There’s a new apartment building under construction at 1111 Ridge Ave., a five-story edifice that will have 18 units and commercial space on the first floor. Construction is moving along pretty well, with the exterior fully framed and the windows already installed. We couldn’t tell you what business to expect on the first floor, but given the restaurants and the excellent concert venue around the corner on Spring Garden Street and the numerous ongoing projects in the area, we can imagine several possible tenants making it work at this location. And while we can’t quite tell what the finished product will look like, we do know that the building will have a rather unique appearance, thanks to the angled frontage on Ridge.
This property has a somewhat interesting recent history. Previously, this property was used as a surface parking lot by Chosen 300 Ministries, a non-profit on Spring Garden Street that provides services to the homeless. The parking lot was previously owned by the group that owns the Lawsonia development site, located next door to Chosen 300. As we told you before, these developers have been working to redevelop this parcel for years, but the Pastor at Chosen 300 has been fighting the project because of a belief that a new apartment building would negatively impact his ability to “minister to the homeless with dignity and respect.” Chosen 300 lost their parking lot somewhere along the line in the last half decade, but we don’t know if that change happened before or after the lawyers got involved.
Incidentally, the owners of the Lawsonia property sold off the Ridge Avenue parcel that’s now under construction, so it’s a different party that’s developing the building pictured above. And even though the underlying zoning of the property changed to allow for a 52-unit building on the Lawsonia site as a matter of right, a lack of work at the property and a recently withdrawn listing for $5.1M would seem to indicate that they don’t intend to build there, after years of fighting.
Speaking of large projects that haven’t proceeded apace, let’s check in on the 30K sqft triangular lot at 12th & Ridge, across from the aforementioned construction site.
Yup, it’s still sitting as vacant as ever. A little over a year ago, we spied some zoning notices on the site, indicating plans for a sixteen-story building with 172 apartments, 62 parking spaces, and two commercial spaces. For some reason, that proposal was withdrawn from the ZBA soon after we learned about it, and no other plan has emerged in the last year, at least according to public record. Clearly, the redevelopment of this large and prominent parcel would be a game changer for the area, but we’ll just have to continue to wait for something to happen here. We confess, we’re getting a little sick of the waiting, having initially covered this property way back in 2013. Eh, maybe something will happen next year. Or in 2030. Or sometime in between?