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Shop leaves now-Temple property vacant

Temple now owns the property left empty by Temple Garden’s closure.

ANDREW THAYER / TTN

ANDREW THAYER / TTN

The now vacant and shabby five-story building on the 1500 block of North Broad Street, between Rite Aid Pharmacy and Zavelle Bookstore, was recently purchased by Temple as part of its 20/20 plan, the university’s framework for campus development. The only lasting business in the building’s history was Temple Garden, a Chinese restaurant established in 1991, which closed recently.

Throughout the years, the building accommodated myriad businesses, from beauty and nail salons to an optical store, along with residential apartments.

Temple Garden was the only business in place by the time Temple bought the building in August 2012. The university negotiated an extended lease with the restaurant owners, which started in October 2009 under the prior building owner and ran until Sept. 30, 2012.

Richard Rumer, associate vice president for business services, said the restaurant’s owners received adequate notice to evacuate the location.

“However, they were delinquent tenants and left the place a disgrace,” Rumer said.

Rumer said the university dealt with late rent and tax payments from the owners, in addition to unwillingness to maintain regular communications with school officials. Once the lease expired, maintenance workers evaluated the location and reported it stank of food waste, Rumer said.

The owners of Temple Garden could not be reached for comment. Rumer said the university does not have current plans for the building.

Laura Ordonez can be reached at laura.ordonez@temple.edu.

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