Phila Business Journal: East Falls to Develop “Rivage” Site at Last

The Philadelphia Business Journal reported today on the new development that’s had our neighborhood buzzing all month:  Grasso Holding’s new $70-million, mixed-use complex slated for a big chunk of land spanning Kelly Drive, Calumet, and Ridge.

Eastfallslocal grasso renderings 1-19-15 text

This 6-story project boasts 200 apartments, an underground parking garage, and 15,000 square feet of retail and services — and it’s coming to East Falls this Summer!   

(fingers crossed)

This prime river site has sat undeveloped for over a decade due to all kindsa of challenges, from demanding neighbors to issues with slope and flooding, with some nasty traffic and soil contamination thrown in, too.  When the Philadelphia Streets Department basically requested a total redesign, most developers would’ve thrown in the towel.

EastFallslocal Grass holdings project overview retype SUMMER

But to David Grasso, this spot was worth the trouble — and he still sees it as transformational for East Falls: “It will be an anchor and incredible gateway,” he told reporter Natalie Kostelni. In addition to a cafe and market, he’d like to see ZipCars and IndeGo bike stands, plus maybe a tourism office or something to draw visitors from Kelly Drive into the great community here.

EastFallslocal Grass holdings design features

Sounds good to us! Most neighbors who came to Grasso’s informational presentation at last month’s zoning meeting were totally into his plans, except for a couple nay-sayers — check out our recap, with video here.

More recently, East Falls Zoning & Land Use Committee held a special “near neighbors” meeting at The Falls Ridge apartments earlier this week. We’ve loaded up some video already but don’t peek!  Steve’s upcoming commentary hopes to make sense of all the grumbling.

Meanwhile, for the full scoop from Philly Business Journal, click here for their exclusive coverage.



  1. At first glance, I prefer the look of this one over the previous rendering, although I admired Onion Flats’ environmentally-friendly utility design. David Grasso says that this building is going to be framed with wood. I would say the architecture resembles the International Style of the WWII era. Interesting that 60 years ago there was a development standing directly across Ridge ave. designed by Oscar Stonorov in the very same style. FYI Stonorov was a collaborator with famed Philadelphia architects Louis Kahn, George Howe and Robert Venturi. Any idea who the architect of this proposed building is?

  2. Has the project been approved? Did Grasso ever supply a picture of the Ridge Ave. side of the building? Did he do the shade projection study? What are the variances being requested?

    • No, it’s still in a preliminary stage. Grasso has to present detailed plans to the city before any vote can be taken. (I assume the Ridge Ave rendering will be part of those plans.) It might be some time before that vote occurs, given that Todd Baylson said at the conclusion of Monday’s meeting that Grasso will have to request variances and, depending on the scope of those requests, maybe even a legislative package from Councilman Jones’s office (which would require three more public hearings in addition to EFCC public meetings and vote.)

    • Also, per Todd, the shade projection study is beyond the scope of “normal EFCC operating procedures.” Which I assume means it isn’t mandatory for EFCC zoning review process.

  3. Shade projection study? Should we brace ourselves for a wind blockage study and then maybe a turtle crossing study followed up with an indigenous burial ground study?

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