I'm sure some of you have much the same reaction I do to news that Toll Brothers City Living is undertaking another new development in the city proper. I'm thrilled that "America's Luxury Home Builder" is betting on its home region's core city in a big way, yet at the same time disappointed that the development in question looks like it would be just as home in the Philly 'burbs as it would be in its urban setting, if not more so. Especially since the publicity materials Toll Brothers City Living produces feature ultra-stylish high rises on the cover. Those, I found out, are in Manhattan, where Toll has also had success building for urban luxury buyers.
I took up this point with Brian Emmons, Toll Brothers' vice president who heads the City Living division, at the Coldwell Banker Preferred Old City holiday party, and he invited me to speak with him in more detail later. That interview produced what I would consider a decent defense of Toll's building practices in the city - I've certainly seen plenty of evidence that what Emmons says is the case is the case in this city. You can now read it here:
A reminder from Toll Brothers that Philly is not New York - and neither is New York | Philadelphia Real Estate Blog
A quote I couldn't use in the article, because he let it slip at the office party and it really wasn't germane, should also remind you that while real estate development and sales make lots of people rich, the wealth is neither universal nor uniformaly spread:
I had told Emmons at the party that I wished I could afford living in the homes his company builds. "I wish I could afford to live in them too," was his reply. And he's VP of the division, remember.
Anyway, offered to you as food for thought and reaction. While you may not like it, does Toll's defense make sense to you?