Batting Cages Coming to Girard Ave.?

We got an email from a helpful reader the other day, with some interesting news for a rough-looking building on Girard Avenue. Across the street from a BP station, 527 W. Girard Ave. has clearly seen better days. Home to a theatre of some kind in the past, and before that the Sixth Street Farmers Market, this large brick building currently houses a check cashing place that apparently buys gold, and a “discount plus store.” We don’t know who decided to paint the building white or when this decision was made, but we’re guessing it was instantly regretted.

Large place
From the gas station parking lot

According to a recent zoning application, a new tenant wishes to take over the easternmost retail space in the building, formerly occupied by a “scratch and dent” appliance store. This new tenant will sell sporting goods (ho-hum) and will install three indoor batting cages (pretty cool). While the cages will ostensibly be used for batting lessons, we’re hoping guessing that they will also be available to rent to folks just coming by who want to mash some baseballs in their spare time.

Is this another sign of good things to come on the Northern Liberties-Kensington border? We’ve detailed some residential development just north of here on both 6th and 7th Streets in recent weeks, and perhaps this is part of the same phenomenon. And not for nothing, a new commercial enterprise on this block of Girard Ave. is a big plus for anybody who lives nearby and hopes to see more commerce on this strip. In a perfect world, of course, this new business would be accompanied by a rehab of the building, which would include some aggressive sandblasting,┬ábut baby steps are okay at this point.

And we may just have to check out those batting cages when they (fingers crossed) open up in a couple of months. Gotta work on that home run trot, too…