bella Lofts, is a bilevel 2-bed, 1.5 bath going for $1,995 a month. It’s 1,100 square feet.

1235 Federal

Pretty nice inside, but outside is … well, you decide.

Stucco? Why?

Stucco? Why?

Here's what it used to be.

Here’s what it used to be.

There’s some improvement along the alley though:



...versus old.

…versus old.

Anyway, back to the apartment.  According to the listing:

The Southern Bella Lofts are complete, and absolutely spectacular! Celebrate the grand opening by being the first to live in this particular residence! No expense was spared, with the items below highlighting some of the phenomenal features.:

(Editor’s Note: Except maybe on the outside?)

Vaulted ceilings, Recessed lighting, Quartz countertops, Modern crossover shower tiling, Oak hardwood floors, Frigidaire Gallery SS Appliances, Built-In Microwave, Open Living Space, Wired for internet, phone, and cable installation, Corner unit, nice and sunny, High Efficiency Washer and Dryer in Unit, Extra half bath in kitchen and living area

1235 Federal2 1235 Federal1 1235 Federal4

The pictures don’t exactly show off what is undoubtedly a nice apartment. But seriously, this is the best picture available of the bathroom:

1235 Federal3

Subpar pictures and crappy stucco aside, what do you think of this place?

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13 Responses to SoPhilly Spotlight: Jehovah’s Witness Hall Rehab edition

  1. monk August 1, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    I think $1,995 a month is too pricey for this place. A 3 bedroom house on my block rents for $1,500 a month and it is on a nice street near the fountain. Maybe I could justify the price if it had a roof deck or outdoor space. Nice that it’s a bi-level though.

  2. SC August 1, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    The outside is gonna turn some people off, but I bet they have no problem renting that unit at that price. The in-unit W/D is a pretty sweet commodity.

  3. Kat August 1, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    The apartments on the 1400 block of S. 7th that are a recent conversion of a weirdly shaped auto-body shop are also this battleship gray. I wonder why both owners have made such drab color choices on blocks that could use some brightening up.

    • Bill August 1, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      It’s the same owner

  4. smw August 1, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    That exposed ductwork looks godawful in such a blandly vanilla space.The absence of any interior detail or division of space makes it look unfinished and poorly thought-out. Especially that kitchen, with its relatively tiny amount of usable counter space, just plunked down in the corner after the flooring was installed.

    • Mark August 2, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      Your a moron – floors go in after the kitchen, you don’t just plop a kitchen in before, and that’s the smallest unit in the building. Most kitchens are very large and open spaced. Also there was no inside before, the building was a shell, so they were thought out by some architect, maybe you should go back to school since you know so much and teach them.

      • smw August 5, 2014 at 12:02 am #

        Calling me a moron using incorrect grammar is pretty hilarious.

        I stand by my criticism of the kitchen layout. I had apartments with tiny galley kitchens that had more counter space for food prep than this “large open-space” kitchen.

  5. Katie August 1, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    Not only is the grey stucco awful, but what’s up with the nasty black security doors? Instead of adding “eyes” to the street, it makes the front look like prison. This could’ve been a great upgrade for Federal Street, instead it just deadens that section.

  6. Leanne August 1, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

    Too pricey for the location and space. It is so boring and builder-grade, and the outside is horrible. Maybe if it looked like the Hawthorne Lofts on 12th Street, but no way to $2k/month for a generic 2 bedroom below Washington.

  7. laura August 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    How are you suppose to cook in that kitchen?

  8. Stewie August 2, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    Cheap, builder-grade off the shelf Home Depot finishes and sub-par quality work. What they’ve done with the facade is a step down. Grey box with no thought to the streetscape. That’s a blank canvas on the 1st floor just begging to be tagged

  9. Lee August 4, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    What is people’s obsession with Stucco on exterior window trim? It looks AWFUL.

    I’m sure the argument could be made that its cheaper, but doing nothing would be cheaper too.

    I think its pretty darn ugly but wish them well in getting tenants.

  10. Chris Mote August 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    That exterior will look so bad in ten years it’s going to need an Isaiah Zagar mural.

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