On Ridge Avenue, it's no secret that it's been a rough go for years between Broad Street and Girard Avenue when it comes to blight, vacancy, and old dilapidated buildings. But of late, there's been renewed optimism for Ridge thanks to projects large and small. At Broad Street, the mythic Divine Lorraine finally seems like it will spring back to life in the next couple of years with construction ongoing. Nearby, the JBJ Soul Homes were finished last year, filling a large lot that's been vacant for a long time. Smaller projects have dotted Ridge Avenue as you head toward Girard.
And more are planned, like the plans to construct a mixed-use three-story building on a currently vacant parcel at 1608-12 Ridge Ave., with 14-units above a ground-floor commercial space. Next door, an even bigger project is in the works.
If everything goes as planned, in two years the 1600 block of Ridge Ave. will no longer be half a block of vacant parcels topped off with a large vacant building. At 1614-16 Ridge Ave., developers got approval from the ZBA a couple of weeks ago for a mixed-use building with three ground-floor commercial spaces, 28-units in the floors above, and 18 parking spaces. In 2012 the corner building with a prominent billboard was home to a Dollar Discount, but the store has been closed for awhile now. Soon it will be demolished. Lofts on Ridge LLC acquired the property this February for $675K.
If these were only the two projects happening along Ridge right now, that would be reason to rejoice for redevelopment, but, just up the street, at 1623 Ridge Ave., a lot that sat vacant for years is now home to a four-story building. And more, a block up 1724 Ridge Ave., a long vacant lot at the corner of Vineyard is currently being developed. And surely there's more to come that we haven't even heard about yet.
Of course, as more projects come to light on Ridge Ave. (or anywhere else really), we'll certainly share the news.