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In the mid-2000s, developer Tony Rufo began converting the former Nathaniel Hawthorne School at 1201 Fitzwater Street/712 S. 12th Street into the Hawthorne Lofts, a 53-unit condominium. Rufo made some wise decisions with this adaptive-reuse project, including dedicating a large amount of space to amenities that he knew would attract young buyers to this affordably priced building. Today, the Hawthorne Lofts includes a fitness center with steam room, sauna and his and hers bath facilities, a media/game room and a huge roof deck with exceptional city views. Honestly, you can live in this entry-level building and when you’re on the roof deck, you have a million-dollar view. Even when it didn’t work to add in-unit washers/dryers, Rufo created a large laundry room with no-fee machines — the laundry is included in the condo fees.
Ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments, these residences feature huge windows (smaller windows in first-floor units), hardwood floors and high ceilings. Some still have the classroom billboards in them, a charming feature. With the exception of units on the first floor, which offer one-level living, the upper-level apartments have loft-style second-floor bedrooms. The two-bedroom units allow a buyer to use that second-level area as an office/guest space.
Kitchens tend to have a contemporary feel with granite countertops and tile backsplashes–some buyers upgraded their finishes since buying in 2009-2010.
Offstreet parking, a pet-friendly condo association and its location in a neighborhood (that should be “neighborhoods” as it’s really close to Bella Vista, Avenue of the Arts and Washington Square West) that is growing in popularity have meant that many of these condos have re-sold very quickly when they have hit the market. Melanie Stecura in our Philadelphia office has handled many transactions here, so send her a note if you wish to have more information on the Hawthorne Lofts.