Like the rest of Francisville, the 1800 block of Ginnodo Street has seriously changed in the last several years. For the uninitiated, this little street runs for a single block, diagonally, between 19th Street and Ridge Avenue. Famously, the Francisville Farmers Market building, long demolished, once sat at the corner of Ridge & Ginnodo.
Back in 2009, the block looked like this.
In the past
You can see, a few projects have changed the block in a major way.
The biggest project on this block was a ten home development, visible on the right side in the picture above. All the homes were built by the same developer, who opted for to change some heights and materials over the course of the project. From what we can tell, all of these homes sold over the last few years for between $375K and $450K. And they're about to get a pair of new neighbors.
Row of homes that have arrived in recent years
Two new foundations
Looking at the permits, it appears as though two new homes will soon join the row. Like the neighboring homes, they'll have garages in the rear. We imagine they'll sell quickly, even though there's a vacant lot next door.
The intersection of 19th & Poplar has been a nexus of sorts as Francisville has seen incredible development over the last several years. We've seen several condo projects built, a collection of homes just to the north and south, and a collection of one-off projects to boot. Over the summer, we told you about plans for "the last two lots at 19th & Poplar," discussing a two-duplex project on the southeast corner which was actually withdrawn from the ZBA earlier this month. But just a few months later, we have news of a project at 1822-24 Poplar St., just down the block. Previously these parcels were a long-blighted building and a vacant lot.
In the past
Now, construction is underway.
Construction site plus looking west
Previously, developers proposed building two triplexes here and they took the project to the ZBA. But somewhere along the line they decided against it and now they're building duplexes. This will fit in well with the row of duplexes down the street which we're pretty sure were sold off as condos. We expect the same thing here.
A reader checked in earlier this week, giving us the heads up about a groundbreaking on the 1900 block of Parrish Street. 1930 and 32 Parrish St. were vacant for years, and it's not really a surprise these days to hear about redevelopment for vacant lots in Francisville. We were expecting two single family homes, but instead the project will mean a single quadplex. If we had to guess, we'd assume the units will be sold off as condos, like several other projects we've seen in the area.
Looking west on Parrish Street
The developers purchased the lots from New Welcome Baptist Church, the congregation located immediately to the west of the lots. The reader who brought the project to our attention wasn't so much interested in the construction as they were interested in the church next door. This is not unreasonable, considering the quadplex is getting built on land previously owned by the church. And with the neighborhood having lost at least one church to development in the last few years, it seemed like a relevant concern.
It's taken quite some time, but Ridge Avenue is definitively on the upswing. Over the last year or so, we've seen at least half a dozen projects get moving on the 1500 and 1600 blocks, with almost all of them replacing vacant lots. Importantly, we're pretty sure that every project is of the mixed-use variety, with ground-floor retail space and apartments above. Considering how long this corridor has languished, it was surely tempting for developers to push for purely residential projects here, but thankfully the table is now being set for the resurgence of the commercial corridor as all those spaces find retail tenants.
New building on the 1600 block, another project in the distance
Scouring the zoning calendar recently, we were excited to learn that 1601-05 Ridge Ave., a member of the shrinking "Ridge Avenue Vacant Lot Club," would soon be redeveloped. Developers bought the lots a little over a year ago, and proposed a four-story building with ground-floor commercial and six apartments.
Last month, we told you about a demolition notice at 1522-24 W. Girard Ave., a building which was previously used as a day care and medical office. We mentioned that the property changed hands earlier this year, as did the adjacent surface parking lot. With about 33K sqft of combined space on the northern edge of Francisville, we had an inkling that development would be forthcoming for this location, but we didn't know what to expect. We were just hopeful that the project would include some density.
Passing by over the weekend, we discovered that the developers have demolished the building and now the corner of 16th & Girard is a large vacant lot.
Last week, the developers went to the ZBA with plans for three apartment buildings, designed by KCA Design Associates. From our reading of the somewhat confusing permits, the developers are planning three apartment buildings at this location, each rising four stories. We're not totally sure, but it appears that the plan calls for forty units in each building, twelve car parking spots, and twenty bike parking spots. The ZBA held the case, pending a community meeting tonight.