A recent site visit by Philly YIMBY has revealed significant construction progress at a large mixed-use development at 2051-77 Ridge Avenue in Cecil B. Moore, North Philadelphia. The project will consist of a pair of four- and three-story buildings with commercial space on the ground floor and residential units above. Public space along Ridge Avenue and parking lot at the block interior will also be included. Permits list the Philadelphia Housing Authority as the owner and Ernest Bock & Sons, Inc. as the contractor.
The site is situated on Ridge Avenue, a diagonal thoroughfare that cuts through the western section of Lower North Philadelphia and North Central Philadelphia and runs toward Northwest Philly. Despite its prominence in the neighborhoods it bisects, the formerly bustling commercial avenue has long been neglected and housed marginal uses, such as the dirt lot that served as makeshift parking space that used to occupy the project site at hand. In recent years, however, the avenue has seen a surge of dense mixed-use development, particularly along its southern end in Francisville.
YIMBY first reported that permits have been filed in September 2020. Since that time, construction has made significant headway. Facade work at the four-story building at the corner of Ridge Avenue and West Jefferson Street is currently nearing completion. A two-story garage at the block interior appears complete. In a welcome urban planning solution, a series of three-story homes along North 20th Street at the site’s eastern edge will block the garage from view from that vantage point, instead creating an appealing, pedestrian-friendly streetscape.
The development is located at the border between the neighborhoods of Cecil B. Moore, which spans to the north and east, and Sharswood, which extends to the west. Temple University, Girard College, and the Girard and Cecil B. Moore stations on the Broad Street Line are all situated within a 15-minute walking proximity, making the location favorable for both university students and employees as well as to Center City and University City-bound commuters.