Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mixed Use Development Planned For Former Nabisco Site In Northeast Philadelphia

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
The new mixed-use development planned for the site of a former Nabisco bakery on the Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia will start with construction of a new super Wawa convenience store, according to developers of the former manufacturing site.

The Provco Group began demolition of the former Nabisco facility last month, and hopes to bring a new development that will better serve the neighborhood around the iconic cookie factory.

“We are thrilled to own this iconic, landmark property”, says Michael Cooley, vice president of real estate for The Provco Group. “The goal and commitment to our neighbors of the Somerton Civic Association and district councilman Brian O’Neill, is to create a project not only unique to Roosevelt Boulevard, but to the region.”

For many decades, the Nabisco factory, a 600,000 square-foot facility originally built by the National Biscuit Company in the 1950s, was famous for the aroma of fresh baked cookies that billowed throughout the neighborhoods. The baking operation ceased production in 2015 and the 27-acre property sold a year later to a joint venture led by Provco, Goodman Properties and MCB Real Estate. Shortly thereafter, a portion of the facility was leased to Jako Enterprises, a company that owns and operates over 50 retail sneaker stores under the Kicks USA brand.

When the project went public, Cooley says former Nabisco employees contacted him to express their respect and appreciation for the building, which provided more than 800 jobs at its peak.

“It was great to hear from former Nabisco employees,” Cooley says. “They asked me if I could save some of the bricks and give them away for keepsakes. This is a special place to many people, so I plan to also use some of those old bricks for the new streetscape amenities we’re building, so that a piece of the factory stands forever.”

With demolition underway, the first phase of development will deliver a Wawa convenience store and gas station pad, expected to begin construction this fall for a Summer 2018 opening.

The developers are looking for other retail tenants for the property.

“I am in dialogue with several, unique, retail and family entertainment concepts that don’t currently exist in this region,” Cooley says. “These types of uses would not only generate net-new jobs but also create a destination that draws folks from a distance. Ultimately, we want to provide uses that will better serve the neighborhood and are excited to work towards delivering a quality project that residents of Northeast Philadelphia can be proud of.”

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