Newbold: reNewbold a ‘Game-Changer’ for Neighborhood

Despite a barrage of snowstorms and nearby gas leaks this winter, LPMG Companies’ reNewbold project at 16th and Moore streets still has Fall 2014 in the crosshairs as a completion date, with the nine-home-construction Phase 1 beginning to wrap up this spring.

“It’s been very rough with this weather, and it’s funny because everyone in the construction industry has been talking about how it’s been the worst winter in decades, so that’s really been wreaking havoc on our schedule. But we’re getting through it,” said Chad Ludeman, founder of Postgreen Homes. “We’re aiming for April to lift our first home, and it looks like we’ll hit that.”

Postgreen Homes founder Chad Ludeman perched over the sprawling, snow-quieted construction space of the reNewbold project.
Postgreen Homes founder Chad Ludeman perched over the sprawling, snow-quieted construction space of the reNewbold project.

For those confounded by the name, Ludeman’s Postgreen company is monikered with the promise that its homes are built to last, eschewing the greenwashing “fad” that Ludeman said he fully expects to die down in coming years.

The company, based in Kensington, was hired by John Longacre’s LPMG Companies to design and construct the 16 row homes, two condos and single retail space at 16th and Moore streets, previously the site of the 2010-demolished Francis M. Drexel School. As of February, Ludeman said, nine of these homes have been sold, with a single two-story remaining on the market.

The median-income-targeted housing development broke ground in October and, thanks to the efforts of Postgreen Homes, is expected to be LEED Platinum certified – a four-tiered ranking system of environmental-friendliness by the U.S. Green Building Council, based on the standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Platinum is the highest ranking possible, boasting 80 points or more on a 100-point meter.

The reNewbold homes, if granted the certification, would be the first to be LEED-certified south of Washington Street.

“That was something John [Longacre] was adamant about doing when we came on board, and with a lot of our other development partners, that’s the first thing they want to cross off the list — they want to pay for the cost of it,” Ludeman said. “So, I think that’s fairly significant. Especially at this scale of a project. There’s no real profit in it.”

Chad Ludeman tours a three-story home in construction at the 16th and Moore streets site.
Ludeman inside what will be the living room of a three-story home being constructed at the 16th and Moore streets site.

But designed as a money-maker or not, the reNewbold project continues to be touted as the largest private investment in Southwest Philadelphia in five decades – a fact Longacre (top image) isn’t shy about making well-known.

“It’s an absolute game-changer,” Longacre said. “From a socioeconomic perspective, this is the most significant project to happen west of Broad Street in 50 years. LPMG believes in west of Broad Street — Newbold in particular. And the reason why this is a game-changer, is because … this isn’t looked at as a transitional neighborhood anymore. Award-winning businesses are here, and LEED-certified [homes] are here. Some people are coming from Center City and the suburbs. Ten years ago, we couldn’t attract Northern Liberties or the suburbs into here. With this, we can substantiate that this neighborhood is different and has new populations and isn’t just slumlords and traditional residents.”

Full specifications for the reNewbold homes can be viewed at]

– Text and images by Brandon Baker

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