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Grocery Store Coming to Mantua

Council's Rules Committee approved a bill this afternoon authorizing the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to acquire 17 properties for a grocery store development in the city's Mantua neighborhood.

The parcels would be stitched together with 65 others to assemble a site for a supermarket, northwest of Drexel University's campus.

"For many years, when the residents of Mantua have been asked what they would like to see in their neighborhood, a full-service supermarket has been near the top of the list," said Ed Covington, the redevelopment authority's executive director.

Covington did not say when the project could begin, but he called the 17 parcels "the final step in assembling the land necessary to make the dream ... a reality."

No developer for the site has been named, but Aquinas Realty Partners is considered the leading candidate. Aquinas last year won $2.7 million in state funding for the project.

Aquinas also lists the project - dubbed Westview Plaza on its website - as one of the company's current ventures. According to the website, Westview Plaza would be home to the first supermarket in Mantua in more than 30 years.

The plaza would include a "suburban-style supermarket and additional pad-site retail," bound by Wallace Street and Haverford Avenue, stretching from 36th to 38th Streets, according to Aquinas.

Council could give the bill, which was sponsored by Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, a first hearing on Thursday. That's also the day of the grand opening of Bottom Dollar Food on Girard Avenue - another supermarket project brought to fruition with government support in an under-served neighborhood.

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