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New York Developer Buys 26-Acre Nicetown Factory Site At Auction

The massive former Budd Co. manufacturing plant in the Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood of North Philadelphia in July 2017

A hulking former factory in a run-down neighborhood in North Philadelphia has been given new hope after being sold in an auction.

New York-based Plymouth Group submitted the winning bid for a 26-acre site along Hunting Park Avenue in Nicetown on which the Budd Co. manufacturing building sits, PlanPhilly reports. The factory, which used to turn out parts for airplanes, cars and trains, ceased operations in 2003 and has been vacant since.

The 1.8M SF building complex was once the prospective site for a casino developed by Donald Trump, for which plans were scuttled in 2005. The parcel eventually sold to a suburban buyer who sat on the deed for years, until the property was seized by the city over unpaid taxes and utility bills in October, according to PlanPhilly.

Plymouth Group principal Joshua Goldman did not disclose the amount of the winning bid, but did tell PlanPhilly that he has a redevelopment plan in mind. Plymouth, which has completed adaptive reuse projects in the Bronx but had never purchased a Philadelphia property before, envisions some combination of housing and creative space.

Knowing that Nicetown has been above average in crime and poverty rates since the collapse of the manufacturing industry that once dominated the neighborhood, Goldman told PlanPhilly that "there are some people who want to pay top dollar, but there are also people who want space and don't want to pay through the nose on rent."

Despite its current economic state, Nicetown sits near two growing, well-regarded neighborhoods in East Falls to the west and Germantown to the north. The site is located entirely within an opportunity zone, though Goldman did not indicate to PlanPhilly any plans to utilize the program.