The new Burlington Coat Factory and Bob's Furniture stores planned for the long-dormant shopping center at Cottman & Castor Aves. in Northeast Philadelphia are on track to join Hibachi Grill, Toys R Us and others for an opening, likely this fall, says owner Kimco Realty Corp.
Kimco is a big national shopping operator which also owns the Cottman & Bustleton, Great Northeast and Frankford sites in NE Phila, plus 242-4 Market in Center City, Suburban Square in Ardmore, Centre Square in Blue Bell, Devon Square, and many other suburban centers. State Sen. Mike Stack, D-Phila., and other local elected officials told neighbors about the new stores back in April. Stack also said a TJMaxx was likely, but talks at that chain are still underway, last we heard.
Why the sudden interest in an old corner where Lit Bros. and later Clover's (the discount arm of Strawbridge's) and JCPenney's reigned years ago (see Northeast Times report here)? At a time of much uncertainty among suburban mall operators and others vulnerable to online sales, investors like Cedar Realty Trust's Bruce Schanzer have told us that rowhouse Philadelphia looks like a safe bet, with its high population of owner-occupants, who, no matter businesses migrate line, will have to live and eat somewhere in the future, investors figure.