Two summers back, we wondered about the numerous vacancies on the 600 block of South Street, noting a couple of large and empty spaces that once held national retail tenants. Slowly, though, new businesses have trickled onto the block, replenishing some of the corridor’s lost vibrancy.

Two years ago

Only a few months after our post, European Republic opened at 602 South St., which was vacant for years after a wonderful burrito place closed its doors. Meanwhile, Starr collaboration Serpico is set to open its doors at 604 South St. sometime next month.

Current view

Now, according to an article in the Inquirer from last month, the largest space on the block is set to reopen its doors. 610 South St. has been home to many different businesses over the years. Most recently it held a Walgreens (the first and last Walgreens we ever heard of to go out of business). Before that, it was Tower Records for years. This location was also home to Ripley Music Hall, Ripley’s, and the Hippodrome Theater.

The Hippodrome in 1930

But soon enough, this 14K+ sqft location will contain a Sneaker Villa location, according to the Inquirer. This chain has over fifty locations, and sells sneakers, apparel, and accessories. And they’re apparently in the middle of an aggressive expansion strategy, which may be why the surely high rent number is palatable for the company.

Former Hippodrome, Tower Records today

While we can’t say this is the most earth-shattering, exciting addition to South Street in our opinion, it’s an extremely welcome sight to finally see a tenant sign on for the former Tower Records. Now, if only we could do something with the old McDonald’s on the corner…

Future Roots mural, but still no business here