There was a brief meeting April 24 about a new direction for the YMCA redevelopment. The following are our notes:
- BET stated CHOP had approached them after the zoning amendment was approved by the Board of Commissioners. From BET’s perspective, the new proposed project addressed the majority of the concerns of residents with the Abington Terrace project (“90-98%”) and so they felt that this project was a better fit for the site.
- This will be an expansion of a current specialty care clinic on the campus of Abington Hospital with, my impression but may be mistaken, a larger scope of services. Once this opens, they expect the current location to close. CHOP noted that there are a large number of patients that travel to the University City campus for specialty care services from the Abington (and I am assuming surrounding) areas and they wanted to better serve that population by providing care closer to home. Some of the outpatient services will include pediatric cardiology, audiology, neurology, and orthopedics.
- Part of the project includes a pediatric urgent care that will operate on the weekends and during the week. Expected hours would be from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm (during the week).
- This project addresses many of the concerns of residents compared to the Abington Terrace project:
o Building height will be 32’, similar to the YMCA’s current height of 30’
o Setbacks from the property line are larger than the previously proposed project. It appeared there was landscaping that would shield the parking lot from adjacent residents.o There will be more green space and slightly less impervious coverage –mainly due to parkingo While BET is still in discussion with the YMCA, the current older building is expected to be maintained with the Y continuing to operate a daycare out of it. The rest of the current building will be demolished
o A residence on the SE corner will be retained as a house with BET likely purchasing the property and then reselling it as a residence (as opposed to being demolished).
- This use is allowed under the current AO zoning and will go through the land-use process. I believe they said next steps were to go before the County Planning Commission before bringing it to the township. They’re hoping to get on the County agenda next month.
- BET will own the building with CHOP entering into a long-term lease (specifics not disclosed but 10+ years)
- Direct economic benefit to the township (through taxes) will be significantly reduced from the Abington Terrace project.
We will provide updates as we are made aware.