Part of Girard Estate’s Quartermaster Plaza, located at 24th and Oregon, is likely to get a makeover in the coming years, according to the property’s owner, Cedar Realty Trust. Plans for redeveloping the northern side of the plaza – that is the part of the plaza north of Oregon Avenue – include adding two apartment buildings with 268 total new rental apartments. The smallest studio apartments will be priced starting at $750 a month*. The facades on the buildings will get a facelift, and an additional residents-only parking garage will be built underneath the new apartment buildings, in addition to the larger parking lot for customers.
“We are dedicated to connecting the neighborhood to the shopping center and really creating a neighborhood when we do our redevelopment,” said Cedar’s chief operating officer, Robin Zeigler, at a community meeting Thursday night. “We’re focused on grocery-anchored shopping centers, but we also have a big part of our strategic plan to do urban mixed-use development.”
Currently, the grocery anchor is ShopRite, which it will continue to be, post-redevelopment (although the building will be outfitted with a new facade to match the new development). Several other retailers, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Rainbow, LA Fitness and Ross will also continue to stay at the location throughout the redevelopment. According to Zeigler, none of the businesses will close while construction is going on.
The development team assured residents that the plan for the property was to maintain it for long-term use.
“This is not a situation where someone is looking for approvals to enhance the value of the property for the seller and flip it,” said Ron Patterson, Cedar’s zoning attorney. “This is a publicly held company, which means that they have a long-term interest here.”
However, that’s not to say that all the plans are set in stone. The designs, as they currently stand, are preliminary and subject to change.
“As we evolve, things may change along the way, but we do like to engage and create a partnership with our community,” said Zeigler. “Our goal is that we are creating a place that becomes a staple in your life.”
Zeigler said that Cedar likes to hold public events on its properties, “like seasonal holiday events, tree lightings, a concert series in the summer, Eagles game [events] – things of that nature as part of our marketing and programming events that we will be doing at the property.”
Zeigler said she expects the plaza to be constructed over phases during a three-year period.
Cedar owns one other property in South Philly called Riverview Plaza, which is between I-95 and the Delaware River along Reed Street in Pennsport. The company also owns Port Richmond Village in Port Richmond, Lawndale Plaza in Lawndale and Academy Plaza in West Torresdale.
*The print version of this article in Wednesday’s SPR said that the apartments would be between $1,600 and $1,900, which is what Zeigler stated at the public meeting. The development team has since changed tune, but maintained that these numbers are “early estimates” since the “project is still in the early planning stages,” according to Cedar Realty spokesperson Kyle Fitzpatrick.