Another day, another vacant Francisville lot getting redeveloped.
These days, it seems that you can't go a single block in this neighborhood without running into a contractors framing a building, pouring a foundation, or digging a new hole. Ridge Avenue is particular is seeing an explosion in development, with a bunch of mixed-use projects now under construction and more coming soon. We don't know exactly what businesses will fill all those retail spaces, but we do know that they'll need as many neighbors as possible to ensure success. Or at least viability.
So let's consider 1431 Brown St. as a prime example of the kind of project that will help Ridge Avenue get to where it needs to go.
1431-33 Brown St. has been sitting vacant for many years, owned by religious institutions since the 1950s. At some point in the last few months, developers bought the property and now they're proposing a ten-unit building here. This is a lot of density for what's essentially a double-wide lot, but why the heck not? Ridge Avenue is just steps away and as we said, the corridor needs as much density as it can get. And not for nothing, but North Broad Street is almost as close, with a Broad Street Line station less than two blocks away.
Two doors down, we see a triplex is under construction, and there's another project planned at the corner of 15th & Brown. To the west and south are surface parking lots which probably won't be developed any time soon, but we can certainly dream.
The ten unit project at 1431 Brown St. goes to the ZBA on Wednesday. We would guess that its likelihood of approval will hinge on the position of the community group. We can imagine people would argue that it's too much density for a lot this size, but perhaps the proximity to commercial corridors and mass transit tempered those objections. For our part, we think this is a reasonable project given the location, but then again we don't live nearby, so our opinion doesn't count for much in this case.