It’s official: Urban Jungle is expanding to Pennsport.
Owner Curt Alexander presented his plans for a second garden shop in front of the Pennsport Civic Association last night.
“Our shop on Passyunk Avenue is bursting at the seams,” Alexander said as he explained the plans to revamp the space at 1721-25 S. Water Street near Target. Retail will only be a portion at the new operations as Alexander mentioned he wanted to focus on the landscape displays and even create a space to host various events such as wedding receptions.
“This will also be our operations headquarters for landscaping, green roofs and green walls,” said Alexander, who cited the ease of access to the highway for regional projects as a highlight for the space. Noting he wants to “get creative” with the front of the building and side lot, Alexander said the gate will open inward and signage will rest above the entrance, creating the garden experience. A green roof will be on the front of the smaller building and large trees will screen the storage area in the rear of the property.
He also mentioned that the idea is to “soften” the former recycling site and to make it look more attractive. The current set up is mostly comprised of hard industrial surfaces and framed in cinder block. Here’s a rough idea of what that would look like:
Alexander said he would start work on the site as soon as he received an approval from the Pennsport Civic Association, who seemed to be receptive to the garden center. The plan is to start receiving Christmas trees in November to ramp up for the holiday season. The Water Street shop will supply the flagship on East Passyunk Avenue with trees, wreaths and garland. “The Passyunk Avenue store will have more retail space as a result of this expansion and we will keep all of our equipment and vehicles at the Water Street location,” said Alexander.
1721 Water St. might sound a little familiar to you. That’s because it’s the former site of F&J Scrap, the recycling center that got into a little hot water and eventually moved to Whitman. Neighbors in attendance seemed to be pleased to see a well-established local business replace the recycling center.
– James Jennings is the founder of the blog Pennsporter — a site dedicated to exploring the neighborhood of Pennsport from Washington to Snyder, the Delaware to Fourth.