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New proposal for Ridge Flats development has some major changes

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The renderings look almost unrecognizable compared to the previous 2016 proposal.

A rendering of Ridge Flats in Philadelphia. The facade is red and black.
A new, 2018 rendering of the mixed-use development, Ridge Flats
Onion Flats Architecture, via

A longstanding plan to build a mixed-use development near Kelly Drive has undergone another iteration—and it has a whole new look.

The newest design for the Ridge Flats development, headed up by Grasso Holdings and designed by Onion Flats Architecture, was released on the Civic Design Review (CDR) website this week, ahead of a meeting Tuesday.

Onion Flats Architecture, via CDR

It calls for a five-story building with 135,000 square feet of space, 142 residential units, 11,000 square feet of commercial space (including a restaurant), and a green roof. The facade of the new design would be a mix of materials and colors, including brick, metal, and coral and black-colored panels. The building will sit on the corner of Ridge Avenue and Calumet Street, with one side facing Kelly Drive, just across the street from the Falls Bridge.

It’s a substantial change from the development’s previous proposal, which last went in front of the CDR in 2016. The style at the time was much lighter—with a white and glass facade—and larger. The 2016 design called for a six-story building with 206 residential units and 20,000 square feet of retail.

The previous proposal was met with mixed response from CDR members, who applauded building on the vacant space that now sits at 4,300 Ridge Avenue, but questioned its facade. Committee chair Nancy Rogo Trainer said at the time that the Ridge Avenue-facing wall made the building look “relentless.” Committee members also suggested adding more color to the structure.

Both the 2016 proposal and the current proposal are a far cry from the development’s original design, which called for a blocky grey and green structure with an entirely different entrance point.

The newest design will go in front of the CDR Tuesday, where members will offer suggestions on the layout, size, and style of the project.

  • East Falls mixed-use development sails through Civic Design Review [Curbed Philly]
  • 4300 Ridge Avenue [CDR]