Philadelphia’s waterfront has long been the subject of ambition and disappointment. Much discussion has centered on repurposing the dozens of piers that once served the city’s booming maritime and industrial sectors. To date, the greatest successes are those lining the river just between Callowhill and the gorgeous Race Street Pier. At the northern point of this stretch, Pier 19 has always been a hub for development. Listed today as 325 N. Columbus Blvd., Pier 19 has likely been in use in some form for more than 200 years. Our first available records come from Samuel L. Smedley’s 1862 Philadelphia Atlas, which lists this as the docking point for the Charleston and Savannah Steamships.
A reader tipped us off about a zoning notice in front of a warehouse at 19 E. Oregon Ave., just to the east of I-95.
Thomas Colace Co. is a company that processes and distributes fruits and vegetables to food service businesses. They moved from this huge warehouse to Jersey a few years back, and the building was most recently on the market for $1.725M. According to the representative we spoke with at CBRE, the property is currently under contract, though we don't know the identity of the buyer.
What we do know is that the buyer is proposing a unique new use for the building, according to the zoning application that was granted over the summer. The new concept will include a bowling alley, a bar/restaurant, live music, a pool room, an amusement arcade, and outdoor batting cages. Will this be a Dave and Buster's? An expansion of an existing chain out of New York a la Barcade? Or a totally unique concept from local entrepreneurs?