Don’t you love an acute corner? They don’t happen too often in our grid-heavy city, but certain avenues (Passyunk, Germantown, Frankford, Lancaster, etc.) create some pointy lots that lead to some wonderfully unique buildings. Ridge Ave. is one such street, winding its way NW across the city from its Wood St. starting point. And at 695 N. Broad St., where Ridge smacks into Broad, there is a flatiron-ish building on its way up, bringing 20 residential units to the former spot of Jimmy G’s Steaks.

In addition to these upper floor apartments, this project from Philly Capital Group and flatiron superstars Ambit Architecture will add 1,400 sqft of commercial space immediately next to the BSL/Broad-Ridge spur subway entrance at the north end of the corner. Called The McDermott after a pub that anchored the corner in the early 20th century, this striking building will feature a neo-industrial look, with its dark facade punctuated by the large windows, all of which feature a slight point at the top – perhaps a reference to the property’s shape? Things have been moving quickly since our last visit, as the building is now at its full five-story height, creating an impactful presence on this prominent corner just across from the grandeur of the Divine Lorraine.

A look at the pointy corner of Broad & Ridge in the past
A view of the shorter north-facing facade,
A rendering shows us what the final build will look like
Looking east at the Broad St. facade
Another rendering, showcasing its near neighbor

We are big fans of this one, as the design is classic yet exciting, with the jaunty angles making what would otherwise be a heavy building look almost playful. The cornice will be a nice addition as well, forming an important bookend to this triangular mini-neighborhood to the south.

Oh, and about that mini-neighborhood: another mixed-use project is getting started here along Broad St. as well. Heading south a block to 619 N. Broad St., foundation work is in full swing for a 119-unit apartment building. Brought to us by TierView Development, this project takes a decidedly different approach for this property just to the south of the Stable Lofts overbuild. This mixed-use project is ultra-modern, with Bright Common adding their colorful touch to the stark geometry of the massing by including some yellow arches. While not necessarily fitting in seamlessly with its neighbor, this will undoubtedly form a new landmark just north of Mt. Vernon Street.

Heavy machinery on site digging out the foundation
A look at the future apartments and golden arches of the arcade

140 units or so and multiple commercial spots for the ever-changing landscape of North Broad? Yes, please! And if the property just to the north of Stable Lofts moves forward as planned, we could see another 85 units and over 9,000 sqft of commercial space join these busy blocks. A zoning permit was issued in December to combine these adjacent, underutilized lots, so we are still seeing steps forward here, too. Soon enough, the walk from Center City to Temple will be teeming with residents and businesses, further announcing the Renaissance of North Broad.