Rivage at East Falls Grants Developer Contract

The Rivage property near Kelly Drive in East Falls has finally chosen a developer for the site.  A sure sign that soon we will see a quite sustainably handsome neighbor to the Falls Bridge and sunoco gas station across the street.

The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority has selected Northern Liberties-based Onion Flats to redevelop the site.  It's called The Ridge, and features 126 residential units, 8,700 square feet of retail space and an ambitious energy and sustainability plan, with a striking design meant to create a sense of unity and community with the nearby Schuylkill riverfront.  This would be the largest residential development for Onion Flats, known for the Rag Flats and Thin Flats projects.

The redevelopment board selected Onion Flats at it meeting Monday, and officials praised the plan as a groundbreaking concept that will introduce a focus on lifestyles both transit- and environmentally-friendly. Onion Flats now has until June to enter into a full redevelopment agreement, which will include a final sales price for the city-owned property.  Construction could begin in early 2013, with completion in spring 2014.

All energy for utilities including heating, cooling, light and home hot water will be generated on site, with green roofs and a solar panel array.  The plan is pointedly geared against the car-dependent:  There are fewer parking spaces than housing units, but indoor bike storage for every resident, along with electric vehicle charging ports and spaces for Zip Cars.  Along Kelly Drive, a public terrace space is designed to draw walkers, bikers and other foot traffic up into the neighborhood.

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