Plans moving forward for six-story apartment building in parking lot of Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center
87 apartment units would be constructed on parking lot along St. Asaph’s Road

By Richard Ilgenfritz @rpilgenfritz on Twitter

The plans are continuing to move forward to construct a six-story apartment building in one section of the parking lot of the Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center off City Avenue.

At its board meeting last week, the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners approved the tentative sketch plan for the project. The plan that has been proposed by the site’s owner, Federal Realty Investment Trust, had already given support from the township’s Planning Commission. Federal Realty owns the nearly 20-acre shopping center site that dates back to the early 1950s.

Under the plans that have been outlined at township meetings, a six-story apartment building with 87 units and the first level for parking would be constructed with in an area between stores and St. Asaph’s Road next to St. Asaph’s Church.

To make way for the project, the plans also call for a reconfiguration of the existing parking lot and loading areas that are located in the northwestern portion of the property next to the proposed apartment building.

As part of the approval, an eight-foot wide multipurpose pathway would be constructed along the edge of the property from St. Asaph’s Church to the first driveway on St. Asaph’s Road. A second path that would be six-feet wide would be constructed along the church’s property between it and the shopping center where it will connect to the sidewalk on Conshohocken State Road.

Most board members gave their support for the project as did George Manos whose Ward 9 includes the site. “I think this is the type of project that represents investment – investment in the neighborhood,” Manos said. “I think it probably furthers the viability in the shopping center in terms of the constituency that it serves. To me, even though, probably, one of the things that will come out of this is some increase in traffic, the overall benefit will outweigh, I think, the minor inconvenient of the relatively few cars that are going to be added to the traffic stream.”

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