As we were exploring the bustling retail scene along Ridge Ave. in Francisville, we couldn’t help but notice another project we last checked on back in the Fall of 2021. At 1609 Poplar St., nestled between Ridge & Girard Ave., 21 units were going up across four floors, along with 21 parking spaces. Things were in full swing back then, as these for-sale condos were taking the place of the former Southwest Nu-Stop Recovery Center, which sold their digs and moved to SW Philly several years back.

A look at the site when it operated as a recovery center
Framed out and awaiting its facade two years ago
Looking NW at 1609 Poplar St. today

As you can see, this one is wrapped up, with developers Trinity Realty Companies indeed going for a for-sale condo approach here. The modern look from Canno Design is warmed up with red brick and the varied depth of the facade gives even more dimension than the renderings suggest. This look is continued along the Cambridge St. side, where the signage for Sixteen Twelve sits above residential and parking entrances.

A closer look at the Poplar St. side, along with another new neighbor
A nearly identical look, minus the flock of birds
The Cambridge St. side to the north, with parking access for the 21 spaces
Center City views from the roof deck

While this project appears to be wrapped up, there are still units available for those seeking a Francisville home. And with a $458/sqft. price tag, we are looking at a similar price-per-square-foot as some of the city’s most glamorous neighborhoods. And we can see why, given its prime location and the even bigger project sitting just across the street.

On the north side of Cambridge St., a fenced off parking lot

Currently a chain link fence around an asphalt tract, the current scene at 1600 W. Girard Ave. looks darn good to us. There are big plans for this property, as MM Partners is looking to expand the adaptively-reused Civic apartments next door to this expanse of parking. We hadn’t heard anything as of late about this seven-story, 202-unit design from CosciaMoos, but with both zoning and building permits in hand, things could conceivably start soon for this now-empty parking lot.

An aerial of the Civic II at 17th & Girard Ave.
A view of the project from 17th & Cambridge

Give us one second as we adjust our speculation hat: it would seem odd to us to restrict parking access to an area that didn’t have any imminent plans, especially during the school year so close to Temple’s campus. Might we see construction begin soon, despite the less-than-ideal financing conditions? Might we see this fence become the new front door for those living at Sixteen Twelve? Perhaps we should play a round at Libertee Grounds next door as we contemplate the future of the block, but we’re once again bullish on development in the City of Brotherly Love shoving ahead.