A recent site visit has revealed the completion of construction at The Maven, a 28-unit rental mixed-use development at 1533 Ridge Avenue in Francisville (alternately Fairmount), Lower North Philadelphia. Designed by CANNOdesign and developed by Khosla Properties, the 23,665-square-foot project offers commercial space on the ground floor and residences consisting of studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. Tester Construction is the development’s general contractor. Permits list construction costs at $3.9 million.
The Maven offers rental apartments ranging from one to two bedrooms and from 593 to 982 square feet, available from $1,640 to $2,450 per month.
When we last visited the site in November, the structure still awaited installation of its distinctive diagonal red brick pattern that promised to add a contemporary touch to classic Philadelphia vernacular. Since that time, the curtain wall had been fully installed. The final product matches the renderings rather closely, even down to the V-shaped pilasters at the ground level. The project sports an industrial-looking punched-steel plate bearing the building name above its main entrance; the residential floors appear at least partially occupied, although minor finishing work looks to be in progress at the ground level.
Located within a four-minute walk of the Fairmount Station on the Broad Street SEPTA Line, The Maven is an excellent addition to one of the most rapidly-growing neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The building offers a significant boost of residential stock for the centrally-located, subway-proximate site (although the site could have arguably supported a much larger building with a much greater apartment count, but that is an issue caused by the city’s aggressively restrictive zoning limitations rather than a fault of the developer). The ground-level commercial space will help animate the rapidly growing commercial corridor. Although somewhat quixotic in appearance, the distinctive facade adds a breath of fresh air to an increasingly formulaic design aesthetic that predominates among new construction throughout the city, while still paying homage to classic Philadelphia architectural typologies.
We look forward to seeing a commercial tenant move into the ground-level space and eagerly anticipate development of other new properties in the surrounding area in the near future.