Urban Conversions Acquires Historic Paper Factory Lofts In Burgeoning South Kensington Area


PHILADELPHIA., September 22, 2020 – Urban Conversions is pleased to announce the acquisition, upcoming adaptive reuse, and historic preservation of their newest project that has been named Paper Factory Lofts. The firm acquired the historic Peter Woll & Sons factory, which is located in the South Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. The property is locally designated on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places and has also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Utilizing the Federal Rehabilitation Historic Tax Credit Program, the property will be converted into 30 market-rate class “A” loft-style apartments.

Urban Conversions is a real estate development firm based in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. The firm is known for its knowledge and expertise in every facet of a project’s development life cycle. The firm’s long-term strategy allows them to make opportunistic investments and allows them to invest in both the buildings and the surrounding neighborhoods. Urban Conversions primary focus has traditionally been adaptive reuse and value-add multifamily projects but has been expanding into new construction mixed-use projects and commercial opportunities.

“We are honored to bring new life to one of South Kensington’s iconic historic properties,” said Alon Barzilay, Founder and CEO of Urban Conversions. “The South Kensington submarket has grown exponentially over the last couple of years, and few adaptive reuse opportunities remain that are conducive for multifamily conversions.”

Located at 173 West Berks Street, the property is in close proximity to the Berks “El” Station and represents a prime opportunity for transit-oriented development.

“With how capital markets battened down the hatches during COVID-19, we are particularly pleased to have closed on this special property in this current environment,” adds Barzilay. “We remain exceptionally bullish of the South Kensington submarket and are actively seeking entitlements for our next development project in the neighborhood.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in November with Urban Conversions aiming to begin leasing in the winter of next year. Similar undertakings by Urban Conversions include the Yarn Factory Lofts in Manayunk, Iron Mill Lofts in the Northern Liberties and Sanctuary Lofts in Graduate Hospital.

For more information and media coverage please visit or email: [email protected].


About Urban Conversions
We reimagine urban historic buildings through innovative transformations. We invest in the places we live, know, and love. By focusing on not only geographic but also cultural clusters, we play a unique role in shaping the neighborhoods we consider home.

Our approach allows us to create destinations in a way single development and less focused strategies can’t. Be it through office, retail, residential — or a combination of all three — we create spaces that, together with our residents and tenants that define our city and show the world the potential of well-designed places. Urban Conversions has worked in many different neighborhoods throughout the City of Philadelphia where the firm’s reputation reflects the values we place in enriching the communities where we work and live.

Paper Factory Lifts Rendering