Architect Joel Levinson, Paul Walsh, Councilman Bill Greenlee, Larry DiFranco, Mayor Michael A Nutter, Cindy Bass, Louise D’Alessandro and Bob Elfant ceremoniously open the new Elfant Wissahickon office on Germantown Avenue. (Photo by Jonna Naylor)

When Mayor Michael Nutter cut the blue ribbon last Wednesday on the doors to the renovated Reese’s pharmacy building at 8039 Germantown Ave., he ushered in a new era for local realtors Elfant Wissahickon and signaled the end of a 10-year quest to find the right headquarters for the mid-sized real-estate firm.

“We recognized a while ago that we had grown and this move is the professionalization of our offices,” said Bob Elfant, one of the founding partners.

Wednesday is  grand opening was the culmination of the $2.1 million project that brings a new life to the former Reese’s Pharmacy building. The overflowing crowd, spilling out of the building and lining the Avenue that night, was proof that the realtors picked the right spot.

“We were overwhelmed by the response,” Elfant said. “Not only did Mayor Nutter come to cut the ribbon, but he stayed and had fun. We had fun.”

Elfant said the reaction from the community has been nothing but positive.

“People are thrilled with the building, thrilled with the party,” he said. “We already got a call from someone who was there on Wednesday who wants to list with us.”

The realtors who average $150 million a year in sales are hoping the new location will boost business for the Avenue.

“We wanted our renovation to not only contribute to the aesthetics of the 8000 block of Germantown Avenue, but we hope as much that we will have a positive impact on the other businesses along the entire Avenue,” said Managing Partner Paul Walsh after the opening.

With over 7500 square feet, the new two-story offices will allow the company to house all of its agents under one roof, creating a more streamlined atmosphere and approach for clients.

The new layout and design of the offices include private client meetings rooms, a welcoming lobby, several conference rooms and cutting edge technology to aid clients’ searches.

“We wanted the synergy of being under one roof, “ said founding partner Louise D’Alessandro. “Centralized operations let us stay cutting edge and keep all of us productive and effective.”

The renovation was a combined effort by Joel Levinson of Joel Levinson Associates and construction company Murray Construction with landscaping by Laurel Hill Gardens.

Coinciding with the opening of the new office is a new brand for the company. Masters Group Design, the same firm that designed the look of Valley Green Bank, helped Elfant transition its well-recognized squirrel and colors into a classic, familiar mark with a modern feel.

“This is a milestone,” said D’Alessandro.

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