City Councilman Mark Squilla, who was finally able to arrange a meeting with the owner of the Engine 46 firehouse at Reed and Water streets, says the developer is now open to keeping the historic firehouse.
The Inky’s Inga Saffron reports that Bruce Schanzer of Cedar Realty Trust met yesterday with Squilla and James E. Moylan, president of the Pennsport Civic Association. Schanzer said he’d spare the firehouse from demolition, which has been threatened as imminent since March, if he can find a tenant for the space, which last housed the Engine 46 steakhouse in 2006.
Even though this is great news, the story managed to be infuriating anyway.
Says the paper:
While Schanzer made the offer without providing any time frame, Squilla noted that Cedar has no current plans for the site, which includes a large cinderblock building facing Columbus Boulevard. Schanzer’s company builds and manages shopping centers and was hoping that a cleared site would be more attractive to potential tenants, Squilla recounted.
They wanted to tear down the most distinctive remaining historical building in Pennsport, and they didn’t even have a plan for its replacement? For shame.
But this news has ignited an effort to find a good fit for that space, which still would make a great restaurant. One of the reasons Engine 46 closed, we’re guessing, is that the food wasn’t all that good (that part’s personal experience, not a guess). The location, and certainly the architecture, aren’t problems.
After hearing an account of the meeting, Ben Leech, advocacy director at the Preservation Alliance, said he would immediately reach out to help identify a tenant. “I have a hard time believing they can’t find anyone,” he said.
We couldn’t agree more. Maybe a brew pub?