100-Unit, Mixed-Use Building Planned in Roxborough

6515 Ridge Avenue Rendering
6515 Ridge Avenue Rendering – Ingram-Sageser Architecture

The properties that line Ridge Avenue in Roxborough are an odd mix. There are a bunch of eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings. Many of these structures have pitched roofs. Some are utilized for commercial uses, others are single family homes or mixed-use. Then, there are a ton of auto-oriented retail properties such as strip malls, grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores. These properties usually have a large surface parking lot that fronts Ridge Avenue. Sprinkled along the avenue are also many garden style apartment buildings from decades past. Over the last few years, we have started to see new, modern apartment buildings built along the thoroughfare. There are several of these modern buildings that have been completed over the last five years or so, others that are currently under construction, and even more in the pipeline.

6515 Ridge Avenue Rendering
6515 Ridge Avenue Rendering – Ingram-Sageser Architecture

Today, we’ll tell you about a project that is going through the entitlement process. Developers are planning to build a 6-story, 95,628 square foot building with 100 apartments, ground floor commercial space, 40 automobile parking spots, 36 bicycle stalls, a green roof, and a roof deck on the 21,640 square foot parcel at 6515 Ridge Avenue. The development team has noted that the commercial space will be a fresh food market.

The apartment building is replacing a low-rise strip mall and surface parking lot that looks like it has seen better days. The strip mall has historically hosted tenants including a dry cleaner, an elected official’s office, a physical therapy business, and a tanning salon.

6515 Ridge Avenue
6515 Ridge Avenue – Aerial View
6515 Ridge Avenue Rendering
6515 Ridge Avenue Rendering – Ingram-Sageser Architecture

The facade of the new building will be constructed of primarily cement board and cement panels along with limestone block and stone accents. The parking entrance will be located along Gorgas Lane and the parking lot will be under the first level as this property is slopes down towards the back.

According to the development team’s Civic Design Review (CDR) presentation, this project can proceed by-right. The project’s CDR hearing will be held on April 5th.

It’s great to see more residential density built in Roxborough where we have seen rental and home sale prices continue to rise due to an increased demand and lack of supply. Unfortunately, prices will likely continue to increase, especially since future supply was recently suppressed when many parcels along this stretch of Ridge Avenue were rezoned from mixed-use zoning classifications to auto-oriented zoning classifications where homes cannot be built by-right.

How do you feel about this project and the other new apartment buildings that are getting built along Ridge Avenue? Do you think this building will be a better use of the property than the strip mall that is currently there?

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