Township in the Dark About Progress at Old Acme Site

The township approved a mixed-use development called The Promenade in 2009. However, the Sycamore Street site still sits abandoned.


If you drive down Sycamore Street, you can’t miss it: the decaying former Acme supermarket that has become what seems like a permanent eyesore.

The Acme on Sycamore Street has been closed since the early 2000s. In 2009, the township approved a plan for a mixed-use development called The Promenade, which features residential units as well as retail. The developer for this project is McGrath.

However, despite the fact that the applicant came before the township in late summer pleading for zoning relief to scale back the plan – and was granted that relief by the zoning board just months later – little activity has been seen on the site.

The sign that previously advertised the future development and provided contact information for the sales department has been removed and construction vehicles are nowhere to be found.

Newtown Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Gallagher said it’s not the just the residents who are in the dark about the project – the township’s leadership has “heard nothing” from McGrath.

Despite attempts to reach out, “we’re getting no answers from them. We can’t get a clear answer on where they’re at (with the project),” Gallagher said.

McGrath representatives did not respond to Patch’s requests for comment, however a salesperson that answered the phone said she had no information as to when information about The Promenade would be available.

Gallagher said the stalemate puts the township in a tough place. Since the land is private property, there’s not much they can do, he said.

“We can keep in touch with them and help speed them along,” he said. But with a lack of communication, that strategy has so far proven fruitless. 

In August, representatives for the applicant came before the township proposing to amend the existing plan because of a change in the market.  The new plan, which the Zoning Hearing Board approved in November, has less retail and smaller residential units. It’s 20,000 square feet smaller than the original 83,000-square-foot plan.

“If we can’t make it happen quick, we can’t make it happen,” Jim Worthington, a project investor, told the supervisors in August.  At that same meeting, Worthington added that if the amended plans are approved quickly, construction could begin in a matter of months. 

However, nearly five months have passed since the township approved the amended plans.

Barbara April 04, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Newtown Township Supervisors don't "chastise borough homeowners" -- ones the Township the other the Borough. Unfortunately, this is all Newtown Township decisions, not the Borough...although they have a vested stake in it.
Karen April 04, 2012 at 01:21 PM
agreed Barbara
Alex R. April 04, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Knock it down & turn the land into a little park w/flowers,fountain or something...its cheaper then building way more stores that Newtown doesnt need. All that area of Newtown really is...is just stores...nothing fancy about it. The mall look is an eye sore. I dont get why anybody would want to make a movie there, there's way nicer towns. Have you seen how empty The Village of Newtown is. I don't think the building right next to Wells Fargo has a single business in it. If they want more "fancier" looking shops just fix up the Village of Newtown, those already look old. They should have made that Acme spot the skate park(but also a park) so that the kids were a little more out in public & not near the crabby residents. They complain about "noise" when they live next to a 4 LANE HWY & some how manage to be bugged by little wheels.I would think the football announcer at the stadium would bother them more,but yet they moved there. But we all know noise wasn't the reason they just didnt want kids hanging around close to them, hello they live near a high school. I'm pretty sure the old Acme is a drug hang out,esp since many areas of Newtown are. All the houses they made people move out of on Eagle&Durham..to build more even more town clutter, just sell them cheap as fixer uppers. They dont have $ to deal w/these properties but they do for more baseball parks even though theres already many in the area that dont make the town look any more appealing, should have left it open land.
Kristine April 12, 2012 at 04:07 AM
A community center would be FABULOUS!
CouldBeComingBackWe'llSee April 15, 2013 at 06:20 PM
if everyone behaves wed night, you won;t see anything...if people act-up, you'll likely see some new info on this builder


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