Veterans group proposes moving to vacant space in Roxborough
A potential buyer showed interest in the vacant property at 504-508 Hermit St. in Roxborough at a meeting of the Wissahickon Neighbors Civic Association on Monday night.
The 2,900 square-foot building, located just off of Ridge Avenue was formerly the headquarters of the Wissahickon Community Ambulance service. After a proposal by Domino's Pizza to create a sit-down restaurant there fell through last month, the property's fate remains uncertain.
The Adam Kowalski Post 1 Polish, a military veterans organization formerly located on 133 Shurs Ln., sold their property due to financial woes. At Monday's meeting, the group expressed interest in relocating to the Hermit Street property.
The Kowalski Post had been running monthly expenses that averaged $3,000 to $4,000. That became unsustainable due to dwindling membership, said Paul T. Sosnowski, the representing lawyer for the Kowalski Post.
The former property was sold to a developer for a price that would allow the Kowlaski Post to buy, refurbish and maintain the Hermit Street location "for many years to come," Sosnowski said.
Those in attendance expressed concern about the organization's financial situation and its dwindling membership possibly driving the organization out of business in the near future, opening the property back up to vacancy again.
Another concern voiced was the Kowalski Post's proposed renting of the new property for events by outside groups. With less parking spaces at the Hermit Street location than at their previous Shurs Lane property, parking and noise for these events served as a worry for some of those attending the meeting.
Sosnowski noted the organization has been around for nearly 90 years and has a history of getting along with neighbors as assurance against these concerns. Sosnowski said he hopes this will help the Kowalski Post avoid a fate similar to the Domino's proposal.
A Wendy's that was proposed along the same commercial strip, at the vacant Bunting House on the corner of Ridge and Roxborough avenues, was approved in January, however the restaurant's essential drive-thru variance request was denied by the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The decision was appealed by attorneys representing Wendy's and arguments are to be heard in the Court of Common Pleas this month.
The Kowlaski Post did not formally submit their proposal and said it isn't seeking a zoning variance, but came to the meeting to voice its interest in the property.
The WNCA will be taking a summer recess and will next meet on Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pilgrim Church located at 3815 Terrace St.