The New York-based owner of the Engine 46 firehouse in South Philadelphia said Wednesday that he would consider sparing the 19th-century landmark from demolition if a tenant can be found, according to City Councilman Mark Squilla.
The offer came from Bruce Schanzer of Cedar Realty Trust during a meeting with Squilla and James E. Moylan, president of the Pennsport Civic Association. Along with city preservationists, the men have been working since June to save the gabled redbrick structure next to I-95 on Reed Street.
"I'm cautiously optimistic," Squilla said after the meeting. "We have something to work on now."
While Schanzer made the offer without providing any time frame, Squilla noted that Cedar has no current plans for the site, which includes a large cinderblock building facing Columbus Boulevard. Schanzer's company builds and manages shopping centers and was hoping that a cleared site would be more attractive to potential tenants, Squilla recounted.