Nabisco Factory to Be Sold, Tower to Be Demolished

The Northeast Philly Nabisco building

(Image via Google Street View)

The interchange of Roosevelt Boulevard and Woodhaven Road in the Far Northeast isn’t much of an intersection. But it’s actually pretty interesting: At one corner there’s Crown Holdings, a Fortune 500 company that is actually the No. 1 manufacturer of food cans in the world. Across Woodhaven there’s the old BASCO Showroom, designed by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. Behind that is Philadelphia’s version of Levittown, Normandy, a community built by former Levitt & Sons vice president Norman D. Denny.

Across the street there’s the old Nabisco factory, which until its recent closure made the Far Northeast smell like cookies for decades. Also, in the shopping center that used to have BASCO — it’s now a self-storage place — there’s a Steve’s Prince of Steaks. It’s a pretty happenin’ place for the Far Northeast, okay?

Big changes could be coming to that intersection. Mondelēz International, the snack food maker, owns the Nabisco brand and the factory though a series of mergers. It closed the plant last year; Mondelēz said it was concentrating on modern plants in New Jersey and Virginia. Union officials say the company wants to outsource production to Mexico. This was one of the plant closings that led to Donald Trump vowing to never eat Oreos again. This issue goes across partisan lines: U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democrat, held an event with a “Say No to Oreo” sign.

Now, the tower portion of the factory is going away. Mondelēz is selling the building to an out-of-state buyer. The sale price for the 27.5-acre site was not disclosed, though the asking price was $25 million. The Philadelphia Business Journal first reported the news yesterday. Read more »

Morning Headlines: Homeownership in the Far Northeast Increases, As the City’s Rate Plummets

home for sale

The city may be among the largest with high homeownership rates, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a significant fall. In a Pew report released this past Wednesday, Philadelphia was found to have a 7.1 percentage-point decline– the second-highest drop in homeownership in comparison to other major cities.

According to the Inquirer’s Alan J. Heavens, the study reports the plunge took place between 2000 and 2012, and that its main catalyst was the infamous “real estate downturn that followed the bursting of the housing bubble in 2006-07,” as well as other general recession fruits (“stagnant incomes,” “rising home prices,” and “tight credit”).

Concrete reasons for the homeownership downturn, however, are harder to come by. Pew study director Larry Eichel believes Philly had a “higher starting point in terms of homeownership, so it had further to drop,” but that there’s “no hard data on which to base a firm conclusion.”

Plus, there is that thing about student-loan debt. As Heavens puts it, “young professionals who once were the chief source of first-time buyers are either wary of homeownership or burdened by student-loan debt.” And yet, there is one section of the city that has had its homeownership go up (granted, just by 1%): Read more »