If you happened to be driving by the intersection of Ridge and Roxborough Avenues last week, you may have witnessed a rare, jaw-dropper of a sight. A crane lifted and carried away pieces of the historic Citizens Bank vault: the dramatic first phase of demolition to make way for a new residential project that will be called The Vault.
The Vault will be the first project in Roxborough for the Stamm Development Group. The state-of-the-art mixed-use development will include 50 apartment units and 7,000 square feet of commercial space. Construction, which was delayed by statewide COVID-19 shutdown, is now in full swing, with a projected ribbon cutting sometime in the late summer of 2021.
Mike Stamm, President and CEO of Stamm Development Group, is a Philadelphia native and former finance major whose focus was real estate valuation. He dove into the city’s real estate market in 2011 by renovating homes in Germantown and Mount Airy. He has been expanding across Northwest Philadelphia ever since.
“My first project was an 800-square-foot rehab in Germantown,” said Stamm. This single-family home renovation became the first of many for Stamm. “We were buying distressed properties around historic parts of Germantown, and we kept the architectural features,” he said.
By the time he founded Stamm Development Group in 2015, his mission was clear: to provide high quality homes and apartments at affordable prices and manage them with a hands-on, personal touch.
With apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms and a clientele that includes everyone from 20-somethings to retirees, Stamm focuses on building and giving back to communities through his projects.
“[Our projects] are affordable. The majority have some commercial component on the ground floor." he said, "We want to contribute to communities. We don’t develop in dozens of neighborhoods. There are three or four neighborhoods where we really try to contribute. The management is really personalized with our approach.
“We don’t develop in dozens of neighborhoods. There are three or four neighborhoods where we really try to contribute."
After building ground-up developments in Mount Airy, Chestnut Hill, Brewerytown, Fairmount, and Germantown, Stamm redoubled his commitment to Northwest Philadelphia this year with The Vault.
Growing up in the Plymouth Meeting area, Stamm is no stranger to Roxborough. “Roxborough geographically is an established neighborhood,” Stamm said. “It has a lot of qualities like proximity to the city, public transportation and a commercial corridor that cares about businesses.”
“Roxborough has a lot of qualities like proximity to the city, public transportation and a commercial corridor that cares about businesses.”
“The site has a scale we were looking for and commercial viability,” he said. The former Citizens Bank site at Ridge and Roxborough Avenues was the perfect fit for Stamm’s next project. The site had roughly 200 feet of commercial frontage along Ridge Avenue and the potential for an apartment entrance on Rector Street facing Roxborough Memorial Hospital.
The bank’s vault and safe deposit boxes were not only intact, but in excellent condition. Stamm vowed to make them architectural features of the new building.
“The vault is ornate and unique,” said Stamm, who had it temporarily disassembled and painstakingly moved this past week to a climate-controlled location, along with the safe deposit boxes. “It was broken down piece by piece.”
The plan is “to walk through the vault as one of the entrances,” Stamm said.
The safe deposit boxes will be fixtures in the package delivery room as well as on “feature walls” throughout the building.
“The vault is ornate and unique. The plan is for residents to walk through the vault at one of the entrances."
Once completed, The Vault will include 50 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as two commercial tenants on the ground floor. Stamm is excited to be entertaining potential national tenants for the spaces.
The project will also feature a green rooftop. About 60 percent of the roof’s 9,000-square feet will be dedicated to vegetation and the remaining portion will include outdoor seating for tenants.
Stamm is excited to put down roots in Roxborough and contribute to this tight-knit community. One of the hallmarks of his business has been giving back to the community at large, from fundraising to clean-ups to donations.
He currently donates time and resources to a recreational center in Queen Village, which helps nearly one hundred children who seek after school services and food donations.
Though the pandemic slowed down initial engagement with community groups in Roxborough, Stamm is looking forward to seeing how his company’s presence can contribute to the vibrance of the Ridge Avenue commercial corridor.
“What we’ve always done is we go and listen, and try to get more involved.”