It’s been a little over a year since we last checked in on 1400 S. 33rd St., a building which was constructed in the 1930s by Coca Cola for use as a bottling plant. You may recall that at that time, demolition was just starting at the northern end of the site, with plans for a partial reuse and partial new construction for a project which would eventually be a Ciocca Subaru dealership. Needless to say, there’s been some considerable progress at the site over the last 14 months or so, and you can see the skeleton of the new building framed in quite a bit of steel.

Old view at 33rd & Dickinson
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Current view
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Looking up 33rd Street
33rd & Reed view

Like we told you before, the showroom will be located on the southern end of the property, and the northern side of the property will be used for servicing cars and for parking. The service section of the property will have three stories of parking, and the new section of building will not only be visible from the neighborhood, but also from I-76. Think of it as equivalent to permanent and free billboard advertising. JKRP Architects did the design work for the project, and they shared some renderings which give a sense of how things will look when everything is done here.

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Rendering from the highway

The new dealership will be a boon for Subaru owners and wannabe owners in town, as the closest dealership at this time is the one located across the river in Cherry Hill. We suspect that a sizable percentage of the people visiting the dealership will be folks that currently don’t spend much time in Grays Ferry, and along those lines, the playground at Stinger Square, right across the street, will likely see a dramatic uptick in use. Subarus are, after all, terrific family vehicles.

With new people “discovering” Grays Ferry, we wonder whether we’ll see a resulting increase in buyer and renter interest in this part of the neighborhood. We’ve already seen a dramatic increase in the number of units in the northeastern section of the neighborhood, but there’s plenty of opportunity over here too, so close to the highway and University City. This may end up being the legacy for this dealership, playing a part in the slow but steady ascent of the neighborhood. Or who knows, perhaps we just can’t see the forester for the trees.