PHILADELPHIA — The long anticipated move of Philadelphia produce wholesalers into a new produce terminal market has been delayed by two months.

Philadelphia market move postponed

Doug Ohlemeier

The move of Philadelphia produce wholesalers into a new building has been postponed until early January.
The distributors were originally scheduled make the move to the modern operation in late October or early November.

Originally scheduled to be completed by this summer, distributors had been eyeing a late October or early November move into a new location on Essington Avenue.

The contractor has told the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market’s board that construction won’t be ready by that time and that wholesalers should expect to make their move in early January, said Jimmy Storey, terminal association president and president and owner of Quaker City Produce Co.

“It’s not official, but we will probably move right after the first of the year,” he said on Aug. 17. “They (the contractors) are behind on the construction and on the refrigeration start-ups and all. Once they start the refrigeration, it will take two months to make sure everything is right.”

Philadelphia market move postponed

Distributors said they haven’t heard many express disappointment about the delay and said it could help with relocation logistics.

“You can’t make a move during the busy times of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s,” said Martin Roth, secretary-treasurer of Coosemans Philadelphia Inc. “The right thing to do is to wait for a more convenient time to get acclimated to the new building.”

Richard Nardella, chief executive and financial officer of Nardella Inc., said distributors have no control over the move.

“As long as we’re getting into a new market, it will just take a little longer, that’s all,” he said. “We just have to wait another month or two.”

Located in an area called the auto mall off Interstate 76, the enclosed modern market will replace an aging open-air operation east of the city’s professional sports stadiums that marked its 50th year last fall.

Contractors have finished the building’s exterior and are completing its interior.

Its interior is designed to resemble a shopping mall and has a large natural lighted central commons area separating produce vendors.