For Argo Property Group, business is brewing.
In three years, the company has gone from two projects to 35, and currently has a development pipeline of $30.5 million across 173,872 sq. ft., of residential and mixed-use properties in Brewerytown and along the W. Girard Ave., commercial corridor in Philadelphia.
There are a few key reasons for Argo’s rapid growth, explains David Ross, partner of Argo Property Group.
“We have a fantastic group of subcontractors that know what we expect and are very efficient. We are also fortunate to have investors that believed in us and supported our acquisition strategy, then there is our cluster approach, where we focus really heavily on certain stretches of land so we can have a profound impact,” he says.
Argo’s mission is to build high quality, modern, and affordable homes. It is comprised of three partners, Ross and Troy Sheets of Brewerytown, and Jeremy Terr of Bala Cynwyd. Ross manages planning, design and permitting, while Sheets manages construction and development. Terr manages financing and equity relationships.
The three met in 2014 on a real estate forum. “My wife likes to tell people, as a joke, that we all ‘met online,’ Ross says. “We did, but seriously, there’s many supportive and knowledgeable online communities dedicated to improving Philadelphia.”
For Ross, the most rewarding aspect of the business is improving the neighborhood he lives in and loves. He and his team thrive on taking vacant and depressed blocks and turning them into vibrant, thriving, communities.
“We’re able to shape and build the environment, so we’re strategic in using tasteful, timeless designs that fit well into Philadelphia’s historic fabric, yet show a contemporary look that will carry into the future,” Ross says.
Philly Happening Editor Susan Field caught up with Ross to see some of Argo’s properties, to find out why Brewerytown is becoming the hottest place to build, and to see what’s on tap for the company in 2018.
1.) What’s the significance of the Argo name?
We liked the sound of it! Argo is the name of the ship that Jason and the Argonauts sailed on from Greek Mythology. We liked the name because we see our business as a ship we’re steering that needs to be nimble and fast.
2.) What makes Argo different from other property groups in Philly?
We live here and we’re here for the long haul. We are aware of the complicated nature of real estate development in long under-served neighborhoods, so we’re deliberate in our approach of developing housing opportunities across the spectrum.
3.) Why does Argo choose to focus on construction in Brewerytown? Why is this an up-and-coming area?
The community is anchored by a dense and beautiful commercial corridor along West Girard Avenue, and has natural boundaries that all promote continued growth: The Fairmount/Art Museum area to the south is affluent and very desirable, Fairmount Park, trails and rivers to the west, and North Philadelphia to the north and west where you hit Temple University. We’re close to downtown and the highways and offer unparalleled access to Fairmount Park, so the people who live here are overwhelmingly active.
4.) What are some of your favorite/biggest projects to date?
We focus on blocks where we can have a profound impact. On the 1400 block of N. 28th St., we have 10 townhomes called Brewers Mill, www.brewersmill.com. Another block away we have 7 multi-family apartment buildings going up or being renovated that will create a unique and vibrant stretch of city.
5.) What is on Argo’s agenda for 2018?
We’re focused on supporting the commercial corridor’s growth since it’s a driver for the neighborhood. We’re planning a few mixed-use buildings that have apartments and commercial space. We’ll be plenty busy working on the pipeline we’ve already developed, but we’ll be looking forward to new opportunities.
For more information on Argo Property Group and its homes and projects, visit: www.argopg.com; Instragram and Facebook @argopropertygroup; and Twitter @ARGOPG