The façade for the proposed apartment building at the former CVS property looks "cold and angry," according to one Hatboro resident.
Posted Thu, Aug 24, 2023 at 11:22 am ET|
HATBORO, PA —It's a sleek, modern look, similar to new apartment complexes found in nearby Horsham Township and Willow Grove.
The brick façade for the proposed 36-unit "high-end professional" apartment building with first-floor retail space for the former CVS property on South York Road features numerous double windows, lots of glass, and black and white panels that the architect said provides easy maintenance and a "welcoming presence."
But residents who attended the planning commission meeting earlier this month as plans by developers 24-28 South York Road Associates, LP, were unveiled expressed displeasure with the renderings, saying it doesn't meet Hatboro's historic heritage.
"It's a very modern-looking building for a historic town," one resident said.
"It looks out of place here," another resident said during the public comment portion of the meeting.
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"The facade is more reflective of every new apartment building. It's cold and angry, not historic," resident Maryanne Reamer said.
Planning Commission Chairman Kris McMenamin said that the borough's history needs to be taken into account.
Borough officials reminded residents that the renderings are not final and were submitted as a requirement of the land development/conditional use applications.
The renderings will continue to be reviewed by the planning commission and borough experts along with all other aspects of the proposed development.
"The borough has heard a lot of feedback from residents and business owners regarding the façade and the proposed design of the development," officials said.
Copies of the application are available for review at Pennypack (temporary Borough Hall offices), 130 Spring Ave. during business hours (Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).
The planning commission is expected to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the Loller Academy Building to once again review the plans.
The commission can reject the plans or make a recommendation for the development proposal to go before Borough Council, which would make a final decision.
"A lot of residents have a homespun feel about Hatboro," Mayor Tim Schultz said.
The mayor said the property is sandwiched between two older buildings of historical architecture.
"Keep in mind, we have a mid-century heritage. We have to be careful that developers coming in have a sensibility of our history," the mayor said. "But we can't mandate specific buildings. That's not in our ordinance. It's a point well taken about our character. But we've got to move forward. Philadelphia has modern buildings. It does jar the senses. Philly's got to do it. We have to do it. We have to think about our next generation."
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