Battle (on)lines drawn in Roxborough Wendy’s proposal

The prospect of a Wendy’s restaurant at the site of the former Bunting House in Roxborough is again riling tensions regarding the Ridge Avenue site.

City officials confirmed to NewsWorks that developers are seeking to locate a Wendy’s fast food restaurant at the site of a demolished historic house.

Meanwhile, an online petition at www.roxoboroughwendys.com continues to seek neighborhood support for the project by touting “great food choices,” jobs, tax dollars and other benefits. However, the site does not identify who posted it or who is collecting the information.

Mysterious roots

Attorney Hal Schirmer, who has represented neighbors opposed to a fast-food restaurant on the site at 5901 to 5909 Ridge Ave., said he has had difficulty learning the current owner’s identity.

“There’s an imaginary person who controls the property. I don’t know who to talk to about who has the authority to talk about the project,” Schirmer said.

The owners are identified in documents only as 5901 Ridge LLC and contact information on the website leads only to a general email inbox or a P.O. Box address.

Developers Frank and Anthony Giovannone identified themselves as owners of the property last year.

In February, they told neighbors at a meeting of the Central Roxborough Civic Association that they did not have any agreement in place with Wendy’s or any other fast-food chain but said they had filed a preliminary plan with the city Planning Commission for such an establishment at the site.

Schirmer said he has not had contact with the Giovannones since last March.

Neither the Giovannones nor attorney Carl Primavera, who has represented them, returned calls for comment from NewsWorks.

Schirmer said the five lots on Ridge Avenue were purchased for a total of $950,000 and therefore have no mortgages that would identify who the current investors are.

“Someone wants to stay under the radar,” he said.

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