Riverside living has been desirable from time immemorial, though nowadays in Philadelphia it’s all about views and recreation, not access to drinking water. People want to live near the water, and they’re willing to pay a premium for the privilege, as we’ve seen of late with the wildly expensive One Riverside condo building. Due to the combination of limited supply of land and the challenges of building along the waterfront though, we haven’t seen as many developments on the Schuylkill or Delaware as we might expect. But How Properties has one such project on deck up in East Falls.

View on Kelly Drive from last week
View on Ridge

The address of this property is 4442 Ridge Ave., but it stretches all the way to Kelly Drive. You might be familiar with this property as the home of the West River Banquet Restaurant, but as you can see in the photo above that building is no more. You may also remember, a proposal came through CDR for this property back in 2016, with plans for a large apartment building with a rooftop full of amenities- but that never came to pass. Instead, the developers are looking to build a two-phase project with a significant town home component. They’re calling the project The Overlook, and site work is well underway for phase one.

Site plan
Kelly Drive Exterior
Rendering of Kelly Drive homes

The work you see on Kelly Drive is for a platform that the homes will sit on, ostensibly to deal with flooding concerns. The first phase of the project calls for seven town homes on Kelly Drive, each with two-car parking, and six homes with one-car parking just to the north. The homes are already listed for sale, with prices ranging from $700K to $735K. Figure those prices will only rise as the homes start selling.

You can see in the site plan that there will remain a large patch of land of Ridge Avenue, which we believe will be developed in the second phase of the project. We think that the second phase will include a mix of town homes and an apartment building, but if the developers have great success with the homes in the first phase we can see a world in which the entire parcel gets developed with town homes. If that’s what happens, it will stand in sharp contrast to the Falls Bridge Lofts rental apartment project next door. And it will just goes to show how two similar properties can get redeveloped in remarkably different ways.