Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fill These Fronts: The Sprucy Storefronts

1506-08 Spruce Street

                    Good lord, I hate the fact that there's a single-story suburban-style retail structure here instead of a building. I get infuriated, however, over the fact that they can't seem to stay filled very long. Its time to either knock this fucker down and build a building, or get these fuckers leased!!
        This crappy retail building was constructed in 1977, coinciding with the construction of 1500 Locust, 1521 Locust, and the renovation of the Acme next door (now CVS #1545).  It was designed by the shitty short-lived firm of Baker, Rothschild, Horn, and Blyth who also did a crappy row of houses on the 300 block of Fitzwater. When it opened at the end of 1977, it was fully leased with three stores: Atlantic City Sub Shoppe, Sav-Mor Discount Store, and Greener Pastures Natural Foods.
       Though a lot of different uses would pass through these three storefronts over the next 37 years, some managed to stay open for quite awhile. The Sav-Mor Discount Store, the first to use the middle space (1506B) , stayed there all the way until the end of the 20th Century. A Chinese restaurant in the easternmost space (Space A)  opened in 1982 and stuck around until the early 21st Century, when they moved to Wynnefield Heights. Academy Pizza lived at the westernmost space (Space C) for a long-ass time. Also consider that the neighborhood right here was much more raw back then... the Drake was a pile of crap, there was a huge empty lot across the street, and there was no Kimmel Center nearby. 

Chun Hing, Sav-Mor, Academy Pizza in 1986.

Same stores still open,
                  Really, it seems that the last 10 years or so have shown the most flux with these fronts... they seem to change constantly. The last three occupants were Bella Cena (closed a year ago), Giancarlo's Lounge (closed over 2 years ago), and Mamma Mia Pizzeria (closed nearly 2 years ago). Its time to get these fuckers filled again.
                 The advantages of these spaces are numerous. Now that all three are empty, they can be combined into a gigantic 11,000 square foot space with over 50 feet of window frontage. Otherwise, take one of the three spaces. Space 1, the easternmost space, expands into the back of the middle space and is the largest of the three at 5,514 square feet. The whole thing is set 16 feet back on the sidewalk, which in 1977 didn't mean shit but nowadays means that you can throw up some outdoor seating with no problems.
               This location is the bee's knee's and squall's balls. Tons of foot traffic from the pharmacy, theater, bars, and other food service spots nearby. There's a huge parking garage across the street for your potential customers. The spaces are only one block away from the Broad Street Line and a short walk from the Market Frankford Line.
               The place is owned and managed by the Howard Winig Associates Realty Corporation. You can find its listing here on Loopnet. FILL THESE FRONTS!!!

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