The PennDOT Driver License Center at Tasker Street and Columbus Boulevard has packed up shop and moved further south to 330 W. Oregon Avenue in the Whitman Plaza.
The move, which happened last month, is notable for two reasons. First, the area in and around Tasker Street and Water/Front Street is now infinitely safer (at least for other car drivers) given that there will no longer be continuous driving tests taking place throughout the day and on weekends.
Perhaps more importantly, it leaves a large, unused building up for grabs smack dab in the middle of the future spot of the Tasker Street Connector, you know, that access street thingy that looks to connect people in Pennsport to the southern portion of the Delaware River Trail and to the Pier 53 and Pier 68 projects that are under development.
Craig A. Yetter, community relations coordinator with PennDOT, explained the reasons behind the move. “We initially moved into the facility at Columbus Boulevard in late 1997 or early 1998,” Yetter said in an email. “The move to Oregon Avenue is part of our ongoing modernization efforts aimed at improving our service to our customers through upgrading our facilities statewide.” As per a recent press release regarding the move, the Whitman Plaza facility will continue to offer knowledge and on-the-road driver exams, have better parking and additional seating (this is the DMV, people).
The building appears to still be owned by an affiliate of developer Bart Blatstein’s Tower Investments, according to city records. Blatstein recently made plans to buy the huge lot across Columbus Boulevard for $13 million, so maybe there’s some dual corner action happening?
– James Jennings is the founder of the blog Pennsporter — a site dedicated to exploring the neighborhood from Washington to Snyder, the Delaware to Fourth.