As we reported a few weeks ago, a proposed pawnshop in Girard Estatehad divided the neighborhood into opposing camps, with some happy to have a business in a lot that had been vacant for almost 7 years and others shouting, “not in my neighborhood.”
|What would be the pawn shop, if neighbors allow
On the surface, this may seem like another little development story, but we’ve since learned that ex-mobster Philip Narducci is involved in negotiations (his sister, Susan Baldino, is the property owner), according to the Inky
Narducci, 50, spent 25 years in prison on racketeering charges and was released in advance of his 40-year sentence for good behavior. (A year before that charge he had also been convicted of the murder of bookmaker Frank “Frankie Flowers” D’Alfonso, although this charge was later overturned). While the racketeering charge bars him from operating or working at the pawnshop/check-cashing business, he has nevertheless been helping his sister get community support for the project.
“Dressed in a blue Adidas track suit and sitting near the back of the school auditorium,” Narducci attended a West Passyunk zoning meeting and later, another meeting with community stakeholders, the paper reported. He’s also to lobbied the president of the Girard Estate Neighbors Association (GENA), Vincent Ricciuti.
Despite these efforts, a sizable group of residents are adamantly opposed to the business and have been circulating petitions to prevent its approval by the zoning committee.
Although the zoning variance application was withdrawn last Thursday for unknown reasons, GENA doesn’t expect this to be the end of the pawnshop saga. As there are new developments, we’ll be sure to report them.