The Royal Athena is a “True Extension of Manayunk” says Executive Director of Manayunk Development Corporation
Posted by Nicholas Cerminara on 06/29/16
Jane Lipton, the Executive Director of Manayunk Development Corporation, is excited about the niche that The Royal Athena is hoping to fill in what is already one of Philadelphia’s hottest neighborhoods.
“I look at The Royal Athena and I look at it as an easy extension of Manayunk,” she says, “mostly because of that entryway over the Pencoyd Bridge. Because of the fact that many residents will be coming over the Pencoyd instead of the road, we look at what [O’Neill Properties Group] is building as a true extension of Manayunk.”
Lipton notes that the neighborhood is excited about the aspect of the long term and short term stay amenity The Royal Athena offers to people who come to visit family members in Manayunk or who are doing business in town for a week or two and want to stay within a close walking distance.
“Really the closest hotel is the Royal Crowne Plaza on City Avenue and then you have the Hilton, and neither are really connected to us in any kind of specific way,” Lipton continues.
The Royal Athena, being only a Pencoyd Bridge-cross away, will be. It’s something that local business owners are particularly looking forward to.
While the anticipation for the soon-to-be-open Royal Athena is certainly on the rise, we would be ill-informed to claim the excitement to be unparalleled on The Royal Athena side of the Athena-Manayunk relationship. While technically the luxury real estate of The Royal Athena lies on the Bala Cynwyd side of the river, an incredible area in its own right, The Royal Athena residents will boast suburban relaxation combined with the exciting life of one of Philadelphia’s liveliest and most attractive destinations for millennials.
“When you talk about 300 potential units [inside The Royal Athena],” Lipton says, “that could potentially represent 600 people who will view Manayunk as their commercial corridor, as their play corridor, as their fitness corridor.”
She continues, “The green space amenity and the trails that connect over to the bridge and then into Manayunk — they will see this as their neighborhood.”
While Philadelphia offers several “hot” neighborhoods for millennials, none can offer the attractions of Manayunk, Lipton says, that the residents of The Royal Athena will get to call their own.
“I think what our neighborhood offers that some of the other highly attractive neighborhoods to millennials don’t is that connection to the river and the trails and fitness,” she says.
“The fact that it is definitely somewhat like an urban experience, yet we have a tremendous amount of green space and we don’t necessarily feel like downtown. We feel different than that.”
Such is illustrated by a few of the events coming to the area in the next few months. This includes the Arts Festival this weekend, Stroll the Street every Thursday, the Hidden River Blues Festival in August and the Fall StrEAT Food Festival, which Lipton notes attracts more than 70 vendors and 30,000 people given good weather.
Between all of the above and the blossoming relationship between the Manayunk area and The Royal Athena, the later half of 2016 is looking to be a big one for northwest Philadelphia.
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