Lifestyle

It is said to be a special house. Then the builder got involved emotionally.

As a real estate developer, Stephen Rodriguez knew the double-acre site in the Philadelphia Graduate Hospital area was special as soon as he saw it.

When his wife, Morgan Rodriguez, a real estate agent, showed him the property, a dilapidated townhouse on one side and a private garage on the other, Mr. Rodriguez saw an investment opportunity: His company would tear down the whole thing, commission a progressive architect to design a large new townhouse, and then sell it for a hefty profit.

Either way, measuring supply is a plan.

But as the project progressed, the couple became more and more enamored with the neighborhood and the house that Mr. Rodriguez was building. At the same time, they are expanding their apartment, which already feels cramped with their two children – Paul, 12, and Corinne, 10. Later, Ms. Rodriguez gave birth to their third child, Louisa, Currently 3 years old, just before construction. started.

Ms. Rodriguez, 37 years old, is also the founder of Home Kiki & Moa company that manufactures candles and bath tubs.

Not long before Mr. Rodriguez’s investment project was completed, the couple realized that they already knew the buyer: themselves.

“Probably two-thirds of the way through the construction, we decided to keep it,” said Mr. Rodriguez, 44.

It’s not just that they want 4,500 square feet of living space. In the years they spent obsessing over design details, the building turned from a simple business venture into a labor of love. “After all we put into it, it hurt to sell it,” he said.

It all started after Mr. Rodriguez bought the plot of land for $650,000 in October 2018. With the hope of building a townhouse with a modern, outstanding design and not causing a feeling of being lost next to the customers. classical red brick neighborhood, he approached the architects at Moto Designshop to collaborate on a design.

“I gave them what was probably a long, generous speech about how I want to build things that last over time, and that took a huge toll on them,” he said. . “For this one, I told them we wanted something brick, because it was a block of bricks; we wanted it to be modern, perhaps with a bit of a medieval and modern vibe; and we want things with curves. “

Moto has delivered on all counts with an ultra-deep façade townhouse consisting of four layers of overlapping bricks, two with spaced brick arrangements that function as masonry barriers. Curved steel frame openings cut through the brick to reveal the front door, garage and windows.

“We were free to suggest something a little more playful and a little more ornate, but still rooted in the Philadelphia brick façade,” said Roman Torres, a Moto partner. Roman Torres, a Moto partner said. “These tiles create great shade patterns, but also invite you in.”

For the interior of the three-story home, the couple kept the material palette to a minimum, choosing white oak cabinets, herringbone patterned doors, moldings and floors, painted white and charcoal. .

On the first floor, an open kitchen with a large soapstone island serves as the centerpiece of the home, between the dining area and the living room. The widening of windows at the rear of the house – including a porch window that replaces the usual reflective window above the stove and a sliding door that opens from the living room to the backyard – helps pull in natural light. into rooms that may be dark.

A curved steel staircase with white oak steps winds up to the second floor above a growing potted plant in green. “The staircase itself was a project,” said Mr. Rodriguez, noting that because of the complexity of the design, it took about six months to complete, amid the metal fabricated by the company. Holzman Iron Studio and custom wood grooves.

That’s the part of the house that really benefited from the pandemic that came after construction began in June 2019, Mr. Rodriguez said, because he had previously been on the waiting list for the house. metal worker.

“They did a lot of big stairs for hotels, restaurants and office buildings, then the pandemic hit and their business went from a one-year backlog to a number,” said Mr. Rodriguez. not just overnight,” said Mr. Rodriguez. “I convinced the owner to go in on his own and start walking up our stairs, which was previously on the priority list.”

The main suite and another bedroom are located on the second floor. Two more bedrooms and a family room with a terrace overlooking the City Center skyscrapers are on the top floor.

The family moved in last April, after spending about $1.1 million on construction, although they are still working on completion, Mr. Rodriguez said: “There is still a lot of work to be done on the interior. interior of this house. We have fireplaces to set, crafting workshops and a million other things. “

However, they are satisfied with the decision to keep this special house in the family. Rodriguez has built many homes, he said, but “we decided to keep the best one for ourselves.”

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https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/realestate/it-was-supposed-to-a-spec-house-then-the-builder-got-emotionally-involved.html It is said to be a special house. Then the builder got involved emotionally.

Fry Electronics Team

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