Ridge Avenue, north of Center City, has had much vacancy for many years.  Both west of Broad Street, in Francisville, and east of Broad Street, in West Poplar, Ridge Avenue had many large vacant lots and many dilapidated vacant buildings.  The sheer number of these vacant properties made Ridge Avenue feel dreary and deserted for a long time. As West Poplar and Francisville have become popular residential neighborhoods and have attracted the interest of developers, Ridge Avenue has started to see new development.  Most of this new development has been west of Broad Street, which has become a huge construction zone of new apartment buildings and retail spaces, but now some of the new development is happening east of Broad Street and creating a new retail corridor for the West Poplar neighborhood.  One of these new developments is at 1357 Ridge Avenue, also known as, 662 Park Avenue. This new building will extend to small Park Avenue in the back. It is being developed by TierView Development and designed by Canno Design and it will likely be called ParkRidge.

The new building will have 50 rental units and will be six stories on the Ridge Avenue side and five stories on the Park Avenue side.  Three of the units will be affordable units. The first floor will have 3,000 square feet of retail on Ridge. The developers received a commercial variance for the retail, as well as size and height variances.  The building will have a fitness center, a pet washing and grooming room, a roof deck, office space, and bicycle storage. The developers may put a community room in the basement, but may instead put parking in the basement to satisfy requests from nearby neighbors.  The exterior will have an industrial look, with large windows that resemble factory windows. The architects were inspired by the nearby Packard Motor Car Building down Broad Street.

Ridge Avenue is changing dramatically now, reflecting strong development in the surrounding neighborhoods.  Next door, a large new apartment complex is being built, extending all the way to 13th Street and Fairmount Avenue.  Next to that, at Broad and Ridge, the Divine Lorraine Hotel has just been renovated into upscale apartments, and across Ridge Avenue the former Studebaker showroom building has been renovated into office space.  ParkRidge will fill in a gap on Ridge Avenue and add to the neighborhood’s growing vibrancy.