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Township To Review Plans For Old Acme Site

A revised plan for The Promenade on Sycamore Street will be reviewed by the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board on Nov. 10.

A revised plan for the project slated for the former Acme site on Sycamore Street will be reviewed next week by the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the township building.

In August, the developers of The Promenade came before the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors with an urgent plea to expedite the approval of revised plans for the mixed-use project.

However, the revised plan needs a Zoning Hearing Board variance for parking, Board Chair Rob Ciervo told the applicant in August. The new plan has 116 spaces, which is 36 shy of what is required by township rules.

Plans previously approved by the township for The Promenade include a mixed-use development with both retail and residential units. But according to the applicant, McGrath Homes, the market has changed, causing them to amend their plans for financial reasons.

The revised plan presented in August is a scaled-back version of the development that's 20,000 square feet smaller than the original 83,000-square-foot plan. The new plan reduces retail space by about 3,000 square feet down to about 20,000 square feet.

Additionally, the revised plan seeks to build smaller residential units, but more of them. The former plan called for 23 resident condominiums. The plan presented in August calls for 26 apartment-style units.

According to the applicant, Anthropologie is expected to be the anchor tenant at The Promenade.

Newtown Borough Council member Mike Sellers on Wednesday expressed his concerns about the proposed revisions to the plan. He asked that Council discuss the option of sending representation from the borough to the Zoning Hearing Board.

Council will discuss the issue at its next meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Chancellor Center.

Lisa November 04, 2011 at 11:33 AM
Still think we have too many banks. Just does not give the town this old time feel. McDonalds, I have to admit, I am NOT a fan of that coming in. Another chain with bad food and trash will be every where. Wendy's was good in the beginning, but the trash up swamp road is a disgrace. In NY we had this great place called Tiffany's. It was like a low key bar and grill but no alcholol. So the kids had a place to be as well. They had game tables, pool tables etc. You would sit at an oversized both and order a meal and play board games while eating and socializing. Was a fantastic idea and great for all ages. We need more places to keep the kids off the streets and teach them social skills. As for another bank, they should stay in the supermarket. I hate running down to Oxford Valley Mall for everything. Sorry, I will get off my soap box now. Have a great day.
ken dolan November 05, 2011 at 03:30 PM
I am glad all the big box stores are in Oxford Valley with the traffic headaches. Something will need to done with old Chrysler location before it becomes a major problem. With empty store fronts, un-occupied office space what can move into the old Chrysler building?
R U guessing ? November 06, 2011 at 07:01 AM
Read the paper or watch the supervisors meetings , get involved instead of just blogging nonsense on theese pages ! A beneficial bank is going through the " legal "process of moving to the Chrysler site ! The old Acme building already has a plan approved, is just trying to scale it down ! Lisa, if U like New York so much, leave this great town and go home !
Becky Betz November 06, 2011 at 10:36 PM
Joey, either go to sleep or write something NICE, just ONCE, ok?
Lisa November 06, 2011 at 11:04 PM
wow Joey, since the rest of us were having a nice conversation about our town, perhaps you should stay out of it if we were upsetting you so much. The rest of us were doing just fine in our conversation.
Hmmmm November 06, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Sadly we must all comes to terms with the terrible state of the national economy's impact on local real-estate development. People just aren't lining up to invest heavily in new retail and construction. Until conditions improve, a bank or cheap condo's may be the best to can expect. We sacrifice perfection to remove the blight.
Lisa November 07, 2011 at 12:09 AM
I know, sadly that is right. Here's hoping for a better economy soon.
ken dolan November 07, 2011 at 02:29 AM
Hey Joey,Read what paper? The Patch is doing a great job! I have never blogged before and enjoy having a conversation with other's who read local news. The bank infomation I discovered at an event the Union League event. Go back to sleep Joey, being up at 2 AM and getting mad is not healthy. To all the rest keep on blogging...... Would love have the Amish move into the old Acme and out of the shopping center.
Gerry Couch November 07, 2011 at 09:18 PM
I agree, we don't need another bank! we should be happy I guess that they are not trying to put another Drug Store in. I think small boutique type stores and restaurants are fine. How about a guy's store like Orvis or Eastern Mountain. Sorry, I am a no on the Mickey dees! As far as the apartments put them over the top give them a balcony overlooking Newtown borough!
John Larkin November 08, 2011 at 12:58 AM
By my count there are 17 banks within the Township borders. There is no way we need to add another at the Stockburger site. A new beer/liquor store would be nice. An expanded farmers market, a real italian bakery, a roller rink, a park. Orvis, Eastern Mountain. ANYTHING but another bank.
ken dolan November 08, 2011 at 02:14 AM
The plans are in the works to move the state store closer to Centre street. So here I sit trying to count the banks in the township and boro. Are you including the two First Nation of Newtown, two TD banks branches and the Citizen branch in Acme in that 17 count? Are you counting Credit Unions? Now I am going to have drive around and count the banks. Hey I wouldn't mind the McDonalds on that corner, it would be away from shopping center. Some type of bakery/bread store is moving into the old Blockbuster. A steak house is moving into the empty doctor offices near the ambulance hq. The Jake's eatery is expanding to diner menu. Can we support another eating establishment? Still open retail spots in the different shopping centers. Genuardi's is closing and Whole Foods maybe the new tenant but the store maybe to small for them.
Hmmmm November 08, 2011 at 06:39 AM
Where did hear that about the Genaurdis, Ken?
Lisa November 08, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Oh no, say it isn't so. Genuardi's is leaving us. I love that store. Nothing against Acme, I just like the smaller store and the people. They all know me there. John had some great ideas for suggestions on what to put in here. You too Gerry. I guys store would be great. I have four boys turning into men and would love to get them supplies local. I love to stay local. Feel like I am doing my part for the local economy. I heard about the bread/sandwich place in blockbuster. That should be cool as long as the township allows them to stay open passed 6pm. That is the only annoying thing. Like Ace Hardware. Was so happy they came but they close so early. Don't know about you guys, but in never fails,,,we are in the middle of a project and it is 8pm or later and we discover we are missing a part or something breaks. 9pm on a Saturday would be much nicer. 6 on Sunday. Oh well. Everyone's ideas ar great. Can we forward this to the township supervisors. those meetings are nuts. But wouldn't mind sending a note.
John Larkin November 08, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Let's see if I can remember all 17: There's the bank in Acme, TD x 2, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, PNC, Monument, the one at Goodnoe's corner, Citizens near Jake's, First Priority, Sovereign, 3rd Federal, First Federal of Bucks County, 2 on the bypass (Near Shady Brook and one near the NAC), First National. Hmm, can't think of another. Maybe I was counting the one in the Boro. I read about that "bakery" going where Blockbuster was but that's mostly a restaurant like Panera. I'm talking about a good old fashioned bakery where you get italian pasteries, cookies, cakes, with the glass cases and spinning cake racks.
Lisa November 08, 2011 at 06:08 PM
Oh wow, a good old fashioned bakery. Have not seen one of those in years. Italian bread with the thick crust that you have to chew and jelly donuts and cakes and all sorts of breads and rolls. Every Sunday after church, we went to our bakery and bought bread for dinner and rolls for lunches and cake for dessert. That was great going down memory lane. Back in the days of family Sundays not run around to another sporting event Sundays.
ken dolan November 09, 2011 at 01:06 AM
I was at a meeting and the was talking about Genuardi's not renewing its lease. Safeway is not doing well with Genuardi stores. This not the only Gernuarde store closing more to come. Whole Foods is rumor, but store is took small for them. The shops next to Genuardi's may have to relocated.
ken dolan November 09, 2011 at 01:17 AM
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I have my store that I always shop at and would hate to see it close. Ace Hardware is owned by the Smith family from Hamilton, NJ. They didn't want to stay open pass 7 pm. Not worth the cost vs amount of traffic. This is I think their third store. Another Trenton hardware chain was eyeing Newtown for a second location. I am not big fan of our township supervisors. "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all." The supervisor would read your note that would be about it.
Lisa November 09, 2011 at 12:14 PM
Ken, I guess it helps to investigate and get some answers. I understand now why the family doesn't stay open later. That would be me too. I guess I need to plan better. As for the supervisors, I totally agree. I was hoping for a different outcome with yesterdays vote, but I guess we didn't get too far. We shall see.
Boro Kim November 09, 2011 at 04:13 PM
I would hate to see a fast food joint pop up in the Borough. Let's support some healthy living not have our kids lining up for a double cheeseburger and fries. I do agree that the old Acme is such an eye sore and the township and their committees need to get things moving and help a business get in there. It may not be exactly what the township wants but there has to be some give and realize sooner or later that site is going to be a total eye sore that nobody wants. And I agree with you guys, we def don't need another bank! How about a public library? I know there's one in Richboro, Langhorne and the one by the Grange Fair (can't remember the name). But we are a pretty big borough, why not push for a local library! That would be a great addition to this town and benefit MANY members of the community. Not to mention that it would be a short walk from our house instead of a drive to Richboro.
R U guessing ? November 09, 2011 at 10:03 PM
If U have enough money to do it, go ahead ! If not U will have to wait like the rest of us !
R U guessing ? November 09, 2011 at 10:14 PM
Hey, I am glad U R trying to keep up with whats going on in Newtown, but it's like watching reruns with U (ken and lisa) Did U just come here or did not read Till the patch came around ?Any township can not pick what they want to come to Town ! If the builder/company has enough money to buy or build, meets the requirements or gets exceptions, there is nothing the common citizen or politician can do ! Money talks and B S walks. I do not like many things that go on in Newtown, but without proper funding, can do nothing about it !
ken dolan November 10, 2011 at 02:03 AM
Joey, Yes I understand business. Hey Kim you forgot the boro has a very nice Library. You find it on Centre and Congress sts. My kids love it, my two oldest hop on their bikes to return and pick up books. In regards to fast food, the parents control the diets of the children. It is a special night to have Chick Fila or pizza in our house. The Acme at one time was to be a community center, that was shot down. I am just tried of here what next to be built on the site. A book store, then a clothing store, then small group of stores. I know the the Newtown Farmers market would love to have it but......that the not what the township wants. The part time supervisors are really removed from what in the community. Like the time the Acme would become a book store chain was to come and one the supervisors said just what the township needed a book store. Sorry we have one in the Genuardi's south center and a used book store in the boro.
R U guessing ? November 10, 2011 at 08:48 AM
Ken, the old acme was NEVER to be a community center, that was just the wants of the citizens, never the OWNERS of that Property. Remember if it wasn't for the TWP. going to bucks county redevelopment authority there might not be any plans for that lot yet. It is nice to want to see something built there, but the owner controls the piece of land.
Lisa November 10, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Ken, thanks for the reminder about the library. I always forget about that. Sometimes life just keeps you so busy you forget the small stuff. So nice having a conversation with so many interesting people in our town that I probably walk right passed while doing my errands. Keep the blog going. Most of us are enjoying it. Speaking of book stores, I understand our book store in the lower Genuardi's shopping center is in need of business. The Newtown Book Store is offering 25% off one item from now until Thanksgiving Eve. Help support our local book store and keep their business going for the new year coming. I know I will be there. Just got wish list for christmas from my kids and was pleasantly surprised with the amount of books on it.
ken dolan November 11, 2011 at 04:27 AM
Hey Joey no need for the caps in your post. Don't respond to caps in a post. thank you.
R U guessing ? November 11, 2011 at 07:15 AM
IT's ONLY A BLOG KEN , don't be so uptight about spelling, CAPS etc. !
Lisa November 11, 2011 at 12:39 PM
Well I see they are going ahead with the Acme building. Less parking spots, hope that is OK. But here we go. Are they throwing a party when that building comes down?
R U guessing ? November 11, 2011 at 11:08 PM
who R they ?
ken dolan November 12, 2011 at 01:21 AM
caps=yelling.
R U guessing ? November 12, 2011 at 02:22 PM
I am so glad U can hear me raise my voice on your computer screen. Ken = super hearing ! come on, say something interesting, instead of spelling and caps !

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