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What's Happening in:  West Passyunk 

City’s 35th pawn shop trying to open on West Passyunk

After struggling seven years to find a suitable tenant for 2216 W. Passyunk Ave. (formerly the site of the Meat Barn), the owner is taking matters into her own hands and trying her darndest to open a check-cashing agency and pawn shop in the Girard Estate location.

A rendering of what would be the prettiest little pawn shop this side of Texas. The birds don’t seem to mind

Licenses and Inspections rejected Susan Baldino’s application to become the 35th pawn shop in Philly, saying it would be too close to a school and residential area, among other reasons, but that doesn’t mean she’s giving up. For now, Baldino is sticking to her original plan and jumping through a series of hoops to appeal the decision.

As the proprietress envisions it, the check-cashing operation would be separate from the pawn shop, which would only deal in jewelry, coins, fine collectibles, and precious metals (contrary to rumors, there aren’t plans to deal and trade in firearms). Proposed hours of operation would be from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday and security guards would be present.

At a special meeting called by the Girard Estate Neighbors Association on Tuesday, some community members welcomed the shop, saying that it would develop an otherwise derelict space and bring additional commerce to the area. The majority of attendees, however, were determined to prevent the pawnshop from opening its doors, fearing its presence would attract thieves and devalue the area.

If you want to voice your opinion about this project, attend the Zoning Board of Adjustment’s public hearing at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2 at 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor. The decision is ultimately up to the board, but they still want feedback.

For more info, check the slick new website of the Girard Estate Neighbors Association.

And current, stark reality
site plan

- Paulina Reso, @paulinareso

You curious about something west of Broad? You may have noticed we’re keeping an eye out over there, too. Drop us a line at so we can answer those questions you’ve been dying to ask.

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