The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is opening their second location in Philadelphia just south of East Market Street on Eighth.
The new health center, which will also include an Out of the Closet thrift store, is headed for a former two-story Burger King. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the sale came in at nearly $2.9 million.
Based in Los Angeles and with operations in 17 states and 45 countries, AHF has established itself as the self-proclaimed largest provider of HIV medical care worldwide. This second Philadelphia location joins a smaller operation that’s been in place for five years at 1211 Chestnut Street.
“When I saw that about 50% of people living with HIV in the Philadelphia area are not in care, that was very concerning to us,” said AHF senior regional director Marlene LaLot.
The upcoming service center plans to include a full pharmacy with the health care center and testing lab on the second floor. The first floor will house the thrift store, which AHF has used in 23 other locations to help fund health care services for those unable to pay on their own.
With tentative plans to open by next year, LaLota says it will still be a lot of work. While still in the design stages, the cost of the renovation is expected to be substantial.
The expanded Philadelphia operation will probably also model after the AHF Brooklyn’s hours, which sees them open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Sundays have slightly abridged hours.
With many storefronts vacant in the East Market area, AHF’s purchase wasn’t contingent upon zoning changes or other regulations.
“It sounds like a reasonable idea, a pharmacy and a thrift store,” said Larry Steinberg of Colliers, who represented the sellers in the transaction. “Secondhand and thrift stores are a very good activity in today’s market. They all seem to thrive.”