Changes on the 1500 Block of Parrish Street Wednesday, July 16, 2014
We've seen serious changes in Francisville in recent years, mostly in the form of long-vacant lots filling in with residential or mixed-use development. The concentration of this redevelopment has taken place near the 19th & Poplar intersection, though we've recently started to see additional infill closer to Ridge Avenue, the neighborhood's depressed commercial corridor. As we were passing through the area the other day, we spotted a tall new addition just off of Ridge.
Carmel Developments, developers who have lately been busying themselves on Frankford Avenue, purchased 1541 Ridge Ave. over a year ago. They've since gone to the trouble of subdividing the lot, creating an independent parcel that fronts the 1500 block of Parrish Street. There, they've already framed out a four-story building that will eventually house three apartment units and a commercial space. Next door to this construction site is a crossfit gym we've never noticed and would have to imagine hasn't been around for so long.
Across the street, we were surprised to see a warehouse being renovated that we've written about a couple of times before. Three years ago, we told you that the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale would be moving to 1517 Parrish St. from their space near Drexel's campus. Last winter, we passed along the info that the Choir would instead be moving to a space on Broad Street, and was selling the Parrish Street building just a year after buying it. The new owners have done some significant work on the building, installing new windows and carving out three new apartments. We don't quite understand how they lay out, but we believe that they're in there.
It's just great to see a vacant lot fill in, a gym open up, and an old warehouse gain a new lease on life, all on the same block in Francisville. Hopefully, this kind of action will mean more redevelopment for Ridge Avenue in the near future. We keep feeling like it's right on the cusp; we're just waiting for it to take that big step forward.