The Newtown Borough Zoning Board approved several variances for a portion of the Steeple View project that would relocate the Wine and Spirits store to South State Street.
Newtown-raised developer Allan Smith, who owns the current state store property on Centre Avenue, presented preliminary plans to relocate the store to a new building on South State Street that would meet the current standards the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is looking for. The new building would also feature 13 condos on the second and third floor.
The Steeple View team hopes to construct a building that is roughly 213-feet-long. However, 120 feet is the maximum length permitted in that portion of the borough. The group asked for a variance, which was approved.
Board members also approved a variance that would allow the building to have more than twice as much square footage as is usually allowed by ordinance for South State Street.
Variances related to green space requirements, park, mixed use development and impervious surface were also agreed to.
The proposed 12,000-square-foot-store would occupy most of the first floor of the building. Smith said the state liquor board wants a larger store in the Newtown-area.
Using several different architectural styles the new structure would look like three separate buildings. A point that Smith stresses would make the new building fit in with the rest of South State Street. The Historical Architectural Review Board had reviewed the Steeple View sketches and had offered imput that was used when designing the project, Smith said.
The new building would feature an enclosed loading dock. The dock would mean no tractor-trailers would have to unload in public view.
The developer also aims to construct a pocket park at the site and add a manicured "green wall" that would be covered in plants. The wall sit behind the historic Sedia House and offset
"The challenge was to do a project in the borough and not make it look like a warehouse," Smith, who has worked on several historic preservation projects, said.
The developer is currently preparing plans for the rest of the Steeple View project, a mixed-use development. The new state store would be the first building constructed as part of that project.
After the meeting, Smith said he was happy with the outcome of the hearing.
If all goes according to plan, construction on the state store building could start by year's end.
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