Rivage finalists to make public presentations this Wednesday

East Falls residents will get their first look at two possible developments for the Rivage property at a meeting this week.

On Wednesday, the East Falls Community Council will host a forum where two finalists — including one group made up of former would-be developers of the same location — will make presentations for mixed-use projects at the 1.6-acre site between Ridge Avenue and Kelly Drive, at Calumet Street.

Four proposals were submitted in October, and the city Redevelopment Authority selected two finalists — Onion Flats LLC and FCP-East Village PA — who will detail their proposals at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9, at Downs Hall on the Philadelphia University campus, according to Gina Snyder, director of the East Falls Development Corp.

According to EFDC:

* The East Village proposal is led by Federal Capital Partners, along with Brian Davis and David Stubbs. In 2007, Davis and Stubbs were among a group selected to develop a similar plan, also called East Village, at the same site. The current version calls for 160 rental units, including eight “live-work” units, 183 parking spots, 10,000 square feet of retail space and two buildings, with an overall height of five stories.

The 2007 plan had similar retail components but was a bit more ambitious on housing, with a mixture of 118 apartments and 55 condos. It fizzled along with the economy and the housing market, and the property has been empty since.

* The other proposal, called The Ridge, is by Onion Flats, the Kensington-based company specializing in sustainable housing and active in neighborhoods like Northern Liberties and Fishtown. They propose 126 apartments over 8,700 square feet of retail along Ridge Avenue, with 138 parking spaces, the EFDC says.

The Ridge, according to press releases, would be the nation’s largest Net Zero Energy mixed-use development, generating its energy for heating, cooling, lighting and hot water on-site.

Snyder praised the relationship the RDA has had with East Falls community groups over the years as they waited for the right time to offer the property for redevelopment again. The latest request for proposals includes many details the community asked for, which could make the approval process smoother.

“This makes it so developers know exactly what the design and community issues are up front and don’t have to be reactive in a zoning process,” Snyder said. “We have also required them to build public improvements as part of the project.”

At the meeting, the developers will each make a 15-minute presentation, followed by discussion, and those attending the meeting will receive evaluation forms. Results of the public survey will presented to the RDA and posted on the respective websites of the EFCC and EFDC. 

Contact Amy Z. Quinn at azquinn@planphilly.com.

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