My second article on this blog was about the up-and-coming Francisville neighborhood, just north of the Spring Garden neighborhood. Francisville is the oldest neighborhood of North Philadelphia and the original streets were laid out to be parallel and perpendicular to Ridge Avenue, just west of Broad Street and north of Fairmount Avenue. When the street grid of Center City was expanded northward, it caused a lot of wedge-shaped blocks to be created in Francisville and made the neighborhood very confusing to walk around. Perhaps that is one reason why Francisville took a while to experience the revitalization and building boom of neighboring communities, but now the neighborhood is experiencing the same kind of building boom and vacant lots are being developed on almost every block that still has them. My first article about Francisville focused on quality affordable housing being built around 15th and Poplar Streets, as most housing a few years ago was being built by the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation. But today, most of the development is by private developers, building market rate housing and new retail space, as well.
One of the most innovative housing developments being built right now in Francisville is a development called the Folsom Powerhouse, being developed by PostGreen Homes, Equinox Management & Construction, and designed by Interface Studios. The unusual name refers to Folsom Street, a small street a block north of Fairmount Avenue that runs from 18th Street to 17th Street, across from the recently renovated Francisville Playground. Most of the block at 18th and Folsom will be redeveloped by a housing development that will have a mix of townhouses, condos, and rentals. There will be townhouses along Folsom and Olive Streets and apartments and condos at the corners along 18th Street, for a total of 31 housing units. There will, also, be a space for a café or small restaurant at the corner of 18th and Folsom, and three existing rowhomes on the site will remain. The housing units will have many sustainable features, such as Energy Star appliances and HVAC, green rooves, solar panels, energy-efficient windows, and clean indoor air quality, among others. The exterior will be covered in brown and gray brick, corrugated metal, large windows, and wood paneling, that will include wooden planters on the first floor. There will be glow-in-the-dark paint, on the ground level wall, that will create a pattern at night shaped like roots, designed by artist Jenny Sabin. There will, also, be metal and stone “super stoops”, for the townhouses, that will provide much room for residents to sit on and meet their neighbors. Parking will be accessible from Olive Street and there will, also, be bike parking. I attended the groundbreaking ceremony a few weeks ago. At the ceremony, neighborhood residents were encouraged to give feedback about the neighborhood and project.
The Folsom Powerhouse is just a block north of Fairmount Avenue. That stretch of Fairmount Avenue is experiencing a building boom of new development that is bringing several new apartment buildings with retail to the avenue. There are new apartment developments, with retail, on Fairmount at 1720 Fairmount, at 19th Street, at Uber Street, and two at 15th Street. There have, also, been several townhouse developments along Fairmount. On the other side of the Francisville Playground there are several other developments being built and a large apartment and townhouse development planned for a triangular-shaped block across from the playground. Further east in Francisville several developments are underway, such as the Vineyards on 16, and several more are planned, including several developments on long-dormant Ridge Avenue, which community groups are hoping to turn into another live/work district for artists. As if all that isn’t enough, the vacant Divine Lorraine Hotel, at Broad and Fairmount, is scheduled to be renovated into apartments soon by EBRM Realty.
If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in this rapidly up-and-coming neighborhood, or any other in the city, please contact me at Gabriel.firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my Long & Foster agent portal, here, or learn more about our Long & Foster Center City office, here. You can, also, view my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE. And, you can learn more about the Folsom Powerhouse on their website, here, and check out renderings and my pictures of the site, the groundbreaking ceremony, and the neighborhood, below.