Developer Seeking to Build New State Store
Developer Allan Smith came before Borough Council Tuesday night to present plans for a new 12,000-square-foot state wine and spirits store on South State Street.
Plans for a new 12,000-square-foot wine and spirits store were presented to Newtown Borough Council Tuesday night.
Developer Allan Smith, who owns the current state store property on Centre Avenue, is seeking to relocate it to a building on South State Street that meets the current standards of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
Borough Solicitor Bill Bolla told Council last week during a work session that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which leases the space from Smith, is pushing to update its stores so they are larger and more customer-friendly. According to Smith, the interior of the new state store would be identical to the one that recently opened in New Hope.
Smith is currently preparing plans for Steeple View, a mixed-use development on the former Stockburger Chevrolet site off South State Street. The new state store, if approved, would be the first building constructed as part of that project.
Constructing the state store building in advance of the conditional use and land development approval for Steeple View would “create a sample” of what the overall project would look like, Smith said.
“I’m seeking Borough Council’s support to get this building up and running, to create this sample if you will,” he said. Smith said the design would be done in a way that would keep the building in scale with the others on the street.
Zoning relief will be required for the state store project, as well as land development approval.
In December, Borough Council opened a conditional use hearing to consider Smith’s proposal to construct 121 residential units and 28,900 square feet of commercial space on the former Stockburger Chevrolet site.
However, Bolla announced last week that he has been speaking with Smith in an effort to encourage him to redesign the plans so they are more in line with the borough’s vision for the site.
According to Bolla, the new plans, which are a work in progress, will reduce the residential density, increase open space, include commercial offices and provide for better vehicular and pedestrian circulation. The plans are not complete and Bolla said he is not sure when they will be presented.
When the new plans are presented, the present conditional use process will be terminated and a new conditional use hearing will be scheduled on the updated plans.