SINCE ITS 2010 groundbreaking, the 51,000-square-foot building at 2nd Street and Girard Avenue that was supposed to anchor the final piece of developer Bart Blatstein's Northern Liberties vision has remained empty.
It was a Northern Liberties dream deferred, possibly forever, especially after Pathmark's parent company, A&P, declared bankruptcy last winter.
But this morning, rebranded as a Superfresh and staffed by 120 area residents, the new supermarket opens - offering fresh seafood from the Philadelphia Fish Market, regionally raised poultry and beef, locally grown produce, an in-store bakery, and a pharmacy with patient counseling, immunizations and free home delivery.
"When we first looked at our real estate after we filed for bankruptcy, this was not a store we had a lot of optimism about opening," Sam Martin, A&P's CEO, told the Daily News. "Then I had a conversation with Mayor Nutter, and he gave me a vision for Northern Liberties that I hadn't thought about.