Car Dealership Proposed for Delaware Avenue

Over a year ago, in the fall of 2012, we wondered whether a developer would see the former Municipal Asphalt building where Fairmount hits Delaware Avenue as worthy of an adaptive reuse. At the time, the shoddy unkempt building was on the market from PIDC for $1.4M. Now it turns out there's a commercially ambitious mixed-use taker.

The building

We weren't sure what the state of the interior was, but it seems this won't matter, as developer Gene DeSimone appeared before the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association zoning committee in January with a proposal to raze the old building and convert the site into a multi-story building with a cafe on the first floor, a car dealership on the second and 37 one- and two-bedroom apartments above.

NLNA asked developers to reappear with more information about how and when the dealership will operate, and more details about the cafe like the number of seats, whether it will include outdoor seating, and if they will seek a liquor license. As usual, height and parking are an issue. NLNA wants to be sure there is at least one space for every two apartments.

This marks another proposal as renewal and plans for redevelopment along the waterfront continue. Those include plans for Penn's Park, which is an overhaul of Penn's Landing, Michael Shamshick’s Penn Treaty Plaza as well as his plan to transform an old warehouse complex near Frankford & Delaware into an entertainment complex, and ongoing improvements like the Spring Garden Connector. Assuming the project gets the support it needs, it will be a big win for Delaware Avenue.