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What's Happening in:  Pennsport 

UPDATED: Why does Cedar Realty say a Checkers is located where Engine 46 is now?

UPDATE: Hidden City reports that a Checkers says the deal to open there fell through and that the site plan now says that location is available. But it still shows what’s available is a drive-through restaurant with parking, and not a vacant, historical, usable firehouse.

After a potentially positive meeting last week about the Engine 46 firehouse – in which the owner said they’d be open to saving it if they could find a tenant – the discovery of this schematic is troubling.

Cedar Realty schematic

This image comes from a demographic profile Cedar Realty Trust has on its website to market the entire Riverview shopping center along Columbus Boulevard from Washington Avenue down to Dickinson Street. Each property is listed with square footage and current tenants.

Rather than listing the Engine 46 property as available, as many others are, the schematic shows a Checkers with a drive-through and a parking lot.

Though we haven’t been able to confirm that this is correct, it appears to undermine CEO Bruce Schanzer’s statement, as relayed through Councilman Mark Squilla, that his company wanted to clear the land to make the lot more marketable to tenants. Schanzer also reportedly said that Cedar Realty was open to finding a new tenant for the current building.

But does this schematic mean they’ve had a plan all along and just didn’t want to tell neighbors that a drive-though Checkers would replace a distinctive building from 1894?

engine 46

The local property manager referred us to the corporate headquarters, where we left a message this morning. We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything back.

Thanks so much to the tipster who set us a link to this pdf. If you want us to help out, drop us an email to¬†, and we’ll do our best.




7 Responses to UPDATED: Why does Cedar Realty say a Checkers is located where Engine 46 is now?

  1. luchobucho August 5, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    It seems to me that a little bit of creativity and that area could be reinvigorated into a halfway decent entertainment destination. Keeping in mind that its on Columbus Blvd, it could still be home to a few more business that would compliment the theater (and maybe help to improve its image). Maybe a small additional building at the very corner of Columbus and Reed which would create a nice little courtyard, it would help screen some of the noise from Columbus Blvd. They could probably spend a little bit of money to nicen up the outdoor spaces. The thing that stinks about the theater is the lack of things to do once you get out of your movie. I liked the brew pub idea. Too bad the back of staples is so un-inviting.

  2. Joe August 6, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    It would be insultingly treasonous to the history of the city to demolish this firehouse to put up a Checkers.

  3. AnthonyG August 6, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    A effin’ Checker’s?! A crappy business that will just make MORE traffic problems and probably close up after 2-3 year stint.

  4. Philly Ray August 6, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    I bet this idea came from the same genius who designed the Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru set up in the Washington Ave shopping center.

    • Pennsporter August 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      The drive thru of the Dunkin’ Donuts on Washington Ave is one of the most confusing (and hilarious) set ups I have ever seen. I can’t even come up with a comparison…

  5. Samantha August 8, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    I wish one of our wonderful restaurantuers in Philadelphia would take a look at this space and create a dining concept inspired by the beautiful building.

  6. Michael McGettigan August 8, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    OK, Cedar Realty — what’s the bottom line? What rent are
    you asking for the firehouse site, as it is now? What rent have you
    been “marketing” the site for? And what is Checkers offering? Give
    a number to start with, so the community and the city and
    prospective tenants know the price they must meet. BTW, if I lived
    nearby, I would start a campaign to ID all of Cedar Reality’s
    properties with the strategy being: make an agreement NOW to
    develop the firehouse OR we will picket all the nearby businesses
    that rent from Cedar Properties, and encourage them all to
    move–rather than rent from vandals. — Michael McGettigan / trophy
    bikes northern liberties

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