As we made our way diagonally down Ridge Ave. the other day, we couldn’t help but stop and gawk at the changes taking place in our old familiar development triangle, which we egregiously named “SpringPoplarVille” as a nod to the surrounding neighborhoods. This area roughly bounded by Broad St. to the west, Ridge Ave. to the northeast and Spring Garden St. to the south has been undergoing a wild amount of change, truly shifting the feel of this sometimes-forgotten area. Today, we will focus on the northern end of our micro-hood, starting at 680 N. 13th St., where a brand-new development is churning ahead.

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Looking southwest across 13th St. at the eastern row of the project

Highlighted in blue on the above map is the Residences at Park Avenue, which was just starting with construction of the foundations when we last visited in back in February. The 16 rowhouses on the eastern side of the property are now nearly completed, at least from the exterior. These ultra-wide homes designed by HDO Architecture will include two car parking and ample outdoor space, with a drive aisle running north-south that will separate this phase from the upcoming round of even more rowhomes. And by the way, despite the muddy conditions, foundations are now well under way for Phase II, so we expect to see those houses to start making their presence felt above ground sometime over the next several months.

View from the corner of 13th & Wallace at our last visit
Rendering shows a slightly elevated view from the same angle
Our sub-neighborhood outlined in green, with today's focus outlined in blue
A closer look at the primarily brick exterior
A closer look at the north side of the project
A look from the northwest corner at the panel-covered backs of the homes, with the foundation for round two in the foreground

There will be a total of 28 new homes across the two phases of this project from the Riverwards Group, which we’d wager will be some of the most expensive homes this area has ever seen. And while seeing homes around here that may fetch seven figures may be surprising, it begins to make more sense as one understands the crazy amount of action close by from a development standpoint.

Just slightly up Ridge Ave. where it hits N. Broad St., the former Jimmy G’s Steaks is awaiting demolition before it becomes a handsome, 20-unit, mixed-use building. There are no signs of action as of yet for this Ambit Architecture-designed project, but a zoning permit from last month now clears the way to clear the building.

Current view of the former Jimmy G's
Rendering of the future design on the corner

Just a few steps to the south at 1384-86 Ridge Ave., a seven-unit project from Sky Design Studio is now underway, with the adjacent one-story building to the south also due for an addition and three more units to add to the fold. Both of these buildings will include ground floor commercial space thanks to the CMX-4 zoning, further activating the street presence.

Current view of the gray brick exterior rising on 1384-86 Ridge Ave.

We have to say, we like quality housing options more than we like vacant lots close to the city’s core, so we couldn’t be happier seeing things change for the better. If we had to guess, we’d imagine we’ll see even more proposals for this rapidly changing area before you know it.