Editor’s note: This could be a game changer if it can be pulled off. Hoping it is a success.
From Bruce Webb’s chair, pulled to the entryway of his record and cassette store on Ridge Avenue, the decay is inescapable. Across the street, a faded sign for Irv’s Meat Market & Delicatessen boasts, “Home of the Giant Hoagie.” Next door, Ahn’s Fresh Fish & Produce is for sale.
Both stores are vacant, and have been for years.
One recent day, Webb saw two younger men photographing the crumbled Irv’s storefront. Speculators, Webb dubbed them.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Webb, 81, said. “Change is coming.”
The source of that proposed change to a once-vibrant business corridor that stretched from Girard College to Cecil B. Moore Avenue is an unlikely one: the Philadelphia Housing Authority.