Moving from New York City in 2006, Peter Lobl was used to a multi-million-dollar loft market. So when he found a penthouse in a converted garment factory at North 13th Street and Noble, he was pleasantly surprised.
"In New York, it would be way beyond my budget," he said. "But Philly being Philly, I thought, this is doable here."
The double-unit penthouse gets light on three sides, which immediately attracted Lobl.
"I just fell in love with that space immediately," he said. "There are great windows and light."
The three-bedroom condo spans more than 3,000 square feet, and includes nearly 20 windows and a skylight with original fixtures. The space also retains original beams and fixtures throughout.
"It's just a very nice space," he said. "It's very relaxing with the wood and the history of the building."
The neighborhood and the building have blossomed together, Lobl said. Many of his neighbors are artists or creative professionals who use their condos as combination live-work spaces.
"I like the ambiance of the building," he said. "It's got a nice vibe and it's only gotten better through the years."
In addition to recently renovating the kitchen, Lobl was in the midst of plans to develop a roof deck above the unit.
"One of the benefits of having a penthouse is a lovely deck area," he said. He hopes that new owners will be able to move forward on plans he did not have time to execute.
For now, he is enjoying views of the city as well as the burgeoning park below on the site of the former Reading Viaduct.
"You can see the old Inquirer building," he said, "and look out on this tremendous diorama."
Lobl said now that his work has him spending more time in Berlin than in Philadelphia, it is time to sell.
"I can't enjoy it," he said. "I think it would be great for somebody who could really appreciate the area."
The penthouse is currently listed with Coldwell Banker Preferred's Jesse Barnes for $789,900.