Less than two years ago, Cardone Industries invited Philadelphia City Council members Marian Tasco and Bobby Henon to company headquarters at 5501 Whitaker Ave. to announce a $3.4 million grant from the city-administered Stormwater Management Incentives Program (STIP) to replace pavement with porous materials so as to cut dirty rainwater runoff into Tacony Creek and other streams.

The Whitaker Ave. plant will remain open, and home to Cardone's corporate offices and warehouse, even as Cardone prepares to scale back its Brakes Division at 5670 Rising Sun Ave., end more than 1,300 Philadelphia jobs (including workers represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 252) and move production to Matamoros, Mexico, over the next two years, spokesman Kevin Feeley says.

Whatever space goes empty when Cardone is done winding down the brake operations -- leaving about 1,000 employees plus any new high-tech hires -- broker Richard Gorodesky of Colliers International plans to help Cardone find new users as needed.  "The scope and timing of which have yet to be decided," Gorodesky told me.

He notes that other ex-Cardone factories readily found new industrial users: Elegant Lighting Inc. now occupies Cardone's former 500 and 500 (rear) Erie Ave. works; Common Market, the local-sourcing food distributor, is down the street at 428-454 East Erie Ave.; and Northeast Building Products bought 327 Chew Ave.