The St. James
The St. James is a mixed-use high-rise development in Center City Philadelphia, whose 45-story 307-unit luxury apartment building was the first major residential development in the city of Philadelphia in the past 30 years. Constructed on a one-acre site, The St. James transformed the entire historic block of West Washington Square and 8th Street while preserving its architectural integrity. The multi-faceted project encompasses the landmark Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS) bank building a legacy of European modernism-in addition to three 1700s Yorktown townhouses. The St. James preserved the original facades of these historic structures, which were completely restored and successfully repositioned to house retail space and an upscale restaurant.
Operations, Maintenance, and Property Management
CR Management LLC staff assisted the Owner throughout the product development and lease-up of this extraordinary property providing direction on:
> Product Design. CR Management LLC provided guidance on operational design issues including trash and loading dock location and size. Their input resulted in serveral positive changes to the design and layout for retail spaces common areas and services, security systems, lobby, elevators, and garage. CR Management LLC also assisted with the FF&E selections of unit finishes, and model design.
> Branding & Image. CR Management LLC researched, selected, and managed an external marketing firm to develop and execute a comprehensive branding strategy. CR Management LLC steered production of mulitple theme and logo options for various phases of the project. They also managed the budget, development, printing and distribution plan for all brochures, maps, and other marketing collateral including the different phases of onsite leasing signage.
> Pricing & Concessions. CR Management LLC walked each unit and helped set pricing based on floor, size, view, finishes, and other factors. The team also developed a successful concession package designed to attract renters and gradually burn off to meet pro forma projections.
> Marketing Campaigns. CR Management LLC develop the early stages of preleasing including marketing publications, onsite signage, flyers, and targeted direct mail in Philadelphia and New York.
> Staffing. CR Management LLC provided guidance in selecting City Habitat as leasing company and interviewed onsite personnel to staff the leasing and management positions.
> Financial Services. Using MRI, CR Management LLC provided all accouting and back of house servies during Clark’s ownership.
No new residential product existed in downtown Philadelphia – The St. James was the first residential high-rise in more than a generation. In this downtown market with limited product and a trend toward growth, The St. James had the opportunity to capitalize on its demand as one of only two residential buildings in the area. CR Management LLC worked to create a dynamic Web site (thestjamesphiladephia.com); 3-D models of the expansive, modern lobby, indoor pool, and spacious contemporary units’ and a services plan for the building that included 24-hour concierge services, a full-time doorman, and other luxurious amenities. The St. James enjoyed tremendous success during its opening, with more than 25 reservations secured for the rental residences in the first two weeks.
Since its opening, the property enjoyed tremendous financial success and commercial appeal. CR Management LLC’s promotional efforts garnered the Delta Associates’ Apartment and Condominium Industry Award for Excellence in the category of Best New Location in Philadelphia Area and The Philadelphia City Paper Choice Awards for the Best View from a High-Rise Apartment. The National Association of Homebuilders also heralded the St. James as the Best Luxury Apartment Project. The property’s stellar management resulted in the sale and disposition of the asset with above-market returns