Here at Naked Philly, we try to maintain a positive perspective in the face of demolition, inappropriate land use, uninspired design, and/or imperfect construction resulting from value engineering. This isn’t always easy or fun, but we understand that the realities of real estate investment and development may lead to some less than ideal outcomes. When it comes to billion-dollar companies, however, we have a little less patience when they produce a building that isn’t awesome. In this instance, we are speaking of the Philadelphia success story GoPuff, whose quick delivery convenience business has been expanding since its founding by a couple Drexel students in 2013.
It was back in 2018 when we told you how GoPuff was going to build a brand-new headquarters at the former Finnigan’s Wake location at the northeast corner of 3rd & Spring Garden. This new headquarters was to take place of the iconic (if slightly cartoon-y in nature) entrance to Northern Liberties and we had high hopes at the time that this transformation would greatly change the look and feel of the area. While a new skin now covers the entire building, the corrugated metal siding is looking painfully bare on the Spring Garden-facing facade.
Beyond the two, too small windows on the western side of the building, this isn’t exactly the definition of sun-drenched. And if you look more closely, there is what looks to be wiring sticking out of the powdered metal on the eastern side of the building. A quick perusal of Atlas shows something that we long suspected: back in 2021, a building permit was issued for a “decorative fixture” to be added to the existing structure, meaning there was likely a sign planned to go up on the front facade. This permit has since expired, and the building shows no sign (pun alert) of any action afoot. Not for nothing, this building would look so much better, if only there was a sign on its front!
The wood installation on the westernmost corner is also showing signs of wear and tear, only a few years after installation.
While the delayed IPO for GoPuff may indicate that things aren’t exactly hunky-dory, we would hope that a company that is conservatively valued at $15 billion would go to the effort to put up a sign. Hopefully we’ll see something interesting soon, as the incredible amount of action very close by will make this edifice stand out even more in the near future. As we said, this building acts as a gateway to Northern Liberties, it’s a shame it continues to underwhelm, even in the face of overwhelming development nearby.