The historical Bunting Home may face demolition after all, sources said.
Developers told neighbors that efforts to find suitable commercial tenants at 5901 Ridge Ave., and plans for demolition at the corner Victorian will proceed, according to multiple sources.
In a message to the Manayunk Neighborhood Council, President Kevin Smith shared this update on the Giovannone brother's attempts to find financially viable renters to avert demolition at the former home of Dr. Ross Bunting.
"At the meeting, they announced that, over the last two months of calling around, they had no luck with the various chains and local hospitals. Carl Primavera, representing the investors in 5901 Ridge LLC, said that they were prepared to go ahead with their original plan to demolish all the buildings in the hope of finding a buyer for cleared lots," Smith wrote.
A coalition of civic associations, represented by attorney Hal Schirmer, originally filed an appeal with the Department of License and Inspections in September when plans to demolish the Bunting Home, along with 5903-9 Ridge Ave and 520 Roxborough Ave., were approved by the city.
Frank and Tony Giovannone, Roxborough natives, legally secured permission to demolish four buildings to make vacant lots. The Central Roxborough Civic Association, Manayunk Neighborhood Council, Ridge Park Civic Association, Wissahickon Interested Citizens, and Wissahickon Neighbors Civic Association appealed that decision.
Initially, the property owners agreed to a 30-day discussion period to find alternate paths aside from demolition, which was extended through Nov. 29. The Giovannones met with the civics, Roxborough Development Corporation and Councilman Curtis Jones' office. The legal appeal was delayed to encourage talks.
Instead of knocking the Victorian building down, the Giovannones said they tried other projects—fast food or other restaurants, drug stores, etc. or possibly a medical building, Smith said.
On Friday, it was announced those plans failed.
Legally, the developers have city permission to demolish their property. However, an injunction hearing is set for Dec. 4, at 3:30 p,m., in Room 696 at City Hall. Schirmer said this won't be continued.