82 Units + Multiple Commercial Spaces Rising or Recently Completed on the 1700-1800 Blocks of Ridge Ave

Construction on the 17-1800 block of Ridge Ave. in Francisville

Francisville is booming. We recently told you about a 48 unit project replacing a garage on N. 19th St. We also told you about 2 mixed-use buildings rising at 16th and Ridge. Residential density is being brought back to this neighborhood and its commercial corridor is being rebuilt.

Today, we bring you multiple projects on Ridge Avenue between Poplar and Girard that have recently been completed or are currently rising. This short two block stretch is humming with construction. We’ll start at the Girard Avenue side and work our way south towards Poplar.

Construction at 1811-1813 Ridge Ave.

1811-1813 Ridge Ave: This 1,281 square foot, CMX-2.5, triangular parcel at the intersection of Ridge and Girard has stood vacant, yet well maintained, for many years. The odd shape and small square footage does not provide the opportunity for a huge project. The owners are pursuing a 2 residential unit building with retail on the ground floor. When we walked by last week, the foundation was under construction.

The Ridge Avenue Farmers Market with hotel in the background – 1973
Foundation construction at 1810 Ridge Ave.

1810 Ridge Ave: The long-time vacant 7,205 square foot, CMX-2.5 zoned parcel is giving way to 24 residential units, retail space, and 8 car parking spots. The historic, High Victorian Gothic style Ridge Avenue Farmer’s Market, built in 1875 and designed by David E. Supplee, stood on this lot until it was demolished in 1997. The foundation for the new building has been constructed, but it looks like the site is stagnant.

Construction at 1734-1738 Ridge Ave. on the left. The conversion of the former hotel at 1800-1808 Ridge Ave. on the right.

1800-1808 Ridge Ave: This 3,856 square foot CMX-2.5 zoned parcel holds a structure that was also designed by Supplee. The building was constructed in 1876 as a hotel for the farmer’s market vendors. The 40 room hotel contained stables for the farmer’s horses. Were there horse parking minimums back in those days? All kidding aside, we are thrilled that this building has been restored. Developers purchased the building in June of 2016 for $500,000 and proceeded to convert it into 13 residential units with ground floor retail. Construction wrapped up earlier this year and we see that a use permit was granted in March for a daycare center on the ground floor. When we walked by last week, the storefront windows were still covered in construction paper.

Ridge Theater – 1934
The 1800 block of Ridge Ave. in 2011

1734-1738 Ridge Ave: This 11,132 square foot, CMX-2.5 zoned parcel once held the Ridge Theater, which was later Frankensteined into a vinyl-covered church and then demolished in 2017. Developers purchased the property in 2012 for $250,000. What a bargain from today’s perspective! The development team secured new construction permits in October of 2017 for the erection of a 5-story building with 30 residential units, ground floor commercial space, 18 car parking spots, and 10 bike spaces. The building has topped out, but is still under construction. A blue moisture barrier is waiting to be covered with a permanent facade material.

1730 Ridge Ave: A one-story church stood on this 1,416 square foot, CMX-2.5 zoned lot until it was demolished in late 2018. Developers purchased the property in March of 2018 for $267,000. A 5 residential unit building with ground floor retail is topped out, but is still under construction.

1728 Ridge Ave: A 3-story brick building that was painted green stood on this 1,567 square foot CMX-2.5 zoned lot until it was demolished recently. Developers purchased the property in 2017 for $263,000 and secured new construction permits for a 4-story, 4 residential unit building with ground floor retail. The building is just starting to rise out of the ground.

1726 Ridge Ave: The 1,607 square foot CMX-2.5 zoned parcel was vacant for more than a decade before developers purchased the parcel in 2017 for $240,000. They proceeded to erect a 3 residential unit mixed-use building that was completed in late 2018.

That wraps up our examination of this two block stretch of Ridge Ave. The strip is going to look completely different in a couple years with a lot more people living in the area and a bunch more commercial spaces. What kind of businesses would you like to see occupy these storefronts?

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