40th Street retail to be finished April 2014
The Methodist Episcopal Church was supposed to be demolished in October 2012
September 15, 2013, 12:20 pm · Updated September 15, 2013, 5:50 pm·
After many delays, new pizza and frozen yogurt options are coming soon to University City.
In April 2014, construction will be complete on the 7,000 square foot retail space on 40th and Sansom streets, replacing the Methodist Episcopal Church. Retailers for the space include Dunkin’ Donuts, frozen yogurt shop Whirled Peace and Zesto Pizza.
Zesto Pizza takes the spot of Philadelphia Chutney Company, which recently backed out of the project. The fourth and final tenant has not yet been announced.
“There’s people who like to eat near Penn’s campus,” Peter Shaw, co-founder of developer P&A Associates, said. “The atmosphere is hopefully good food.”
The space will open after much anticipation and delay.
P&A Associates originally purchased the church in 2007 for $2 million. Hidden City Philly reported in September 2011 that the church would be demolished by the end of the year.
In October 2012, Shaw told The Daily Pennsylvanian that the demolition would take place by the end of the month. However, in November 2012, Shaw told the DP that he could not give any specific information on the construction timeline at that time.
The church has still not been knocked down. Since the Philadelphia Historical Commission does not consider it historic, it cannot impede its demolition. Shaw has yet to comment on why there have been such delays and when construction will begin.
Despite the wait, Whirled Peace is excited to open its doors in University City.
“Our decision to come to University City is an easy one,” owner Jesse Frank said. “It’s right in the heart of Philadelphia’s young populations.”
Whirled Peace distinguishes itself from other frozen yogurt offerings through their social and environmentally conscious initiatives. All cutleries are fully compostable, which means they completely break down in proper facilities.
They also give a portion of their proceeds each week to a different “cause of the week,” and often conduct coat and food drives.
“We try to take what our customers give us in terms of suggestions for organizations and try to diversify our giving as much as possible,” Frank said.
Frank was optimistic about the opening of the retail space, and added that while he thinks they will be open by spring or summer 2014, he would love to be open by Spring Fling.
“All the tenants are patiently and anxiously waiting to begin their build out,” Frank said.