The history of Labor Day, our new and current listings, and Philly happenings. If you’d like to discuss real estate or anything in this newsletter please send me an email: [email protected] This edition of Around the Block was originally published on Friday, 9/2/22.
Relevant Commentary, all information Philly (real estate and otherwise), Open Houses, Listings, Happenings, and More — by Jeff “City” Block
The History of Labor Day
Most Americans look forward to a relaxing Labor Day weekend before things get crazy again with the end of summer, kids back in school, or whatever they have going on. Backyard BBQ, poolside, down the shore, parades, last-minute school supplies, just chilling out. This is a classic American holiday and most of us who can, take the day off.
Now back to that brief history of Labor Day. . . it has a dark side.
Late 19th century. Many Americans worked 12-hour days, seven days a week for low pay. Some children worked long hours of labor. Horrid conditions, especially for the poor and immigrants. There were few regulations. These conditions along with increased industrialization (away from agriculture) led to a rise in unions to organize the workers. This, in turn, led to the organization of strikes, rallies, and marches.
“Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.” History.com, Labor Day 2022
The number of parades and rallies increased and some states started to recognize them by giving workers the day off, but the federal government did not. Then in May 1894, Pullman railway workers walked out on the job (read about why they walked out here). The American Railway Union workers followed suit and railroad traffic was halted from Chicago to the west coast. The railroads enlisted the federal government to shut the strike down, and they procured an injunction to do just that.
“The following day, President Cleveland dispatched federal troops to the city to enforce the injunction. Illinois’ pro-labor governor, John Peter Altgeld, who had already called out state militia troops to prevent violence, was outraged, calling the government’s actions unconstitutional. With the arrival of federal troops, the Pullman strike turned bloody, with some rioters destroying hundreds of railroad cars in South Chicago on July 6, and National Guardsmen firing into a mob on July 7, killing as many as 30 people and wounding many others.”
During this strike, Congress was already considering making Labor Day a federal holiday. Ironically, President Cleveland signed this bill just several days before sending in the troops.
While I always knew that Labor Day was connected to organized labor and workers’ movements, I never knew the history. And I thought history.com was a good place to start.
I hope you had a nice summer. Please enjoy this weekend and let’s get ready for fall.
5038 Spruce Street
4 Units | 6,400 SF | Excellent Condition | Nice Outdoor Spaces | Low Expenses | Convenient Location | $890,000
Huge, 12-year old, four-unit building in excellent condition. Located at the intersection of the highly desirable Garden Court and Walnut Hill neighborhoods of University City, this turn-key property offers four 1,500’ residences, each with central air; in-unit washers and dryers; modern, newer kitchen and baths with solid finishes; recessed lighting; excellent space and storage; bright natural light; and really nice outdoor space.
These sought after units are each the size of a comfortable home, yet offering single floor living. So easy to rent. The 1st floor offers 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and a very large rear yard. The 2nd floor offers 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and a rear deck. The 3rd and 4th floors each offer 2 full bedrooms, 1.5 baths, huge living spaces, and rear decks. Super convenient location with a 93 WalkScore and tons of SEPTA options to Center City, Penn, Drexel, HUP, 30th Street, etc.
This building currently brings in $71,000+/year with very low expenses. While the list price reflects these numbers, the building is significantly under-rented with three leases expiring in March 2023 and one is currently month-to-month. Just ideal, as new owner is set up to seamlessly bring rents up to our projected rents of $2,000+ per unit (for first two floors)and $1,800+ per unit (for upper two floors) or $91,000+/year.
Additional bonus potential: Other quads on the block have successfully applied for variance for 5th unit in lower level. This building has lower level just waiting to be finished. Potentially add another $1,200-$1,500/month to your rent roll. All utilities and mechanicals are separated (except for cold water). A superb investment opportunity in a red-hot neighborhood.
This Wednesday, the roving beer garden, Parks on Tap moved to a brand new location. For over two years Parks on Tap has been stationed at Fairmount Water Works, but starting this fall, the beer garden will set up shop in five different parks throughout the city. The first new location is Fishtown’s Penn Treaty Park where guests can enjoy beautiful views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Delaware River while enjoying seasonal cocktails, draft beers from Mainstay Independent Brewing, and a large food menu.
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Be assured, I will do my best to exceed their expectations! Thanks for taking the time to read this issue of Around the Block.
Some imagery in this e-newsletter was sourced via UWISHUNU, cherrystreetpier.com, and Canva.