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Is Manayunk Philly’s Next Hot Real Estate Investment


Though it pains me to see an ex-cowboy buying property in Philadelphia. At least it’s a Hall of Famer. Really though, if the Emmitt Smith backed company is looking to invest this much into Manuyunk and with the current amount of development going on, it should give all investors a reason to take a look.

It may also make a case for investigating investment opportunities the properties right outside the city in Bala Cynwyd.

Interestingly, the 19004 zipcode may eventually see some investment from e-commerce or logistics companies looking for the last-mile advantage.

Former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith asking Pa. for $14M to build techie office park in Manayunk

Dallas-based ESmith Properties LLC wants to use the grant and loan money to ready PaperWorks Industries Inc.’s former plant property on the island’s northern tip for what’s slated to eventually encompass three million square feet of commercial space, about three times as much development as now exists in the South Philadelphia Navy Yard’s central office park, according to an application submitted for the support last month.

Potential tenants that have been identified include two out-of-town tech firms seeking locations in Philadelphia and a community college satellite science campus, according to the application.

“The Venice Innovation Island project aims to attract innovative businesses across a variety of industries and entertainment/leisure opportunities to the site, with the goal to further bolster Manayunk as a regional destination,” ESmith wrote in a project prospectus included with the application, which was provided to the Inquirer.

Globest has an article on another Manyunk project to keep an eye on, Resmark Leading JV to Develop Manayunk Multifamily Project.

Construction is currently underway at The Locks, a collection of 63 waterfront residences, each with views of the Manayunk Canal, the Schuylkill River or both…

Located between the canal and river, The Locks’ 63 waterfront residences will have open floor plans, incomparable views and generous rooftop terraces. The homes will range in size from 2,100 square feet to 3,500 square feet and are sited in a landscaped setting with a new riverfront trail along the Schuylkill River. The community’s industrial architectural design by the Philadelphia firm of Varenhorst Architects pays tribute to Manayunk’s rich heritage.

Not a surprise but someone who is heavily invested in the success of Manayunk, likened the eventual change to what happened to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

If Manayunk was to achieve even half the success Williamsburg has seen, then early investors could see gains greater than those that bought Northern Liberties 15 years ago.

One big plus we see for Manyunk is it has a strong business association. This is one area, we think is never worth overlooking is how involved and the participation rate of local business associations.

Having access to a strong local business association can definitely make the difference when investing in an area. Businesses in Manayunk are served by both the Manayunk Development Corporation and the Manayunk Special Services District which are non-profit organizations that according to their website, operate under the same umbrella, and are marketed through

Businesses and thus the commercial property owners benefit from the synergy of having the organizations and the marketing of the local website. In fact, it’s probably one of the items most small business associations struggle with.

This is one area, I think the businesses along Lancaster Ave. from Philadelphia to Berwyn lack is a strong comprehensive business association.

On Main St. you’ll see the Special Services District team out sweeping the sidewalks, watering the plants, and ensuring everything are ready for business every morning.

Due to the combined efforts of the organizations, Main St. is lit with winter lights which helps businesses during the cold months, especially when the colleges are out.

Manayunk is also small enough that you still see signs like this with mixed-use commercial and residential properties being offered for sale by owner.

Manayunk Property for Sale by Owner

About US

We are a real estate investment services company specializing in off-market real estate in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida.

None of the content on this blog should be considered investment advice. Always due your own due diligence.