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  1. #1
    Juntonian is offline Senior Member
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    Default Demolition at 5901-09 Ridge Avenue?

    Does anybody have any details regarding the proposed demolition of these existing properties (zoned C2)? The four lots (5901, 5905, 5907, 5909) are owned by 5901 Ridge LLC, and the stately Bunting House (c. 1880) at the corner of Ridge and Roxborough was until recently the home of The Erb Law Firm, which decamped for Paoli about the time that the aforementioned owner completed its purchase of the property last September. The new Licenses and Inspections website provides information about a proposed redevelopment of these lots from 2008, but I couldn't dig anything newer up. While that plan would have preserved this impressive corner manse while redeveloping the lots surrounding it (at that time including 520 Roxborough Avenue to the rear), I can't confirm that the new owner plans to do the same.

  2. #2
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    I really hope they don't tear down the Bunting House. That would be a damned shame and a disgrace, especially if it's torn down to build one of those horribly designed new construction that's going up all over the neighborhood.

  3. #3
    billy ross is offline Senior Member
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    The Giavannones own this. Their shop is right behind Kids First on Umbria. They seem to be doing parcel assemblage - they purchased the restaurant next door too. My guess is eight townhouses facing each other mews-style. It would be a shame if they took that place down.

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    taxgirl is offline Senior Member
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    To clarify, my firm (Erblaw) rented the space at the corner from 2004 to 2012. We signed a lease for Paoli this month, not last September, and the two events are not related.

    The new owners are renting the entire building, so far as we were told, to one tenant. I have never heard that the building was to be demolished. The near buildings were originally to be demolished and replaced with mixed commercial/residential by the previous owners but that project was shelved years ago - more or less after the bubble burst.
    Last edited by taxgirl; 09-04-2012 at 10:28 AM. Reason: added "last" before September for the sake of clarity
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    Juntonian is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the clarification taxgirl and apologies if I made it seem as though there were an interrelation between your move and the sale of the property. I'm heartened to hear from you that the Bunting House is, to your knowledge, not soon for the wrecking ball. It's a beautiful Second Empire house. BTW congratulations on your hard-won victory over T-Mobile. No surprise though that the only motivation to provide good customer service is bad press.

    I can confirm that a Mr. Giovannone owns the properties. Have there been any recent meetings or hearings concerning the redevelopment of these assembled parcels? I have it on good authority that demolition work is scheduled and can proceed by week's end.
    Last edited by Juntonian; 09-04-2012 at 11:37 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juntonian View Post
    I can confirm that a Mr. Giovannone owns the properties. Have there been any recent meetings or hearings concerning the redevelopment of these assembled parcels? I have it on good authority that demolition work is scheduled and can proceed by week's end.
    Check the sites for Central Roxborough Civic. I think that's their territory. If not then maybe the Wissahickon neighbors group.

  7. #7
    billy ross is offline Senior Member
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    Presently there are four large 19th Century houses on the east side of Ridge between Roxborough Avenue and the Rite Aid. All four have exceptionally deep lots, all four have the same owner, and all four are semi-derelict or derelict. Considering what has happened these past few years on both sides of Stanley's Hardware and on the north side of the old Curcio's Mobil / present TD Bank, and where the old Turner's Funeral Home used to be (at Ridge and Martin), I detect a pattern and I suspect those buildings aren't long for this world. I hope I'm wrong; I'll try to figure out what the deal is. I think when I was a kid there was a move to put a Burger King at that site, and the neighborhood put the kibosh on it; I remember being surprised that that old house on the corner managed to hang on. The big mansion is zoned for a large number of apartments; if it were me I'd rehab them and collect the rent, and that may be what they're doing, but something in my gut tells me they have other plans. It's a shame to watch the Dearnley Mansion and all of those gorgeous old houses I mentioned earlier come down in my lifetime, and at a seemingly accelerating pace. It just proves my point that in order for a town to maintain its architectural integrity it needs to go out of favor like Norristown and Germantown did; active demolition is much worse then benign neglect. One of the things I like about living in East Falls is that we fight this kind of nonsense tooth and nail, and we're usually successful at stopping it, at least in my adult lifetime, although I'm still bitter about the old East Falls Post Office, and I think some more of those Dobson's Mills buildings could have been saved.

    I know that the new Starbucks/Citizen's Bank block is fairly attractive and a nice addition to the neighborhood, and I'm glad to have a TD Bank instead of an abandoned gas station, but I wish these developers could find a way to reuse the old buildings and maybe do some infill around the older buildings like was done at the Ravenhill campus or is being done now with the Wayne Junction Train Station, or the amazing old mansions on West Johnson Street. I think that's what happened with the funeral home on Ridge above Domino, too.
    Last edited by billy ross; 09-04-2012 at 08:45 PM.

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    taxgirl is offline Senior Member
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    I can assure you that rehabbing the upstairs apartments to remain as apartments is not in the cards.
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  9. #9
    billy ross is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxgirl View Post
    I can assure you that rehabbing the upstairs apartments to remain as apartments is not in the cards.
    Renovating the building and leasing it to a single user sounds like it has some potential to be a good thing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post
    It's a shame to watch the Dearnley Mansion and all of those gorgeous old houses I mentioned earlier come down in my lifetime, and at a seemingly accelerating pace. It just proves my point that in order for a town to maintain its architectural integrity it needs to go out of favor like Norristown and Germantown did; active demolition is much worse then benign neglect. One of the things I like about living in East Falls is that we fight this kind of nonsense tooth and nail, and we're usually successful at stopping it, at least in my adult lifetime, although I'm still bitter about the old East Falls Post Office, and I think some more of those Dobson's Mills buildings could have been saved.

    I know that the new Starbucks/Citizen's Bank block is fairly attractive and a nice addition to the neighborhood, and I'm glad to have a TD Bank instead of an abandoned gas station, but I wish these developers could find a way to reuse the old buildings and maybe do some infill around the older buildings like was done at the Ravenhill campus or is being done now with the Wayne Junction Train Station, or the amazing old mansions on West Johnson Street. I think that's what happened with the funeral home on Ridge above Domino, too.
    Yes and the unfortunate thing is if this demolition of older, beautifully built homes continues, Roxborough will lose its uniqueness. It will be just another neighborhood with strips of chain stores like where Turner Funeral Home used to be; and big box structures like TD Bank. Replacing the gas station wasn't bad. I did not like the house next to it being torn down however.

    Hopefully the house on the corner of Ridge and Roxborough can be saved. The worst would be putting another damned parking lot at that location.

  11. #11
    taxgirl is offline Senior Member
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    Exclamation Worth noting

    I appear to be wrong on this one. While we were told that the building was to be rehabbed, there is a demo permit now active for this property - application was made on 9/6. It is to be completely demolished to be used for a vacant lot.

    Here's the link at L&I: City of Philadelphia: Home
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  12. #12
    billy ross is offline Senior Member
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    Ouch.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxgirl View Post
    I appear to be wrong on this one. While we were told that the building was to be rehabbed, there is a demo permit now active for this property - application was made on 9/6. It is to be completely demolished to be used for a vacant lot.

    Here's the link at L&I: City of Philadelphia: Home
    OMG.........this literally makes me want to throw up. That beautiful house is going to be a vacant lot. Those dirty, lying SOBs.

    Where was Curtis Jones on this? I find it hard to believe that there were no objections to the house being demolished. Or maybe it was a situation like I was reading about in the Inquirer last week. Residents in the Parkwood section of Northeast Philly suddenly found a wooded area ripped out, all to make room for a parking lot for David Tours. Their council person didn't let them know about it.

    City council is as useless as udders on a bull.
    Last edited by Debbie1125; 09-19-2012 at 08:58 PM.

  14. #14
    taxgirl is offline Senior Member
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    Debbie, it is my understanding that Councilman Jones was not aware of the demo permit and has, since, indicated that he would request a stay if there was proof that the community had not been involved in the process. I *highly* recommend you contact his office and spread the word!
    taxgirl
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  15. #15
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    From the outside it is a beautiful building that really looks nice on the Ridge. I guess its not a money maker?
    Like PS on Facebook!

  16. #16
    roxygirl2012 is offline Junior Member
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    Hi everyone, I used to live on the second floor of 5901 Ridge Ave and this is all news to me. We had lousy landlords when we moved in Feb 2010 and the place got put up for sheriffs auction sometime in 2011 because they let the mortgage go into default and did not pay taxes on any of the properties. All of the apartments were occupied up until June 2012 when we all got a notice to vacate. I asked the guys what was going on and they told me they were going to remodel all the apartments and rent them out again. There are still people living in the house at 5905 so I do not see how they can tear it down. I am aware of the historical significance of the Bunting House and want to get involved in stopping the demolition of all of the houses. I also know these guys bought the house across the street on Roxborough Ave, they most likely will try to tear that house down too, it has been vacant for about 4 years. I wanted to buy it and make it into a house for low income people just getting out of the Salvation Army in Roxborough. I am distressed to see that the house is set to be torn down and will be there to protest this. The owners were never revealed to us when the house was bought, just the fix it guys and an office manager, no one ever had any contact with the real owners who are in Conshohocken, PA. If anyone has any updates on this please let me know.

  17. #17
    phila58 is offline Junior Member
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    I am a former tenant at this address.My fiance and I were lied to by the new owners; they promised repairs and upgrades. Instead, we were given a notice of eviction. It was our understanding that the building was to be re-modeled and open for occupancy thereafter. The owners are scumbags; they lied to us and beat us on our security deposit. The building needs a historic marker to prevent the atrocities these persons have engaged in.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxgirl View Post
    Debbie, it is my understanding that Councilman Jones was not aware of the demo permit and has, since, indicated that he would request a stay if there was proof that the community had not been involved in the process. I *highly* recommend you contact his office and spread the word!
    Thanks! I will definitely get in touch with Councilman Jones. I've checked the websites for various neighborhood groups and looked at their meeting minutes. 5901 Ridge wasn't on any of them.


    I just posted on his Facebook page. Anyone reading this should do the same.
    Last edited by Debbie1125; 09-20-2012 at 07:51 AM.

  19. #19
    JoshC is offline Junior Member
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    Hi everybody,
    I just wanted to give a quick update on this property. To be clear, Councilman Jones and our office had no knowledge of the demolition permit. L&I doesnt not make us aware of every permit that is applied for by residents. I have been in contact with L&I with the hopes of having the permit revoked. I am waiting to hear back from them. Furthermore, I spoke to the developer. He claims the property is structurally unsound and that he does not have the financial resources to fix it. I have heard from numerous people today and yesterday. Feel free to contact me if you have further concerns.

    Regards,
    Josh Cohen
    Office of Councilman Curtis Jones Jr.
    (215) 686-3416 (City Hall)
    (215) 685-2547 (Roxborough office)

  20. #20
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    Great to see the councilman's office on top of this one!

    As to the developer's claim, the question is why did he conveniently tell NO ONE of his decision to tear down the house if he thought he had a clear rationale for it?

    Here's that "structurally unsound" house, from four years ago:

    https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q...ed=0CB4Q8gEwAA
    "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells


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