On the northeast corner of Broad & Snyder stands a building that hearkens back to another age and stands in direct contrast to the surrounding architecture. This building was originally home to the Beneficial Saving Fund Society, a precursor to Beneficial Bank. A bank named Beneficial occupied this building for over 80 years, until developers bought the property a few years ago. Almost three years back, we brought the building to your attention and noted that the owners had signed a lease with a mystery tenant.
Passyunk Post discovered that Wendy’s would be taking over this building, and seemed quite distraught about the prospect. Many commenters were similarly upset and it seemed like people were going to come out in force against the project at the South Broad Street Neighborhood Association community meeting and at the ZBA. Despite the alarm, the project was granted a variance a little over a year ago. And now it looks like the Wendy’s is approaching its opening date.
We get it, Wendy’s is far from the anchor that neighbors are dreaming of for this corner. We would have been thrilled to see this building reopen as a bank, or as a food market, or get converted into condos. But the reality of the market is that Wendy’s fits in quite well with the commercial mix on this block, they’re a credit tenant, and they’ll probably have a greater chance of success than many other “more desirable” businesses at this location.
Best of all, the fact that the developers were able to find a tenant like Wendy’s meant that they were able to preserve and reuse an old building that’s not even listed on the local historic register. We’re quite certain that many developers would have simply demolished the building and constructed something new that’s easier to lease out. So we agree that a Wendy’s at Broad & Snyder isn’t the greatest news in the world, and you certainly won’t see us grabbing a Frosty there anytime soon, but the alternative could have been much worse. And for what it’s worth, to our eye at least, it seems Wendy’s is doing a pretty respectful job in adapting the building to their needs.