Every few blocks, Ridge Avenue creates a small or sometimes large triangular patch of land as it stretches on its diagonal path across our precious grid. While the grid makes it easy for out-of-towners to navigate our fair city’s streets, we’ve always appreciated the interest that Ridge creates, from a city planning perspective. Squares and rectangles can get boring, so thank goodness for Ridge and its diagonal brethren, for injecting a little spice into our greene country towne.
Due to their lack of right angles and their tendency to create very oddly shaped parcels, these triangle blocks seem to lag behind surrounding blocks when it comes to development. One fine example is the triangle formed by the intersection of Wallace Street, 13th Street, and Ridge Avenue, just about a block from the Divine Lorraine. It’s been vacant except for one building for a number of years, and even if you turn back the clock two decades, there were only three buildings here amid a sea of vacancy.
But things are changing rapidly here! For years, two of the buildings on the block were sitting partially demolished, until they were finally cleared in 2016. At the end of last year, the one building left was finally torn down, which is great because it looked awful for as long as we can remember. We don’t know about plans to replace it just yet, but we can share news about plans for two other projects here, in either direction.
On the northern section of the triangle, developers have consolidated a few properties and have already started work on a project that will eventually include dozens of units. Five quadplexes will eventually rise at the corner of 13th & Wallace, with two of them already framed out and foundations in place for a few more. at Ridge & Wallace, expect a 20-unit building that rises six stories, and mid-block on Ridge, the same developers have one more quadplex in the works. That’s a total of 44 units, if you weren’t doing the math as we went along.
The same developers are planning some more units on the southern tip of the triangle. Those plans call for three triplexes, a duplex, and four parking spots. Adding these eleven units to the count from the project above, we’re seeing 55 new units which will dramatically enliven this previously desolate patch of land.
With these project moving forward, we have to think that the remaining properties on the block will soon follow suit. We wonder though, would these projects have moved forward without the renovation of the Divine Lorraine a few years back? How much of a role did the huge project slowly progressing at 1300 Fairmount Ave. play? Taking the large and small projects together in this little part of town, the number of new residents and the substantial changes to the urban landscape are truly staggering. Once the project at 13th & Fairmount is finished in the next year or so, the changes will truly start to sink in.