One of our big predictions for 2014 was that Ridge Avenue would finally take a big step toward reestablishing itself as a relevant commercial corridor. Unfortunately, we're now a few months into the year and little has changed on Francisville's main drag. But if things go well on Wednesday at the ZBA, we could indeed see something significant come down the pike.

From a distance

Closer look

On the docket for Wednesday is the consolidation of 1605, 1607, 1609, 1611, and 1613 Ridge Ave. into one large lot and the construction of a large, mixed-use building. The structure, as proposed, would have fourteen residential units and a large ground-floor commercial space. We would guess that the apartments will be rentals, like the units around the corner at the Vineyards at 16.

Speaking of the Vineyards, we're pretty sure that it's the same guys that are proposing the project on Ridge. Public record shows different owners for all the lots, but the Vineyards developers were the most recent buyers for one of the parcels. But whether it's them or somebody else, this project would be big news for Ridge Avenue. Sure, there's still a ton of vacant land on Ridge, and there are many blighted buildings as well. Heck, there's even one next door to the proposed project. But in our experience, development begets development. And one big project could push the corridor over the tipping point that will see countless other lots redeveloped. At the very least, we hope it spurs development immediately to the north, on the slowly turning but still bleak 1600 block of Ogden Street.

Assuming the project gets approved, what kind of business would be successful here? What do neighbors want to see?