Folsom Powerhouse will add some of the most modern and sustainable housing in the Francisville neighborhood

rendering of folsom powerhouseMy 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.gottlieb@lnf.com 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.

Rendering of Folsom Powerhouse

Rendering of Folsom Powerhouse

Future site of Folsom Powerhouse, @ 18th and Folsom Streets

Future site of Folsom Powerhouse, @ 18th and Folsom Streets

Rendering of Folsom Powerhouse, at 18th and Folsom Streets

Rendering of Folsom Powerhouse, at 18th and Folsom Streets

Site of Folsom Powerhouse, from 18th and Olive Streets

Site of Folsom Powerhouse, from 18th and Olive Streets

Rendering from 18th and Olive Streets

Rendering from 18th and Olive Streets

Looking down Olive Street, from 18th Street

Looking down Olive Street, from 18th Street

Looking at the future site of the Folsom Powerhouse, from Folsom Street

Looking at the future site of the Folsom Powerhouse, from Folsom Street

Facades of Folsom Powerhouse townhouses

Facades of Folsom Powerhouse townhouses

Rendering of the townhouses up close

Rendering of the townhouses up close

Close up of the "superstoops", with artistic railings by Jenny Sabin

Close up of the “superstoops”, with artistic railings by Jenny Sabin

Glow-in-the-dark paintings by artist Jenny Sabin

Glow-in-the-dark paintings by artist Jenny Sabin

Folsom Street street sign

Folsom Street street sign

Looking east down Folsom Street

Looking east down Folsom Street

Street signs at 18th and Francis Streets

Street signs at 18th and Francis Streets

Francisville Playground, across Francis Street from future Folsom Powerhouse

Francisville Playground, across Francis Street from future Folsom Powerhouse

Looking east down Francis Street

Looking east down Francis Street

Looking west down Francis Street

Looking west down Francis Street

Looking south down 18th Street, from the corner of Folsom Street

Looking south down 18th Street, from the corner of Folsom Street

Crowds gathered for groundbreaking ceremony of Folsom Powerhouse

Crowds gathered for groundbreaking ceremony of Folsom Powerhouse

Ceremonial digging at groundbreaking of Folsom Powerhouse

Ceremonial digging at groundbreaking of Folsom Powerhouse

Sign at groundbreaking describing the project

Sign at groundbreaking describing the project

Community input board at groundbreaking ceremony

Community input board at groundbreaking ceremony

People at community input board

People at community input board

Looking at the site from 17th and Folsom Streets, overgrown community garden in the foreground

Looking at the site from 17th and Folsom Streets, overgrown community garden in the foreground

Peanut (art) Gallery at 18th Street and Fairmount Avenue

Peanut (art) Gallery at 18th Street and Fairmount Avenue

Vacant bank building @ 18th and Fairmount

Vacant bank building @ 18th and Fairmount

Looking west on Fairmount Avenue, from 18th Street

Looking west on Fairmount Avenue, from 18th Street

Looking east down Fairmount Avenue, from 18th Street

Looking east down Fairmount Avenue, from 18th Street

The "Spring Gardens", a couple blocks south of future Folsom Powerhouse

The “Spring Gardens”, a couple blocks south of future Folsom Powerhouse

Carriage House Apartments, just south of 18th & Fairmount

Carriage House Apartments, just south of 18th & Fairmount

Modern apartment building on the 1700 block of Fairmount Avenue

Modern apartment building on the 1700 block of Fairmount Avenue

Site at 1720 Fairmount Avenue, will have a 21-unit apartment building and retail

Site at 1720 Fairmount Avenue, will have a 21-unit apartment building and retail

JBJ Soul Homes, being built @ 15th Street, Ridge and Fairmount Avenues

JBJ Soul Homes, being built @ 15th Street, Ridge and Fairmount Avenues

Divine Lorraine Hotel, at Broad Street, Ridge and Fairmount Avenues, may be renovated into apartments soon

Divine Lorraine Hotel, at Broad Street, Ridge and Fairmount Avenues, may be renovated into apartments soon

New apartment building, with retail, @ 19th Street and Fairmount Avenue

New apartment building, with retail, @ 19th Street and Fairmount Avenue

Another new apartment building with retail, @ Fairmount Avenue and Uber Street

Another new apartment building with retail, @ Fairmount Avenue and Uber Street

Vineyards on 16, under construction in Francisville

Vineyards on 16, under construction in Francisville

New homes @ 15th and Poplar Streets in Francisville

New homes @ 15th and Poplar Streets in Francisville

Looking south down Ridge Avenue, towards Broad Street, in Francisville

Looking south down Ridge Avenue, towards Broad Street, in Francisville

Looking north up Ridge Avenue, towards Girard Avenue

Looking north up Ridge Avenue, towards Girard Avenue

New art gallery on Ridge Avenue in Francisville, near 17th Street

New art gallery on Ridge Avenue in Francisville, near 17th Street

Site of future large development, north of Francisville Playground

Site of future large development, north of Francisville Playground

New townhouses on 19th Street, north of Francisville Playground

New townhouses on 19th Street, north of Francisville Playground

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About gabrielcgottlieb

I am a real estate agent at Long & Foster Real Estate Center City and someone who likes to write about development and urban planning in the City of Philadelphia. Contact me at Gabriel.gottlieb@LNF.com if you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Philadelphia.
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