Rumor has it that Trader Joe’s at 22nd & Market will be expanding in the near future.

The other day, a talkative cashier was impressing a patron not only with his knowledge of the best Trader Gioto products, but also with information about plans to enlarge the size of the store by pushing into the western area of its existing location. This first floor of the 2121 Market apartment building appears to have previously housed offices, with the residential apartments on the floors above. The building was at one time a tuxedo factory and there’s some recent history about the building’s transition to its present state in this this 2001 Inquirer article.

2121 Market St.

There are sidewalk-level windows on South 22nd Street that, if included in the enlarging store’s plans, may allow for a more visible entrance to the market. The current entrance is behind the building near a loading dock and garbage bay, and is accessible only via a driveway between the store and its parking lot. It seems unlikely that they will address the available number of parking spots given the limited space on this plot. Car-bound shoppers often find a traffic jam and a line to park, and the store now has a traffic director during peak times. No similar role has been established for the shopping cart lines that clog the aisles inside the store, and an increased number of check out lanes could be a helpful outcome in this possible expansion.

Trader Joe's entrance and packed parking lot

Possible expansion spot?

If true, it seems like a smart move on the food retailer’s part. In addition to the tenants in the apartments above and in the Murano towers that share the block, construction continues at a swift pace on 2116 Chestnut Street a block away. Riverwest Condominiums are also a block away at 21st and Chesnut, and this recent blog post outlines all recent and expected growth in just a few block radius, noting that expected are “800 to 900 new luxury rentals to the neighborhood.” Directly on the other side of the Schuylkill, Penn students abound and even more Drexel students will soon be filling a new residential hall only a half a mile away. Oh, and this location is also convenient to the trolley stop on the corner of 22nd & Market.

Now if only Trader Joe’s would open up another location on the other side of Broad Street…

–Lauren Summers