Land owners 'flip' projects

Monday, January 16, 2006

A budding trend in the Center City real estate scene is putting a new twist on the practice of flipping real estate.

While the red-hot real estate market enticed investors to flip -- buying condominiums or fixer-uppers in hopes of seeing values quickly rise and then selling them quickly at a hefty profit -- another fast-cash practice is catching on in Philadelphia: flipping approved development projects before ground has even been broken.

These types of transactions have long been the domain of suburban developers, who, for example, would buy a 100-acre parcel, take it through the local subdivision process and then sell buildable lots to one or more other developers. Sometimes developers would not only get the land approved for new houses but go as far as to install water and sewerage lines.