For many years, the 1600 block of Ogden Street was a vast vacant wasteland. A number of City-owned lots sprinkled among privately owned lots combined with an a stunted Ridge Avenue made developing the block a challenge to say the least. And so it sat.
But as Francisville has seen considerable investment in recent years, with Ridge Avenue slowly pulling itself up, and with some City agencies selling off lots on this block to developers, we've started to see some real progress. Last year, a string of three duplexes sprouted on the block's north side. Passing by the other day, we spied formwork for the foundation for a fourth duplex. This is coming from the same developer that built the others.
The vacancy on the south side of this block was only broken recently when a four-story, two-sided building started construction. That building will soon be joined by two more duplexes on which work just began. It's different developers than the duplexes on the north side, so expect the buildings to look a little different.
Really, it was only a matter of time before this block caught the development bug. We've been tracking several projects on adjacent blocks over the years, most recently seeing a couple of projects on the 1500 block of Parrish Street and progress at the Vineyards at 16 at 16th & Ogden. In a couple of years, we imagine the block will be fully built up and it will seem almost incredible that it sat vacant for so long. Hopefully by then, Ridge Avenue will have taken a big step forward as a corridor, offering retail to all the new people that have moved to the neighborhood.