We recently told you about several projects happening on Ridge Avenue. Two mixed-use buildings are rising at 16th and Ridge. Several other projects are adding 82 units and multiple commercial spaces near Girard and Ridge. Residential density and retail uses are being added quickly along this commercial corridor.
Today, we are bringing you two projects just east of Broad St. on Ridge Ave. next to the recently rehabbed Divine Lorraine that sit within a Federal Opportunity Zone. These projects total 521 residential units plus multiple retail spaces. One of the projects is topped out, while the larger project is just beginning foundation work.
We’ll start with the project that is closer to completion. TierView Capital purchased 1357-61 Ridge Ave. and 662-70 N Park Ave. in 2016 for $1.25 million from the Laborers’ District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund. The 11,173 square foot, CMX-3 zoned parcel held a 4,107 square foot office building and parking lot at the time of purchase.
Tierview Capital was able to combine the lots in 2017 and proceeded to demolish the office building. New construction permits were pulled in May of 2018 for a 6-story building with 50 residential units, ground floor retail, and parking. A parking count is not listed on the permits. The building is being called Venture Commons.
As we mentioned, construction of 1357-61 Ridge Ave. is well underway. The front facade has not been installed yet, but renderings depict a white brick with a metal plant-topped awning. Hopefully, the finished project turns out as nice as the rendering.
On to the massive development directly behind the Divine Lorraine. The 112,742 square foot CMX-4 zoned lot at 1300 Fairmount Avenue was purchased by New York-based RAL Development Services in 2017 for $8 million after the property was foreclosed on. The developers are planning a two-building, $190 million project on the site with 471 residential units, multiple retail spaces, and 287 parking spots. The main building will top out at 14-stories tall. Originally, there was a proposal for a 21-story building with 486 units and much more parking. However, plans were changed in March of 2019 to the current project. RAL Development Services applied for $15 million of Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants for the project and ended up receiving $3 million.
RAL Development Services has already signed two retail leases. Nobel Learning Communities preschool will occupy 12,000 square feet. Aldi grocery store will take more than 25,000 square feet. We imagine a lot of the parking spaces will be reserved for Aldi customers. Building residents will be a stone’s throw away from the Fairmount Station on the Broad Street Line.
Ground was officially broken in September of 2018. With such a large project, the foundation work is often a very expensive and time-consuming phase. So, the structure has barely started to rise out of the ground to date. However, the site is extremely active with a crane, multiple pieces of heavy machinery, and a large workforce on location.
We are extremely excited to see this amount of residential density added to North Broad Street. Adding more than 500 units to the market should help existing retailers in the area and should spark the need for more businesses to open. This location is a short walk or bike ride to city hall. As mentioned, the project also sits right on top of the Broad Street Line. You could not ask for a more transit-accessible development. The grocery store and preschool will be fantastic neighborhood amenities. How do you feel about this project? Do you think the market will be able to absorb all of these new units?
Kyle is a Philadelphia real estate agent on the Agent PHL team at Compass, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients find homes, investment properties, and development opportunities.
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