Some readers have noticed activity in the old Salvation Army building at 4342-44 Frankford Avenue. They packed up shop last year and since that time it has been vacant. Since our unfortunate experience with the opening of NET and Wedge without our support, people are very concerned about any changes on the Avenue that may be counter productive to improving our community.
I contacted Jorge Santana, Chief of Staff for Tony Payton and he updated me on what is happening with the property. It is listed for sale with Ken Blum of Benjamin Jacobson Associates for 1.2 million dollars.
As Jorge reported:
Since getting in touch with Ken Blum, I have been working very closely with him. I have made it clear to him that the building cannot by any means be sold for a purpose the Frankford community does not want, and that the community is ready and willing to use any legal means necessary to ensure the building falls into good hands.
That said, I see this as a major opportunity for Frankford. I believe the building is perfectly suited for a charter school or vocational/trades school like Devry, Thomson, or Orleans Technical. We will be reaching out to local charters to see if they are interested in the property. We also have meetings throughout January planned to show the property to other reputable charters not currently in the neighborhood.
Its good to know that Payton’s office is on the case. I agree that this can be an opportunity and it will be if we all stick together and make sure it goes that way. It’s a simple issue. Our political leaders will do what we tell them to do if we speak loudly enough and in the right way. We rolled over too easily for Wedge and NET. Let’s make sure it does not happen again. Stay tuned for further information.
6 thoughts on “Salvation Army Building Available”
I wouldn’t open a school there if I were shopping for a building. The problem is , who would attend a school located on Frankford Avenue? How could the school make a profit? As nice as it for community groups to think they have a say in any building sales on the Avenue its just not realistic or true. The buildings will sell to whomever has the money and desire to purchase them. That is the reality of the stuation. those kind of schools open in nicer, safer locations. There was a group of people looking to open a casino training school in Frankford for example before Mayor Nutter messed up that oportunity for Philadelphia. The main reason they rejected Frankford was safety concerns, number two was the PPA and parking issues. If the elected officials had any interest in helping Frankford improve they would do something legislatively to regulate the treatment facilities in Frankford but instead Frankford is the city’s dumping ground for them. Philadelphia had an opportunity to work with slot parlor developers to get something out of it for the city after the State decided that those parlors were coming here a smarter Mayor would have worked the situation to get maximum benefit for the neighborhoods and use it as an economic development engine. The voters gave control of their neighborhoods away a long time ago and they are not smart enough to take it back. Busines districts like water will find their own level. Community organizations are only as strong as their elected officials and like elected officials are most effective when they are organized and on the same page as each other.
The change that Frankford needs is not going to come from the top. The pols of any party cannot be counted on to do our thinking for us. When the change comes, it will rise up from the bottom. We will either do it ourselves or it will not get done. As far as influencing the sale of real estate, I agree. People will invest where they want. On the other hand, we have the same right to oppose the undesirable use of that real estate.
Without the support of elected officials our community groups can not accomplish anything from the bottom, the sides the top or the rear. But everyone has the right to complain and protest all they want.
I agree that parking at this location is a problem- I am unsure if there is a parking lot on Griscom Street for the building.
However a trade school has recently opened in Frankford- on Church Street a block off the avenue (it’s for nurses aides), and the Independent Electricians (not sure about the actual name of the group) presented a plan to the Frankford Civic to open up a training school in Frankford. So not everyone is so concerned about safety or the lack thereof. I believe the excellent public transportation to Frankford and the unfortunate abundance of relatively cheap real estate actually make Frankford a good location for training schools.
That being said the 1.2 million dollar price tag may keep this building from moving any time soon. Seems a bit pricey for the avenue, especially the southern end.
I looked there when I was at the Quicky Mart I spoke to Harry there. He told me the Salvation Army building has no parking of its own. He claims that the lot is for PNC, liquor store, Quicky Mart etc but not that building. There is on street parking on Griscom behind it and metered parking on Frankford.
Related to the parking issue, the Salvation Army is also selling their property on Griscom Street, to the rear of the main building. That might be available for parking.
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