A long-vacant Northeast Philadelphia department store property will be occupied and open for business by the Christmas shopping season.
What had been a JCPenney store at Castor and Cottman avenues will be home to a Bob’s Furniture store and two clothing stores, according to Ryan Mulvey, an aide to state Rep. John Sabatina Jr.
“They’ll be quality stores, too,” Mulvey said Monday.
Work was started March 4 by Kimco, a Maryland developer, Mulvey said. There was a groundbreaking ceremony attended by local business owners, Sabatina, state Rep. Mark Cohen and state Sen. Mike Stack.
Each business will occupy one of the building’s three floors, Mulvey said. He said the expectation is Bob’s and one of the clothing stores will be open and ready for customers by the beginning of this year’s holiday shopping season.
He said Sabatina has been in constant contact with Kimco.
“We always wanted to see something happen at the corner,” Mulvey said.
JCPenney closed its store at 2001 Cottman Ave. in 2003. Before Penney used the property, it had been a Clover store, and before that it was a Lit Brothers department store. Once well-known, both of those chains that operated at the property no longer exist and are part of a Philadelphia retail history that includes such long-gone stores as Wanamaker’s, Strawbridge’s, Gimbel’s and Snellenburg’s. ••