Renovations to 219 E. Willow Grove Ave. include landscaping.

Renovations to 219 E. Willow Grove Ave. include landscaping.

by Pete Mazzaccaro

For years, Wyndmoor Gardens, a 95-unit apartment building at 219 E. Willow Grove Avenue, was left to decay. Across the street from SEPTA’s Wyndmoor station, the building was purchased earlier this year by HOW Properties of Conshohocken, and the company wasted no time in launching a major overhaul of the complex, beginning with a new name: Residences at 219.

John Pack, manager of the property renovations, gave the Local a quick tour of the work being performed at the now 107-unit building where one- and two-bedroom apartments are getting a big facelift – from new kitchens to washer/dryer laundry units and central air.

“We couldn’t really believe the condition the tenants were living in,” Pack said. “There were holes in the wall, leaks. You could see through cracks around the windows. We repaired everything. Now our goal is to renovate all the units to make them more in line with what’s around here.”

By “here,” Pack means Chestnut Hill, where The Residents at 219 are HOW Properties’ first foray in the neighborhood.

“This is our first property in Chestnut Hill,” he said. “It’s different than what we’re used to but we’re really happy to have it.”

A remodeled kitchen/living room.

A remodeled kitchen/living room.

In addition to renovations at every unit, HOW is renovating the parking areas in front and behind the building, installing an outdoor “gym” with a number of workout stations and fencing off a little dog run for tenants.

In all, it’s a concerted effort to attract renters, young and old, to the complex.

Pack said that rents at the complex when HOW bought it were very low – from $400 to $900 depending on the size of the unit. He expects renovated units to fetch between $950 for one bedroom to $1,150 for two bedrooms.

“We’re not in the business of kicking anybody out,” he said. “We want anyone who has paid the rent to stay.”

In the meantime, HOW will continue renovations for some time.

“It’s been a real project,” Pack said. “It will be another year until we’re 100 percent done.”