For as much as we love Philadelphia and everything it has to offer, we occasionally pine for an elevated view of the city that doesn’t require Spiderman-like abilities. So when we were over in East Falls recently, we certainly appreciated overhead the view from the train station. The tree-lined winding path of Midvale Avenue is a lovely sight on its own, but even more so when we have some development news to go along with it. In the foreground of the photo below, at 3515 Midvale Ave., you can see things are beginning to take shape. Just up the street at 3503 Midvale Ave., another project is also in progress. Let’s take a moment to “mourn” the loss of these two vacant, one-story properties that once stood here.

View of Midvale Avenue, looking north from East Falls Station
3515 Midvale Avenue in the past
3503 Midvale Avenue in the past

We covered 3515 Midvale Ave. last year, when we told you of plans from Argo Property Group for 36 apartments and three retail spots in a five-story building, now called The Vale. Those plans are now coming to life, with an elevator tower in place and active framing work on the second floor. Seeing the progress to date makes us all the more excited for the future, when we’ll be able to enjoy a real life building that looks like this rendering from Bright Common.

View of 3515, now well underway
What the future five-story building will look like at 3515
Straight on view shows the slight slope of the street level

Now that is quite the upgrade from an old garage. Just to the north at 3503 Midvale Ave., Mainstreet Development Company is getting started on their own mixed-used project. Morrissey Design has cooked up a striking five-story building, with 33 more units joining additional commercial space on the ground floor. Digging is currently on-going for the site, but let’s give the future plans a look, too.

3515 & 3503 Midvale Avenue
Looking northwest across Midvale at the future 3503
Street presence will give this stretch some extra life
3503 in the foreground, with 3515 rising just to the south

This is exactly the type of development we appreciate and encourage along neighborhood commercial corridors. Projects of this size seem appropriately scaled for the area, especially given the short distance to transit. With Ridge Avenue and the Schuylkill River also just blocks away, we imagine these won’t be the last mixed-use projects we see in the area. Especially on this block, where some other sizable parcels are likewise zoned CMX-2.5, we wouldn’t be surprised to see similar projects rise in the coming years. This is yet another lesson in the power of zoning, as we don’t imagine we’d see any redevelopment here if these parcels had less favorable zoning designations.