Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Breaking Ground at Cottman & Castor!

Dave and Elisa with their golden shovels.

all the people that make the projects happen

Clover in the mid 80s?
bringing the site into the 21st century
1954... the original

Dave, Elisa, Katie and Mike Schmitt have been working diligently for the last few months to get the Cottman and Castor job off the ground for Kimco Realty. This morning, ground was sort of broken for the project, if you count just holding a ceremonial golden shovel as breaking ground.  Other than no ground actually being broken, it was your typical celebratory event complete with all the local politicians and deal makers.  There was a ceremonial sledgehammer to take down some of the existing building.  Although this particular project isn't the most glamorous, it is a pretty big deal for the Great Northeast. What was once a Lit Brothers store eons ago, then a Gimbels, and then a Clover store, and then JC Penny for a short while, then just a vacant building for a long time, is now going to be given new life as a Burlington Coat Factory, a Bob's Discount Furniture and a soon to be TJ Maxx if everything goes as planned.  So the site has a long and storied history as a retail anchor in the Bustleton neighborhood.  This is a game changer for this area, which believe it or not happens to have the highest concentration of retail in Philadelphia outside of Center City.


  1. Sorry that owners Kimco aren't demolishing that Clover store facade, but instead will repaint it. The building will still have that ugly short-lived disco-era sloped look of the 1970s. It would be more attractive and a better visual magnet to bring back the original simple but elegant storefront look that Lits built back in the late 1950s. Also, Kimco doesn't list TJ Maxx as a tenant as of May 27, 2013 rendering on its web site. What's the story on that omission?

  2. Clarification....the Kimco photo rendering is May 27, 2014 on its site. Also, the Gimbels store you refer to was actually at Cottman and Bustleton avenues. It is now anchored by a Sears store, and has retained the same architectural lines as the original 1960s store, even while expanding its footprint with more smaller stores. That would have been a good lesson for Kimco in renovating its "Castor Place" property.