1300 Fairmount Sails Through Design Review, Now Heads to Zoning

The massive mixed-use complex will bring apartments and a grocery store behind the Divine Lorraine.

1300 Fairmount | Via Civic Design Review, RAL Development Services, Cope Linder Architects Read more at https://www.phillymag.com/property/2015/08/21/three-mega-projects-slated-for-civic-design-review-in-september/#5b06kkezoSBL2GRc.99

1300 Fairmount | Via Civic Design Review, RAL Development Services, Cope Linder Architects

1300 Fairmount, a large mixed-use apartment complex planned on the vacant lot that all but wraps the Divine Lorraine on Ridge Avenue, sailed through the Civic Design Review process this week. Jared Brey of PlanPhilly reports that the project “received generally positive remarks” from a committee that hasn’t pulled any punches (positive or negative) as of late.

RAL, a New York-based development company, plans to bring 486 apartments to the site over multiple phases, with a supermarket as the retail anchor of the project. The two development teams–RAL and EB Realty Management, the developers of the Divine Lorraine–were working closely to ensure that the design of each building works with the other. The result is a more modern 19-story tower set with its massing set away from the Grand Dame of North Broad on Ridge Avenue.

Neighbors did have some concerns, reports Brey, as they sought some assurances from the developer that the project’s multiple phases–another apartment block built over the parking garage and also townhomes on 13th Street– would be fully realized. An emphasis was also placed on some safety issues around the site, namely better street lighting on Ridge and Fairmount avenues.

North Broad has seen a flurry of activity recently. Construction at the Divine Lorraine should be kicking off any day now, and Mayor Nutter and Council President Darrell Clarke officially announced the streetscape project that will bring 41 light masts to the median to spur further development on the corridor. Unsurprisingly, it looks as though the first few completed poles are clustered around Ridge Avenue, where much of the development action is taking place.

As for 1300 Fairmount, there is one slight hurdle to clear before anything happens. Brey reports the developers will need to go before the zoning board on September 30 to receive a special exception for above ground parking. The site was pervious rezoned by City Council to accommodate the apartment and grocery aspect of the plan.