Builder Brian O'Neill says he's signing leases faster than expected at his Lofts apartment complex on the Schuylkill (two bedrooms, $1325 to $2000/month) near Valley Forge National Park. O'Neill signed 29 tenants in May and 24 in April, ahead of his target 15 to 18 per month. More than half the 388 units are now filled, the firm says.
Where are they coming from? O'Neill has lined up corporate placement tenants, but many of the new renters are ex- homeowners looking to cut costs: "People are speeding up downsizing," says Rosemarie McElwee Console, spokeswoman for O'Neill Properties. "From single-family home to apartment," three or four years sooner than they'd planned.