Brooklyn 2.0? An expat realtor is trying to lure you to Philly

It feels like every day somebody is campaigning for us to leave New York and move somewhere that’s actually affordable and proffers a higher quality of life. A couple weeks ago, we learned that we could get paid to move to Maine. A few months ago, we spoke with a mix of locals and transplants who made the case for relocating to New Orleans. Way back in 2012, we considered moving to Philly, a whopping four years ahead of a report out last month by the apartment-search site Abodo naming Philadelphia the “Best City for Millennials.”

With the DNC kicking off there next week, the city of brotherly love is fresh on our minds, and it turns out, there’s another “Brooklyn to Philly movement” that we didn’t know about. MovetoPhilly.com is the passion project of a Brooklyn expat, Christopher Plant, a realtor who would like to help you jump ship and join him in “Brooklyn 2.0″. He even encourages you to call him on the phone and ask him about it. So we did. 

info philly

Plant, who moved to Philly in 2002, has some first-hand experience with the pitfalls of Brooklyn real estate; he helped open legendary DIY space Galapagos Art Space, (R.I.P.) — which is now reopening in Detroit — serving as the manager there from 1997-2002. He originally left Brooklyn because he wanted to “own real estate and control my own fate.” He spoke of checking out Bushwick spaces, “burnt-out shelters for $400 grand.” Looking back, he says, “I wish I had bought them all then.”

When we asked him why we should move to Philly, his answer, unsurprisingly, was “Affordability. A lower bottom line.” He gave the example of industrial warehouse spaces with “great windows” that in Brooklyn go for $25-$30/square foot, but in Philly are as low as $6-$10/square foot. Even if you’re just looking to rent residentially, the numbers speak for themselves: as of June 2016, an average two bedroom in Philadelphia rents for $1911, compared to $3,452 on average in Brooklyn.

He originally launched MovetoPhilly.com in 2013 as “BrooklyntoPhilly.” Now, Philadelphia is, as the website proclaims, “the new Brooklyn…the affordable Brooklyn. The Brooklyn that makes sense. The Brooklyn that allows you to live the way you want to live.”

Since then, he’s expanded the site to target folks from any city who are seeking a higher quality of life. “I’m not trying to take the Brooklyn mantle and put it on Philadelphia,” he assured us—and resident Philadelphians will thank him for that. In general, he says, the project is with the aim of steering a “larger conversation about how people are choosing to live, what they can afford, and how that influences their life.”

The prospect of leaving Brooklyn for Philly is still a real consideration for many folks, he tells us.

“I was just at a wedding in BK three months ago, and people were actively targeting me to ask about moving to Philly. Because, you know, living in Brooklyn is hard.”

We had to ask, what’s his favorite bar in Philly? Hop Sing Laundromat, which is not a laundromat-bar, but a speakeasy in Chinatown with a straight liquor happy hour ranging from $3.50 shots of Espelon Anejo tequila, to $39.99 Bowmore 25 year single malt. Maybe if we move to Philly, we’ll be able to afford the Top Shelf.

5 Comment

  • What’s this 45-minute 30th to Penn BS? It’s at least an hour on the Acela. And that’s if the train chooses not to derail.

  • My girlfriend and I moved from Philly to Brooklyn last year. One of the biggest mistakes of my life. I had a two bedroom apartment in center city, that ran me about $800 a month less than the one bedroom we currently have on the border of windsor terrace and kensington, and wasn’t a thirty minute subway ride from anywhere worth going.

    Move to Philly, it’s better in every conceivable way.

  • Brooklyn is rapidly becoming a sterilized parody of itself. I live here for work but I cannot wait to leave to somewhere cheaper. Not to mention the weather in NYC is nothing short of horrific.

  • Great article and very true. I am originally from Brooklyn born and raised. I visited philly for about 7 years before my family and I relocated here about a year ago. Full disclosure I operate a real estate brokerage out here. Licensed in both NY and PA. Philadelphia’s market is much more manageable and moving here has been one of the best decisions of my life.
    Culture best restaurants close to the shore and great for kids. Awesome dog parks and green spaces. The best bike city.
    Housing affordability in comparison to quality of life and access is unparelled.

    I work with many relocation companies who are much g their employees here
    .
    If you are looking to lease or purchase a home or view or speak about investments here. Please feel free to email or text me anytime. Contact info is on my site.

    Brooklyn and NYC landlords have taken enough of your money. We can help you purchase and then manage your home if you travel or need to move.

    Again great article.

  • good riddance.