Oh Girard Avenue, the plight of your blight is like a slow jazz song, like at these two locations just outside Northern Liberties just a block apart. At the southwest intersection of Franklin and Girard Avenues, a large building has sat unoccupied and rundown for years. Meanwhile, a block to the east, almost the entire north side of Girard Avenue is run down between 6th and 7th Streets. You may recall, we first brought the 600 block of Girard to your attention about a year ago.

Franklin and Girard

600 block of Girard

718-28 W. Girard Ave., a 21K-plus sq ft parcel located at the SW corner of Franklin and Girard, was acquired by its owners sometime before 1989, according to public record. A placard hangs at the vacant space advertising leasing for a shopping center. Anybody out there interested?

Two blocks east, in the middle of the aforementioned blighted block, a for sale sign dons the remaining bricks of the burned out shell of the building that occupies 629-33 W. Girard Ave. which once upon a time held a bakery and an accounting firm. That property was listed for sale last year at around $430K, but has since been taken off the market, despite the sign. On the other side of the Fine Fare Supermarket, another opportunity for development is at 621 W. Girard Ave, which is actively listed for sale at a price of just below $300K.

Properties are available

The burned out 629-33 W. Girard parcel would seem to be a good candidate for a mixed-use development, as it was used for before it was destroyed. The building has changed hands several times in recent years, and we wonder if owners might have had plans stubbed by the slow economy and tough financing conditions of the last half decade. We also wonder if the development in Northern Liberties is enough to attract developers west a bit up Girard, and whether Tiffin offers some sanctuary that businesses can succeed on this stretch.

Hopefully, a brave developer will soon take the plunge and help to reinvigorate a stretch of Girard Avenue that could certainly use a little TLC.

–Lou Mancinelli