Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fill This Front: Broad Street KFC

701 South Broad Street

Look at also those potential customers whizzing by!
                 Ok, so this is outside the range of my normal Fill This Front zone of influence, but needs to be called out nonetheless. At the southeast corner of Broad and Bainbridge stands this shitbag suburban-style retail pad site. One so fucking shitty that it hasn't had a store in it for years.
                 This building has been around since about 1968 or 69. It replaced the Strand Ballroom, a well-known dance/jazz hall that was popular in the city's African-American community of the early-to mid-20th Century.  I'm not exactly sure when KFC came along but I've found evidence of it being there as early as 1995. The KFC was gone by 2007. On July 24th, 2007, the property was purchased for $1.28 mil by a family who has been running a kosher grocery/catering company in the region for the last 50 years. Apparently this is part of their portfolio of shitty storefronts in the city which contain 99 Cent Stores and other assorted crap.
                In 2008, the building became the office of a temp agency. Other than cleaning up the front entrance and un-boarding up the windows, they pretty much kept their presence a secret. They didn't put any kind of signage up nor did they bother to take any of the "FOR RENT" signs down. The parking lot became leasable monthly spaces going for $200/month. Otherwise, the building looked abandoned.

Prodigy Staffing Solutions was there in this 2009 Google Streetview Time Machine pic. For reals.
              The employment company was gone by 2012. The windows were boarded up and the graffiti made it look like a shitty piece of urban blight. Since the place has been empty, every other property near it has seen change. The big empty lot on the 1300 block of Bainbridge has expensive-ass homes on it, 777 South Broad was built, and even the lot at Broad and Fitzwater has a plan.
             This is a 3,222 square foot space on an 8,900 square foot lot. This corner is highly trafficked by car, foot, and multiple forms of public transit. Its located in an area that is seeing growth in every direction, including new residents with waaaay too much money. The owner is willing to build-to-suit on this, meaning that you can propose anything the fuck you want for this place and it might actually be able to happen. Here's my suggestion:

                 This is an opportunity to jump on an area of the city that is seeing massive amounts of change. Get Carl Dranoff on the phone. He'd be able to do something with this spot-- and should! Here's the listing, which includes a suggestion on how to configure the space. Don't miss the wave of awesome around this neighborhood! FILL THIS FRONT!

The store as a bank space, from the listing.


  1. Hi, I'm a writer for The Temple News doing a piece about the Welcome Center (the "Saucer") at Love Park. I was wondering if I could get your comments on the architectural oddity and whether renovation of the park usurps its preservation.

  2. I think the Saucer should definitely be preserved. Perfect place for a cafe or bar (preferably bar) at a redone JFK Plaza aka Love Park.

  3. Do you think you could expound a bit more on that? I don't see any contact information on your website but I can be reached at