Bunting House to Become a Wendy's

The property where the old Victorian home once stood is slated to become a Wendy's

Developers in charge of construction on the site of the former Bunting House revealed plans on Friday to build a Wendy's fast food restaurant where the historic home once stood, according to Central Roxborough Civic Association lawyer Hal Schirmer.

Constructed in the 1880s, the Victorian style home located at 5901 Ridge Ave. was demolished in mid-December after several civic organizations petitioned the city to stop its destruction.

Giovannone Construction, Inc. went ahead with the demolition after a Court of Common Pleas Judge denied an injunction filed by the Central Roxborough Civic Association and other civic organizations.

At the hearing in Dec., Hal Schirmer, attorney for the neighbors, asserted the city erred in issuing demolition permits as "vacant lot" is not an official use. He argued that demolition should be put off until either the L&I Review Board and/or the ZBA could rule on it.

Also at the Dec. hearing, the city asserted, through its attorney Andrew Ross, that "vacant lot" is the absence of a zoning use, and that city employees correctly granted the Giovannones permits.

The now demolished home was formerly owned by Dr. Ross Hunting, a noted physician in the early 20th century, who is buried across the street at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church.

"They told the neighbors they were going to build something nice," Schirmer said.  "Now we find out it's going to be a Wendy's."

RoxGuy February 24, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Not a troll. Just offended by wendys thinly veiled racism.
RoxGuy February 24, 2013 at 09:29 PM
whats wrong with you? what do you have against the students of Gtown? How are school kids mucking up your neighborhood?
Jessica February 24, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Agree Ryan...I so agree.
Neil February 25, 2013 at 05:25 PM
I wish they could put in a gastropub but a liquor license is really expensive and I think too much of a risk for a restaurant like that to invest in. I'm not a big fan of them but I think our best bet would be to get a chain like Applebee's or Friday's to open up there. It would be really nice if a place with Sunday ticket would open there like a Buffalo Wild Wings.
roxkb February 25, 2013 at 05:42 PM
i am so disgusted by this. we bought a house off ridge and rox last year - if i had known that in a year i would be living around the corner from a 24 hour fast food restaurant, i would have had second thoughts about buying our house. and shame on you, Giovannone Construction. shame on you for tearing down a piece of history and for lying to an entire community.
Hal Schirmer February 25, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Here's a crazy suggestion - The permits for the 4 story neo-urbanist residential-commercial building on Ridge that was previously approved are sitting in the L&I file. Use them. Get a high end gastro pub as the anchor. Use the Coyle's liquor license, or the liquor license from the shuttered Gril's at Terrace. Remaining floors could be residential or medical offices. Build THAT.
poorrichard February 25, 2013 at 06:41 PM
I am not against the idea of a Wendy's in Roxborough, however this location is not the ideal site. It cheapens the neighborhood and helps to pollute the immediate area. One commenter was correct regarding the potential of trouble due to the proximity to the Rec center. I further predict a shooting within six months of opening in the new Roxborough.
Debbie Thomas February 25, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Also, you're going to have kids from Roxborough and Saul H.S. going there. I've seen fights break out quite a few times at the Wissihickon Transfer Center between the those two schools. It might be too far to walk but kids now have those free Transpasses. No, a Wendy's definitely will not be a good addition to Ridge.
Philajersey February 25, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Everything that has been proposed on that site(Ridge and Cathedral) since the early 90s has been turned down becuase of the pull that Cathedral Village has. They will NOT allow a fast food place to be built on that site, much less, anything else. I truly believe that will forever be a vacant lot.
ll February 25, 2013 at 07:53 PM
eveywhere in Ridge has high fat options.... Having a Wendys will be good for young famalies who dont drive. Who instead have to take 1 or 2 buses depending on where the are going,, Its a decent location, with enough buffer from the noce creatd, into the hood.. rox-myk needed this
Philajersey February 25, 2013 at 08:03 PM
I'm on the same plane as poorrichard. As a Rox resident in the past, I always wanted more variety in fast food sources in Roxborough. You can only have so much Deli's, Alex's, etc.etc before you need a change. McDonalds was the ONLY option (other than the terrible Burger King that lasted about 8 years in Ivy RidgeSC) (and the RoyRogers that went out of business, then Boston Market(yuck!) now Dunkin Donuts at Ivy Ridge SC) BUT, Ridge and Roxborugh has to be the WORST corner/area for a fast food place. TOTALLY out of place for a Wendy's, the traffic at that intersection will be a nightmare, and the ruffians will be a plenty. BAD news for that area.
Michael Grady February 25, 2013 at 08:09 PM
I welcome them with open arms. I don't eat at fast-food places often (maybe once or twice a month) but it beats having to drive all the way out on Ridge Pike for lunch.. Besides that, their food is good.. and they have baked potatoes, which I love!! But, a Chick-fil-a would have been my first choice.
Tina H February 25, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I agree with Hal. I would patronize a gastro pub or other non-chain restaurant. The world is bland enough without Ridge Avenue looking like every highway in New Jersey.
Michael Grady February 25, 2013 at 08:22 PM
Speaking of abandoned buildings... the house at 259 Cinnaminson was very nice until the kids from the neighborhood, I'm sure, completely vandalized and destroyed it. It's a real shame.. drive by and take a look at it! The RPCA voted down a plan to build four single homes and six townhouses there and I also voted to deny the owner his plans. it has sat empty for at least four years.. and as a result it was sold at sheriff's sale February 5th.... stay tuned
Caitlin February 25, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Well then surely you can appreciate the leaps and bounds we've made if we're now complaining about a Wendy's and no longer a drug problem? I would only hope that our residents continue to strive for the betterment of our community. There's a difference between whining and standing up for something you believe in.
wendy February 25, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Why does there have to be another place to eat? Our society is so obsessed with eating, chefs and cooks are like rock stars, an entire cable network devoted to eating while obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are on the rise. The old Golden lot is going to be a Planet Fitness, with all the kids who play sports in the area why not a nice sporting goods store?
Debbie Thomas February 25, 2013 at 11:36 PM
You're right Wendy. I have pretty strong willpower but even I get hungry watching these shows: Diners, Drive Ins and Drives, Man vs Food, etc. These shows make it look acceptable because the hosts are always shoving food in the mouths. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with showing good places to eat. I can also understand why so many Americans are fat. Those portions are HUGE!
Jami Gudknecht February 26, 2013 at 04:06 PM
This is just horrible!! A friend of mine lived in one of the places that was torn down by Giovannone. She paid her rent every month and on time. She's horribly sick, had both of her kids living with her and two small grandchildren living there too. They forcefully evicted her. They couldn't even allow her to get her Xmas decorations (about 30 yrs worth) out of the basement. When she went in to move her stuff out, she found her cat with it's neck broken. These "people" knew EXACTLY what they were doing the entire time. That's all we need. A Wendy's. A new hang out for the bussed in Roxborough HS GARBAGE to hang out at. Oh amd lets not forget all the gtown HS kids that'll now be attending Rox HS. As a lifelong resident, I'm sick to my stomach over what the neighborhood is becoming. They are over developing EVERYWHERE. Putting ugly, thrown together houses anywhere they can shove them in at. It's disgusting and something needs to be done about it.
Debbie Thomas February 26, 2013 at 04:30 PM
I agree with you Jami. I've only been in Roxborough a little over 10 years. During that time so much has changed, especially with those ugly new homes going up everywhere. Ridge Avenue is also changing. I was, and still am, angry about the demolition of the Bunting House. When I heard a Wendy's was proposed I almost threw up. I still cannot drive by Ridge and Roxborough and see all of the vacant land where a beautiful, Victorian home once stood. I hope Giavannone, or Richard Head Construction, as I lovingly call them, burns in hell for what they did.
Jami Gudknecht February 26, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Burning in hell would be too good for them! Who kills someone's cat?! All she needed was another month that she would have gladly paid for. I'm from the area going back 3+ generations. I remember back when I thought it was the best place to live on earth! Oh to be young and/or naive again. :(
Ines Stelzer February 28, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Are you crazy? The bunting house was in great condition. For years it was used as a law office. The building next to it was a salon, then a house, none of which were abandoned, nor were there broken windows. The owners had occupied those houses and building until they were sold. More fast food choices? Really? Why? You have to be friends with that idiot Kevin
Ines Stelzer February 28, 2013 at 02:14 PM
I went to mandarino's office across from Segals, they gave me a number and I spoke to some ass wipe who pretty much said, Roxborough is NOT historic, he knows because he's from the neighborhood (eye's rolling), I said that crap like this couldn't happen on main street, or east falls, art museum area, so why is it happening in Roxborough. Apparently Manayunk Group have a much larger organization and they are better organized. Roxborough isn't. That's why. Not enough people fought for it....but then again, I didn't even know it was being torn down until someone on FB said he was going to protest it. We were lied to and said it was put on hold. Then they tore it down. In the past few days I've been hearing hammering and I just noticed that in between the 2 houses across the street I almost could see to the other side of the river to Gladwyn. I just noticed they stuck another one of those fancy looking jail cells, I mean a brand new stucco and aluminum siding cookie cutter house - and I'm going to guess that the siding will be that burnt orange or green. Let's take bets
Ines Stelzer February 28, 2013 at 10:11 PM
I wrote them, and as much as I like wendy's I will never go into their establishment. Five Guys is right over city line - 10 minutes - at least they didn't tear down a beautiful home to make a fast food place. Why couldn't someone use some imagination....the KFC on city line ave used to be a club San Marco - it was the place to go back in the day. Did they tear down a landmark? No, they built their KFC without all the advertising. A life size Colonel Sanders sits in the way - now that's how you bring in the new without completing destroying a place where hundreds of our parents hung out. Roxborough has lost any class - it's all about money and who can build a prison looking house the fastest - who ever is building these homes needs to get some creativity ...... a 5 yr old has a better imagination
Ines Stelzer February 28, 2013 at 10:30 PM
And here comes Kevin to tell us how decrepit and so not with it when it comes to change. Kevin seems to think that's it all for the yuppie's now, and us old farts should just shut up and accept change. Kevin darling, you may like another Starbucks (suckiest coffee) or another Vegan restaurant, but those of us who have lived here for our lifetime don't like those chances, because lets face it Kevin, in a few years, you'll move on to the next "hip" place to be and we'll be stuck with a bunch of shit restaurants no one wants. Why don't you go over to Gladwyn, or Art Museum, or how about East Falls, go tell them how they need to keep up with the Jones, tell then to tear down those delapidated building and build something for them.....go ahead, you'll be lucky to come home with teeth. A little word of advise, if your going to go around telling all of us we need to catch up with the times, chances are one of the neighborhood boys isn't going to appreciate a outsider telling us what we should do with our neighborhood. Do us all a favor, move out now so we won't have to listen to your stupid opinion of Roxborugh/Manayunk
Ines Stelzer February 28, 2013 at 10:38 PM
You had me on your side until you started your racist rant. A new hang out for the bussed in? You make it sound like we're busing in criminals. Your grouping all Germantown HS kids as GARBAGE. I hope you do get sick to your stomach everyday. It isn't the kids from G'town that destroying this town, it's the sell out's who for the right price would sell their mothers, don't you dare blame them on the germantown kids - besides - they have a wendy's right on chelten ave, and they didn't destory a historic home to do it.....so who's the dumbass? It's the whore who sell their property and don't give a rat's ass what it does to the neighborhood - why should they? They're moving out, they don't have to deal with it..,,something maybe you should consider, one thing I can't stand is a racist.
Debbie Thomas March 01, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Jami isn't being racist. She's merely speaking the truth. If the Roxborough students are so well behaved then why is there a need for police cars to patrol up and down Ridge Avenue when school is dismissed? Also I have witnessed several confrontations between Roxborough H.S. and the WB Saul students at the Wissahickon Transfer center. Some of the Germantown students will be transferred to Roxborough. There's already been 2 articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer stating that there will be problems with the students in the schools like Germantown that will be closing. There's some kind of an idiotic "turf" thing going on.
Debbie Thomas March 01, 2013 at 02:24 PM
http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/50288 I know this mostly relates to the Germantown students that will be transferring to King H.S. However, you can bet that the students who transfer over to Roxborough will be causing problems too.
Donald P Ciotti June 01, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Bottom Dollar is coming to Roxyborough
Louise Fischer June 01, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I hope this is rumor, not fact. I will fight this as I don't feel it is adds any benefit to our neighborhood. We have ample supermarkets. I would think that most people who live here need to protect the value of their properties. It is usually our biggest and most important asset. I do not see Bottom Dollar as a benefit or an asset.
Donald P Ciotti June 02, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Louise, There is a very good chance that both Acme and SuperFresh will be closing very soon, due to corporate issues at both chains. That would leave Brown's ShopRite as the only food market in this great neighborhood.


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