Mantua: Vacant Storefronts May Mean Opportunity

Samantha Martz polished silver for sale.
Samantha Martz polished silver for sale.

The site at 3911 Lancaster Ave. was once home to a furniture store, then it was home to a Salvation Army, but then it became another vacant Philadelphia storefront. Hidden behind mature pear trees, people driving by likely took little note. It sat vacant for three years, until this year, when someone did take note of it and Reseller’s Central Market opened its doors to the public.

“Lancaster Avenue once was like a really bustling, thriving, part of the city. Now it’s a little run down,” employee Samantha Martz said.

She said Drexel University was giving grants to business to open on the street because of its proximity to the campus and student residencies.

Selling household furniture as well as clothes, the business was becoming a part of the community.

“Around here word of mouth goes a long way because everyone knows each other,” Martz said. “A lot of the people in the neighborhood come in, then the next day their family members come in.”

The store includes a vast back display area and intake bay.

One of the perks of working in a large consignment and thrift shop was seeing the ever fluctuating items being taken in.

“I get a kick out of opening up the boxes back there because you never know what you’re going to find,” employee Susan Cantone said.

With many college students looking to furnish their new Mantua apartments nearby, it seemed to be an opportune time to open up shop. The location also benefited from trolley service out front.

With a burgeoning community and Drexel University incentives, other vacant store fronts in the area may soon fill up.

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