Friday was a busy afternoon on 69th Street when they cut the ribbon and opened the doors on a brand new Burlington Coat Factory. It's just what this community is hoping for: a handful of new businesses set to open on this stretch are all part of a big revitalization effort.
Township officials were hoping for a big "Wow" and a big draw to get people to come back to 69th Street. It's been a tough stretch on this street lined with stores. Sears pulled out, and business fell off big time. But the Burlington opening seems to signal things are turning around once again.
"Has an immediate impact not only on the financial side but in the picture of what Upper Darby is and the renaissance that we're going through," Mayor Thomas Micozzie told reporters.
A new Ross store is under construction across the street. H&M is set to open near the 69th Street Terminal. These major retailers can only mean more business for the smaller stores on the street.
"It's absolutely a positive sign," said Matthew Simon of Philly Soft Pretzel Factory. "I am excited about it and I hope it revives the street, which I think it will."
Upper Darby Township officials said it's all coming about because they're doing all they can to accommodate corporations.
"The cooperation, the support has been terrific getting us open," said Russell Schaller of Burlington Coat Factory.
So far, shoppers like what they see.
"Now we have Burlington which is excellent," said Paulette Shores of Southwest Philadelphia. "It has such a huge variety of things, so this is major for our area."
This Burlington Coat Factory Coat Factory Coat Factory location, the second in Upper Darby, will employ 110 people who are all from the area. Ross is set to open in early summer; H&M in the fall. Action News has also learned there is interest in a big box store to go into the vacant Sears site. But the identity of that retailer hasn't been released yet.