Former Roxborough pizza joint rife with problems faces L&I action

The lettering of the Mia's Pizza sign has been slowly peeling off the side of the building at Rochelle Avenue and Sumac Street for years.

The lettering of the Mia’s Pizza sign has been slowly peeling off the side of the building at Rochelle Avenue and Sumac Street for years. But the property, one of several sights that detract from the eastern gateway to Roxborough, has far worse problems and has been deemed unsafe by the city.

The Department of Licenses & Inspections posted a violation notice on the building 5101 Rochelle Avenue, across from the Wissahickon train station, following an inspection on Sept. 24. A follow-up inspection is scheduled Oct. 28.

If the owner does not correct the violations after two reinspections, L&I will send the case to the city’s Law Department, which will file a complaint against the owner and ask the court to compel compliance and assess fines.  

According to Joshua Cohen, special assistant to Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., attempts to reach the owner, Eric Sacks of Philadelphia, have been unsuccessful. “The owners have made no effort to date to correct the violations,” Cohen said.

The notice posted on the building cites a partially collapsed ceiling and repairs needed to the front entrance and basement. The metal doors leading to the cellar have been broken and dislodged, leaving a gaping hole that could be dangerous to passersby.

“This place has been a dump for years,” said Charles Roller, vice president of the Wissahickon Interested Citizens Association.  “The place is an eyesore, and for what reason does the city allow this to go on?”

    • Mia's Pizza
      Mia's Pizza

About the author

Alan Jaffe, Contributor

Alan Jaffe has been a contributing writer for PlanPhilly since 2008, focusing on overlooked buidlings and historic preservation issues. He was a writer and editor in the newspaper industry for nearly 30 years, including eight at the Philadelphia Inquirer and nine at the South Jersey Courier-Post. He is currently the director of communications for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He is also an antiques writer and collector and the author of “J. Chein & Co.: A Collector’s Guide to an American Toymaker.”

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