Getting their groove back

Step aside, young urbanite. Your mom is moving in.

Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood, known for its dense concentration of bars, restaurants, art galleries and inebriated 20-somethings, is seeing an influx of “empty nesters” — parents whose children have grown up and flown the nest, often leaving them with what suddenly feels like a too-big house in the suburbs. The pulse of Old City might be just what they need to feel young again.

“I see a lot of buyers in their 50s and 60s coming from the suburbs who want to be part of the urban fabric of Old City,” says Laurie Phillips, a Realtor with Prudential Fox & Roach who has been selling properties in the city for 30 years. “The area attracts someone secure enough to live in more of an up-and-coming neighborhood than, say, Rittenhouse.”

The “incredible” views of the Delaware River and the spacious condos — “the kind of space you can’t find on Rittenhouse Square” — also draw an older crowd, Phillips says.

Stephen Frishberg, 64, who lives in the Moravian with his wife, Barbara, 62, describes their move from the suburb of Radnor to Old City as “the typical empty nester scenario.”

“Our youngest was graduating college, and our house was too big,” he says. “We wanted the excitement of living in the city and going to the theater, the Philadelphia Orchestra, all the restaurants. And I love the history of Old City.”

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