It's only been a few months since we last shared news about Fairmount Avenue between 17th & 18th Streets, but a sometimes few months can be like an eternity in the development world. The last time we were here, old windows and plywood had been pulled out of the old Mortgage Security Building at 18th & Fairmount. For the most part, a host of new windows have now been installed and the building looks fantastic. We still don't know what will be happening inside, but considering the improved appearance of the building, we hardly care.
Moving just a half-block to the east, the new building at 1720 Fairmount Ave. is moving along nicely. Last time we were here, the building had been framed out but now it's covered in bricks and siding. We'd imagine that most of the work now is happening inside. Oh, and by the way, last week we learned from Michael Klein that a new restaurant will occupy the first floor of the building, joining other Fairmount Avenue eating establishments like Tela's Market & Kitchen, Fare, and OCF Coffee House (cough cough… shameless plug). The new place will be called Brewery Techne, and it will come from the Earth Bread + Brewery people.
But that's not all! Move another half-block to the east, and you can see actual progress at the long-vacant Country Fresh Market building at the corner of 17th & Fairmount. Remember, we told you last winter about plans from MM Partners for seventeen loft apartments with 1:1 parking, two new homes on Melon Street, and five retail spaces. Back then, four of the five commercial spaces were already leased, and we haven't heard whether the last one has been leased yet. Again, without any knowledge of the retail aspect, the ongoing transformation of this building makes us totally happy.
The continuing development along Fairmount Avenue makes a ton of sense given the continuing boom in Francisville to the north. Even in the Spring Garden neighborhood, which is largely established (and happens to be where all the aforementioned projects are taking place), we're seeing some smaller development as well. It seems safe to say that once this round of construction and renovation wraps up, we'll be covering the next wave, and then the wave after that. All of this, of course, is just a lengthy preamble to the big kahuna, the renovation of the Divine Lorraine.