Councilman Darrell Clarke and state representative Michelle Brownlee had a great deal of support last week as they presented their updated project plans for the supermarket at 31st and Girard Avenue. Soloff Realty is buying the site from Westrum Development and building a Bottom Dollar, similar to the one they just put up in the Oak Lane section of Philadelphia on N. Broad Street. The development site first received attention in 2009 when the Community Design Collaborative, which provides preliminary design work to nonprofits and communities, worked on a conceptual design for the site through its Infill Philadelphia design initiative. The conceptual design by Interface Studio Architects explored strategies for redeveloping a sloping, hard-to-develop site,” said Linda Dottor, program manager at CDC. The final plans for the site call for an 18K-square-foot Bottom Dollar, 5K square feet of additional retail stores, a 94-care parking lot along Girard Avenue, 16 Westrum homes along Thompson Street on the back side of the site and landscape screening throughout.
The supermarket would serve Brewerytown, Strawberry Mansion and Fairmount, and will be located in an area that hasn’t had a proper supermarket in more than 10 years. The market will be open from 7am to 9pm, carry 30K items including fresh meats and produce, offer 70 percent national brands and 30 percent private labels and have one tractor trailer delivery per day. A small number of people were against the project (less than 5 percent), but concerns were mostly about the facade’s appearance, deliveries and traffic on 31st Street. The developer needs to get zoning approval (no variances) to continue with the agreement of sale and they hope to begin construction in 9 months (would like to open in 2012). Westrum will be giving another presentation when plans have developed further and they have received some public money for site work (which will be more expensive than “normal”). —-Caitlin Connors