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Developer picked for East Falls site

Onion Flats chosen to develop Rivage site in East Falls as mixed-use rental/retail

The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority has picked Onion Flats to develop the two-acre former Rivage caterering hall site in East Falls as "the Ridge," a 126-unit, 8,700-square-foot retail project.

Onion Flats, with projects in Northern Liberties, Old City and Fishtown, was approved as developer Monday. They have until June to enter into a full agreement, which will include a final sales price and specific design and sustainability features.

Construction, expected to start early in 2013, should be done by spring 2014.

The authority acquired the parcel 13 years ago. There had been a condo/retail project set to go in to the vacant parcel on Calumet between Ridge Avenue and Kelly Drive in 2005, but the deal was never consummated.

The authority said the Ridge would be a five-story building with one and two bedroom rental units, with retail along Calumet and Ridge, as well as a 20,000-foot garden and river terrace along Kelly Drive.

The project would be the city's first and the nation's largest "net-zero energy mixed-use residential retail community," according to the authority.

The project expects to consume 50 percent less water than traditional developments; green roofs over 100 percent of the built area; a 300-kilowatt photovoltaic solar array, and interior bicycle storage.