Monday, April 29, 2013

Drexel snags parcel it has coveted for decades for $9 million

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal

Drexel University finally got it.
It took what some peg at 20 to 30 years, but Drexel bought the Firestone Auto repair property that sits right in the heart of the university’s campus in West Philadelphia.
The school paid $8.95 million for the triangular-shaped parcel at 3161-67 Market St. that sits between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and 32nd Street. The acquisition is part of Drexel’s 30-year master plan that was adopted last year.
“Basically, the boss said to get it and we went out and got it,” said Jim Tucker, senior vice president of student life and administrative services at Drexel. “It’s the hole in the center of the campus that we did not own. You don’t want a Firestone auto shop in the middle of your research university.”
The site totals 26,675 square feet, or a little more than a half acre. The existing building totals 19,443 square feet.
When Drexel took another stab at buying the site, it was rebuffed yet again. The school was told that auto shop was one of the highest grossing Firestone’s on the East Coast and there was no interest in selling. It took eight months of talking to different people at Firestone and Bridgestone to finally strike a deal, Tucker said.
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