Fishtown Engineer Returns to Neighborhood of his Youth
In 2003 Lawrence McKnight was a Drexel-educated engineer working on Citizen’s Bank Park when he ventured to a home construction site in nearby Packer Park. The houses were getting offers in the $300,000 to $400,000 range. McKnight spent the next nine years learning about residential building before beginning to buy and flip homes in Fishtown under the name BMK Homes.
McKnight, son of a Philadelphia Police officer and the principal of St. Laurentius School, grew up in Fishtown. He and his partner began by flipping one house, then two the next year. In 2014 they sold 30 and this year they plan on selling even more. Now with 8 full time employees, BMK has evolved beyond just selling houses. They have begun to acquire rental properties to diversify their investment. They buy land, create a plan to develop it, and then sell that to another developer.
As home prices continue to rise, some people are looking beyond the boundaries of Fishtown to find the home of their dreams. BMK has begun to develop properties in Port Richmond and Kensington for people looking for a more affordable home. They also have plans to develop workforce housing at 7th and Marshall, which will sell for $180,000 to $250,000, something that McKnight sees as his way to give back to the community.