The Renaissance Continues
South Philadelphia’s Packer Park represents Barbara Capozzi’s longtime home and family legacy, making Renaissance Estates much more than a passion project.
by Pete Croatto

Realtor and developer Barbara Capozzi is as Philadelphia as the Action News theme song, as Pat’s and Geno’s, as Merrill Reese calling an Eagles game.
 
In other words, she’s an institution of sorts, much like Packer Park. Her father, Ludwig S. Capozzi Jr., built Packer Park’s original 1,300 houses that came to define this close-knit “deep” South Philadelphia neighborhood in the 1960s. Forty-five years later, Capozzi worked with Westrum Development Co. to build an additional 330 homes with the Reserve, the Villas, and the Regency communities in response to the high demand for the Packer Park community, where many people want in, and few people ever leave.
 
Capozzi is firmly in the latter category. She’s the feisty and committed head of the local civic association, a position she’s held since 1994. She’s at it again, as she brings to life the next iteration of Packer Park, an in-progress development known as Renaissance Estates.
 
Renaissance Estates is another brushstroke in a masterpiece of peaceful city living: 14 highly customized townhomes, each measuring 3,200 square feet, complete with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, a lower level, five-stop elevator (capable of accommodating four people), Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, Porcelanosa European-designed kitchen, flooring, tiles, Kohler fixtures, a two-car garage with an interior entrance into the home, ample custom closets, smart technology, large roof deck, and much more. Of course, the full 10-year tax abatement starts on buyer’s first day in their new home. Plus, buyers can pick every selection and color from a wide variety of samples, all choices within the base price of $950,000 from an onsite showroom.
 
“When we developed the Reserve, the Villas, and the Regency, we wanted something different from the homes already in Packer Park,” says Capozzi, a Realtor with Keller Williams Philadelphia. “Now, if you want a flat condo, we have them. If you want a bi-level condo, we have them in this community. If you want a small home to just retire, with low maintenance, all in a safe, green, convenient community, we have them. If you want a big home, with most of the features that are in a $1.7 million new home in Center City, now we have those, too—and for far more reasonable prices.”
 
Capozzi designed Renaissance Estates to enhance Packer Park’s endless charm and variety, while adding to the suburban appeal that makes the area so unique.
 
The homes in Renaissance Estates are going up quickly. Exterior construction is slated to be completed by late spring, while customization of interiors begins once each buyer signs on. Similar buildings in Philadelphia’s tonier sections go for nearly twice the starting amount of $950,000, according to Capozzi, who offers something of a guarantee: “We’ll match the high-quality selections and the workmanship with anything else out there.”

Her husband, Frank Scaramuzza, supervises the construction and oversees the curation of the Architectural Digest-worthy interiors. “He’s a perfectionist,” Capozzi says with great pride. “He’s excellent at what he does.” Design Builders’ Anthony Valenti is vigilantly on site as well for construction oversite of the Landmark Architectural Design-conceived homes.
 
Such attention to detail doesn’t come just from this husband-and-wife team. The exteriors (and part of the interiors) are built by Baltimore-based Blueprint Robotics, which uses robotic technology to turn architectural designs into actual structures in its 200,000-square-foot, climate-controlled, computerized facility.
 
Immune from the potential errors of human touch, the structures are “overbuilt,” according to Capozzi. Weather conditions, such as the heavy rains known to beset the Philadelphia area, won’t compromise the buildings’ integrity. Brick and metal will soon be added to flatter the large Anderson windows on each floor, for a modern, contemporary exterior.
 
Inside, the buyers can customize the interiors to their desires. They can choose the kitchen and bath cabinets, handles, the doors, the countertops, flooring and custom closets and more. Capozzi’s anything-but-cookie-cutter mindset is a refreshing outlier in today’s age, much like Packer Park’s status as a wave-from-your-front-stoop neighborhood. This deep sense of a welcoming community may explain why residents rarely leave, Capozzi says. Houses get passed down from one generation to the next. Packer Park’s winter holiday party is held in the NovaCare Complex, where the Eagles practice, and 1,300 guests rock out with Santa.
 
Renaissance Estates’ safe environs and central location make it an ideal destination for everyone from young professionals to families with children to empty-nest retirees. The diverse population of residents also includes police officers, attorneys, judges, entrepreneurs, and restaurateurs. Residents take great pride in the neighborhood, with well-kept landscaping and beautiful light displays to celebrate the winter holidays.
 
“People look out for each other, especially for our children and seniors,” Capozzi says. “You can walk the dog at night without looking over your shoulder. You’re nestled in this little, green community of 1,600 homes. Packer Park’s convenience, green nature, and accessibility are unsurpassed.”
 
Real estate, the old saying goes, is all about “location, location, location.” Renaissance Estates is one block from the luscious Olmstead-designed FDR Park, which includes a bird sanctuary, skateboard park, tennis courts, and fishable lakes. The park is now undergoing a $200 million master-planned restoration with two large destination playgrounds, new ball fields and tennis courts, cafés, walking trails, a 5K running trail, and much more—making FDR Park South Philadelphia’s version of Central Park.
 
The community is also a short walk to the city’s triumvirate of professional sports and entertainment venues: Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies play; Wells Fargo Center, home of the 76ers and Flyers; and Lincoln Financial Field, the home turf of the Super Bowl-winning Eagles. When it’s time to get out of town, Philadelphia International Airport is a seven-minute drive away. For those who crave a closer escape, Renaissance Estates is five minutes to the Walt Whitman Bridge, offering a quick route to the sand and surf of shore points in New Jersey and Delaware.
 
Renaissance Estates is more than just a place to call home; it’s an invitation to experience a treasured family tradition, a high-quality lifestyle, and a point of deep civic pride.
 
“These homes are being built with love, care, and attention to detail,” Capozzi says. “My neighbors hold me to a high standard, and I hold myself to a very high standard, as well.”

Renaissance Estates
2000-2013 Renaissance Walk (formerly 3320 S. 20th Street)
Philadelphia, Pa.
packerparknewhomes.com
(215) 551-5100 | bcapozzi@kw.com

 
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, March 2020.