Britton Industries, a thorn in the side of Upper Holmesburg residents for years, may be leaving, but what replaces it on Torresdale Avenue might not sit well with residents.
The prospective owner of the property told the Northeast Times that he plans to convert the topsoil and mulch production facility into a parking lot for tractor trailers with a gas station and convenience store.
He is also thinking about putting a small strip mall on the portion of the site facing Torresdale Avenue.
Karj S. Sandhu said he is scheduled to finalize a deal to buy the Britton property in mid-February. He runs Express Truck and Trailer LLC, which has a listed address of 8501 Hegerman St.
The city has already approved part of Sandhu’s plan. On Oct. 31, Sandhu and Britton were issued a zoning permit from the Department of Licenses & Inspections for the creation of 200 truck parking spaces.
Britton Industries could not be reached for comment.
At Thursday’s Upper Holmesburg Civic Association meeting, the future of the Britton property was discussed, but details were sparse.
“The general consensus is that the community does not want truck parking there,” UHCA President Stanley Cywinski said after a resident brought up a rumor about a truck stop replacing Britton.
A representative from state Rep. Mike Driscoll’s office said the property had already been sold, and 6th District Councilman Bobby Henon, in an interview with the Times, said he was under the same impression.
Upper Holmesburg residents had been engaged in a long battle with Britton before the company put the property up for sale. Neighbors complained about the odor from the facility as well as debris created by the business.
Cywinski, during the civic meeting, told residents he wanted to wait and see before waging a similar campaign against the potential future owners of the site.
“Let’s find out where we stand (and) what the issues are,” he said. “We’re not going to let it go, I can tell you that.” ••
Jack Tomczuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org