Company purchases former Nabisco property, plans to redevelop site

The former Nabisco property, including the iconic bakery tower, has been purchased by a company that plans to redevelop the site, at 12000 Roosevelt Blvd.

City Councilman Brian O’Neill (R-10th dist.) identified the buyer as the Provco Group, a Villanova firm that redevelops underutilized sites for commercial tenants.

“It seems like a first-class company that bought it,” he said.

O’Neill said the roughly $10 million purchase price was a lot less than Mondelez was originally asking after it closed the plant in July 2015 to consolidate production at company sites in New Jersey and Virginia.

The 27.5-acre property was built in the 1950s. At one time, in the early 1980s, some 1,300 people were employed there. That count dropped to 450 by 2008. Mondelez was created in 2011, when Kraft Foods spun off its snack foods business into a separate entity. At the time of the closing, 350 people lost their jobs.

In addition to the tower, there are two other buildings on site.

At present, one of the buildings is being used for manufacturing and distribution unrelated to the food industry. The tower and the other building will be demolished.

The site, just south of Byberry Road, is in a heavily trafficked area on the Boulevard and near Woodhaven Road, which leads to I-95.

O’Neill said the owner will have to come in front of the Somerton Civic Association to detail its plans.

The councilman would prefer nice retail shops not currently in the local marketplace that would be destinations for consumers, not cookie cutter-type stores that would cause competition for existing businesses.

O’Neill estimated demolition costs at $5 million, and said Provco is not in a hurry. “They’re willing to be patient,” he said. ••