The dilapidated former Acme on Sycamore Street is expected to be reduced to a pile of rubble in the coming weeks as demolition of the structure will begin on Sept. 22.
The demolition will be the first step toward construction of the The Promenade, a mixed-use retail and residential development, that will anchor the site.
When the wrecking ball strikes the brick walls of the former grocery store there will be a celebration, Jim Worthington said Friday afternoon. Worthington is a managing partner for The Promenade.
The demolition celebration is set to start at 10 a.m. on Sept. 22 and will feature local dignitaries, light refreshments and activities for Newtown’s youngest residents.
Worthington said that demolition crews will work prior to the event to prepare the building to be taken down and he expects the building to be leveled rather quickly.
“I made a promise to the township to rip [the old Acme] down as soon as possible,” Worthington said. “I feel good about eliminating this eyesore.”
The managing partner sees the demolition as a positive step for Newtown and called all the positive feedback he has received from the community “rewarding.”
Worthington said construction of The Promenade project, which is in the last steps of securing final financing, could start in just a few weeks. He added that weather conditions could push the start date back to March or April of next year.
Plans for The Promenade feature 20,000 square feet of retail space and 26 high-end rental apartments. As per a restriction requested by Newtown Township, no full-service restaurants with liquor licenses will be permitted in the development.
Worthington told Patch that he has been flooded with businesses and prospective residents inquiring about moving into the site.
The completion date of the project is being eyed for mid to late 2013, Worthington, who is also involved in the Newtown Athletic Club, said.
Sycamore Street Community Association President Shawn Ward told Patch in May that his group, which is made up of Sycamore Street businesses and property owners, supports the project “100 percent.”
Worthington thanked township officials and staff several times. He said they worked hard to help the project get underway.
The original demolition date for the Acme was originally set for August. However, a sewer connection ban caused the project to be delayed, Worthington said.
Aside from Worthington, businessmen John McGrath, Patrick Flanagan and Len Ponzi are involved with the project, BucksLocalNews.com reports.
Worthington said he is just happy to be getting the building down and starting a project that, he believes, will benefit both the township and borough.
What are your thoughts on the demolition of the old Acme? What do you think about the Promenade project? Tell us in the comment section.
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