Via Bicycle made its home at 606 S. 9th St. for about 20 years, but from the looks of the outside or the inside, you might have guessed they'd been there five times as long. But if you pass by this address today, you'll see that the shop is no longer operating there. Fear not though, Via Bicycle is still with us, just in a new location. Their new space is smaller, but a location at 622 S. Broad St. could result in greater foot and, er, bike traffic.
You may be wondering what inspired this business to pull up their roots from their longtime retail space. A sign on the building provides some sort of explanation.
Yeah, the owners of the property decided that they were looking to sell or lease out the entire building. According to a story from Newsworks, a developer bought the Via Bicycle building as well as the building immediately to the north for a combined $2.2M. That's more than pocket change, certainly. If we had to guess, we'd have to think that the developer will renovate the Via Bicycle building into condos and perhaps demolish the Philly Kids Gym building and construct a new condo building in its place. To justify the very high price paid for the properties, these are gonna have to be some incredible condo units. On the plus side, with over 9,000 sqft to work with in the Via Bicycle building, there's room for eight nice sized units. And wow, what great bones this thing has.
Both buildings are zoned for mixed-use commercial, so the plan we just described would require a variance from the ZBA. Would the community get behind a purely residential development at this location? If our speculation proves accurate, we'll find out soon enough. In the meantime, while we wait to see what happens here, we're gonna be sure to check out the new Via Bicycle location. Spring is on the way, after all, and we could use a tune up.