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Country's largest 'passive' project coming to East Falls

Onion Flats' upcoming Ridge Flats

Earlier this month, the Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBA) gave the mixed-use Ridge Flats in East Falls the official go-ahead. Slated for the former Rivage site, a prominent local intersection, the project will be the largest "passive" development in the country.
Passive projects -- structures built to an exacting zero-net energy-efficiency standard -- aren’t a new concept in Philly; neighborhoods such as Bella Vista and Northern Liberties have seen new construction homes built under the guidelines throughout the past year. The scale of Ridge Flats is what sets it apart. Once complete, the five-story structure will contain 146 apartments, 1000 feet of commercial space and 120 above-grade parking spaces. The building will also feature green roofs and a rain garden.
"It's a model project for the country," says Gina Snyder, president of the East Falls Development Corporation (EFDC). "It will bring more people, retail and add more excitement to the neighborhood. It's the project we've been looking for on Ridge Avenue."
The site has been under the control of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority since the late '90s -- it wasn't until a year-and-a-half ago that EFDC found what they were looking for; local green developer Onion Flats made the winning pitch.
Since then, EFDC has been working with Onion Flats to make sure the project will be a win-win. They have fully supported the developer during the ZBA variance process.
Now that the ZBA has officially signed off, construction should begin this winter.

Source:  Gina Synder, East Falls Development Corporation
WriterGreg Meckstroth
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