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Manayunk, a Northwestern-Philadelphia neighborhood parallel to the Schuylkill River, has enjoyed an influx of prosperity in recent decades. Like so many other Philadelphia neighborhoods, Manayunk has emerged from its industrial, working-class roots and bloomed into a hip place to live, work and play.
Main Street is the epicenter of the neighborhood’s nightlife and shopping. Boutique shops, first-rate restaurants, taverns, and live-music venues make up this district. Residents enjoy water-front dining at restaurants located on the river.
To the north of the neighborhood is the Wissahickon Valley. Miles of serene hiking trails weave around the Wissahickon Creek and it’s pedestrian/equestrian/biking trail, Forbidden Drive. For many visitors, it may be surprising to see just how naturally exquisite this valley is after considering its proximity to the 5th largest city in the United States.
Large scale events are very common in town. Thus, it is quite appropriate that Manayunk.com uses the saying, “There’s Always Something to do in Manayunk.” Events such as The Hidden River Blues Festival, Manayunk Arts Festival, Spring/Fall StrEAT Food Festivals, and Manayunk Cocktail Week are very popular and draw thousands of attendants. The most popular event, and the event that has defined the neighborhood on the global stage, is the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic. The infamous, mountain-like topography of the neighborhood creates a challenging 12-mile circuit for an international cycling crowd.
Manayunk was once an industrial mill-town on the Schuylkill River and one of Philadelphia’s manufacturing centers. By the 1980s, this borough northwest of Center City had become a hardscrabble town with vacant storefronts in its business district. Thanks to the efforts of some urban pioneers who opened quality restaurants and started a schedule of annual events to bring people to the town, the area has come back in a big way.
For about the past 20 years, Manayunk has attracted younger, more professional home buyers, no doubt drawn to the energy of this revitalized area. In addition to row-houses, some factories have been converted to loft-style living spaces. Prices are a bit more reasonable than in Center City neighborhoods, and commuting to the city is relative easy via Septa’s train and bus service. The train ride to Center City is about 30 minutes on the Manayunk- Norristown line.
There are plenty of modest row-houses for sale which are attractive to the first-time buyer. On the other end of the spectrum, mansion and estate homes found “on top of the hill” are of the finest quality and proportions. These high-end (in terms of price and topography) homes are rooted in the industrial age and were built for factory owners and businessmen. Their scale and craftsmanship are still impressive even when compared to today’s construction standards. There are also plenty of new-construction options including luxury high-rises on the river. With plenty of young renters, investment properties in Manayunk are popular.
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