Used Cars on The Outs on East Girard Tuesday, December 27, 2016
As East Girard has continued to evolve, we've seen various types of changes take effect on the corridor. Many old storefronts have turned over, with a one notable example being the old Acropolis Diner turning into Joe's Steaks a couple years ago. Vacant lots have been filled with new mixed-use buildings, like the project now under construction at the corner of Berks & Girard. And old buildings have come tumbling down in favor of new projects, as we saw over the summer, when a bike shop and garage were demoed on the 500 block of E. Girard. A four story project with two retail spaces and 17 apartments is now rising at that location.
Today we turn our attention to a very large property across the street, where we should soon see a similar phenomenon take place. Lou Wolff Auto has made their home at 501 E. Girard Ave. since the mid 1980s and back then, we'd wager it made all kinds of sense for a used car dealership to operate on East Girard. With all the changes that have happened on the corridor over the last decade though, the car dealership has turned into a bit of a dinosaur and it felt like it was only a matter of time before they sought a new location. And thanks to a couple of reader emails, we've learned that the Lou Wolff will soon be moving off of East Girard, as the owners of the car dealership have sold their property to developers.
The parcel in question extends from 501 all the way to 527 E. Girard Ave. and covers about 25K sqft of land. It seems like a foregone conclusion that all the buildings on the property will be demolished and the new owners will build a new mixed-use project here. According to the realtors that brokered the sale, this deal has been cooking for two years and now it's moving forward at last. We don't know what shape a new project will take here, but we can hope for something that has some decent height and density to it. In addition, given the sizable footprint (which will hopefully not get eaten up too much by parking), we could get the largest retail space on the corridor in this new building.
Has anyone heard any specifics about what might be coming here? What kinds of retailers would you like to see on East Girard in a huge new commercial space?