Willow Grove Mall - An Overview
( a much MORE
DETAILED PAGE can be found here with all the pros and cons and
far more info )
Dear Neighbors, Please share this to as many as you can. Far too few
know about this – but it will impact us all………..
Your voices make a difference.
the 5-13-21 Zoom and please SPEAK at the Zoom
THEM WE DO NOT WANT RESIDENCES. There are so many options that
would benefit us
There are plenty of other accessory uses
they can add to their existing property that would benefit all
of us who live here NOW!
here is a
petition you can sign - and pass to others
UP FOR THE nEWSLOOP FOR INFORMATION LIKE THIS
next meeting: 5-13-21 bOARD OF cOMMISSIONERS
Last meeting : April 27 Planning Commission.
In ALL the prior 5 meetings they have avoided all the pertinent
questions about how many units will be enabled at the Mall
property by their ordinance. In every sceanario we can put
together as many as 1,800 to 2500 units might be possible. At
the 4-27-21 Planning Commission at long last they showed more
than the single 365 unit building ...... but there
are still many, many units they are not showing
The absolute silence of applicant, commissioners, solicitor,
manager and others on this issue has been a VERY telling
circumstance. They are NOT applying to build
an apartment building, that will come after they
rezone. They are applying to rezone the parcel
for themselves AND OTHERS. Many will be able to build if
this passes. They are STLL not being honest about how many
units that could be .
Planners refused to do their duty and properly vote (because it
would have had to be a NO.)
Substantial changes were made,
so it should have come back for the Planners to review the
changed document .
They did not do that - they are trying to
jam it through for a vote before the citizens find out
about it .
was their 3rd trip to the Planning Commission and the 6th
meeting overall to review the
Amend our Ordinance (submitted 12-10-20)
" (that's the submitted request)
They did reduce the heights to 65
ft high abd said that ALL of an eligible building
site must fall withing the 2,500 ft of the train.
Your attention has been focused on one single building…. what
they are asking is anything but!
ALL COMPLICIT : All of your Commissioners
appear to be complicit. I have not seen one single
newsletter that properly described what was being asked.
Most newsletters skipped the topic altogether, despite the
tremendous impact on Abington overall this will bring . and
residents who are questioning their Commissioners are getting
no proper questions on your
behalf At the meetings – 4 long ones up to now, we did not
hear one single Commissioner ask ANY of the relevant
questions ….like “what’s going to happen to the Mall itself?”
……. because they KNOW ….. and don’t want
to open that can of worms so that
YOU know, too
NO SPEAKING RIGHTS HONORED In the
4 long meetings, people waited hours and then often were not
even afforded the ability to speak.
MUCH DEVELOPMENT would be approved if this
passed was never provided. So on this page we have rendered
an attempt at hte calculation.
Come zoom with us and let’s have an HONEST discussion about
whether the mall really needs this – or whether it is good for
us. It will take away jobs, use up more than it pays
in taxes, crowd and congest us for no benefit, etc email me to
set up a zoom
WHAT CAN THEY BUILD
THE BUILDINGS WHERE
EVEN A SMALL PART IS 2500 FEET FROM THE TRAIN
WOULD BE ABLE TO BUILD IN THE MANNER OF THIS FIRST ONE –
BUT WITH MORE THAT WHAT THEY SHOWED – IT COULD BE
85 feet high –
reduced to 65 ft on 4-27-21
Commercial on the roof,
penthouse floor and first floor
between those commercial floors
They can go right up close to
residential ( just have to build a bit lower if within 100 or 200
No outside access to stores – must come inside
Have you seen the Promenade across from Lowes ? Multiply it
by 4 OR 5, maybe more,…… ( we have to now
recalculate at 65 ft)
Why hasn’t John Spiegelman, or Tom
Hecker REQUIRED PREIT and Marc Kaplin to tell you the real facts ?
Why is John Spiegelman telling residents things that aren’t true? Does he not KNOW?
Can't read what's IN the documents? Or is he
purposely misleading residents to hope it can be passed
quickly before hte truth is known?
People asked 4 or 5 times at the Feb Planning Commission
meeting - and again at the March Planning meeting about the additional building that could be done.
The most we got was that …”yes… there would be more building “.
No elaboration. No numbers. A ridicule of the numbers we
attempted to derive but facts being withheld while they try to
ram it through.
So barring them showing us
what can be built, we can only make a good faith stab at what
the documents seem to enable.
That's what we'll do here
- but first ........
DEMAND OF YOUR COMMISSIONER THAT THEY BE REQUIRED TO
SHOW US IN GREAT DETAIL THE ACTUAL MAXIMUM
THAT THIS ORDINANCE COULD ENABLE
and to allow open mics and open questions during any part of
they presented ……
ordinance affects the entire district and certain others within
2500 ft of the train can build one of these, too.
Although zoning is supposed to
run with the land, the co-author of the ordinance from
Montgomery County Planning Commission has said that if a small part of
the building is in the 2500 ft area, it qualifies.
are the lines that show you what is within 2500 feet of the
Willow Grove and Crestmont train. See the 2 circles that
intersect each other in the photo below.
Goodman Properties Parkside Shopping Center with Dicks
Sporting Goods, Old Navy, Rally House, AAA, Planet Fitness and
Mattress Wareouse and possibly their parking lot separately
would get this zoning
Goodman Properties Park Place with Visionworks, Floyds
Barbershop, Chipotle and Ideal Image
The At Home Store ( former K-Mart) a Texas company https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_Home_(store)
Marc Kaplin touts their 25 year lease as "protection' against
their conversion to apartments - but in a continuing pandemic,
many more stores may fall victim to a lack of shoppers. Or the
Owners may try to arrange modifying part of the store while the
business remains active in another part.
Bloomingdales - operated by Macy's
touch within the 2500 feet
according to our best calculation.
is wrong – why hasn’t Marc Kaplin been required to show us what
is RIGHT? It matters don’t you think?
EQUIVALENT OF 5 OR EVEN MORE OF THESE APARTMENT
BE POSSIBLE – AND SEVERAL
SMALLER ONES, TOO….
Which would enable
something more like this :
buildings x 365 apartments = 1825
apartments or more
Assume average 2 residents per apartment = 3650
not correct , Mr Kaplin – show us what is. This will be
our 5th long meeting
WHO KNOWS – MAYBE WITH A LITTLE SUBDIVISION AND MERGING OF LOTS
IT MIGHT BE SOMETHING MORE LIKE THIS ---- WE DON’T KNOW.
BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT TELLING – APPROVE IT NOW. THEY’LL TELL YOU
LATER – IF THEY FEEL LIKE IT. OF COURSE, THEN YOU WILL NO
LONGER HAVE ANY SAY IN WHAT THEY BUILD. THEY WILL HAVE THE USE
BY RIGHT .
buildings x 365 apartments = 2555
apartments or more
Assume average 2 residents per apartment = 5110
If that’s not correct ,
Mr Kaplin – show us what is. This will be our 5th long
We deserve to have those answers
ACTUAL SUBMISSION BY PREIT
Here are the documents they
WAITING TO HAPPEN
“how dare they ……”
ordinance – reviewed and approved by attorneys on both sides,
appears to be a rare piece of legal work, seemingly
designed to keep lawyers in court for a long time arguing over
which one of the ordinances they should obey. Just
like the Colonade …..
Our ordinance says
noncombustible materials must be used, like block or
brick- theirs says frame is fine
Our code says they says
they have to bring legal nonconformities into compliance -
theirs says they don’t
Our code says that where they
differ , ours takes precedence - theirs says theirs takes
They say theirs
complies with section 1806C of our zoning code which says that
they must meet all requirements and objectives of the zoning
code. Clearly theirs doesn’t.
Section 5 on the last page
says: (are you sitting down) “All ordinances or parts of
ordinances inconsistent herewith or in conflict with any of the
specific terms enacted hereby, to the extent of said
inconsistencies or conflicts, are hereby specifically repealed.
SERIOUSLY ??????– They are giving themselves the right to repeal
our other ordinances, or parts of them, as
they see fit. How
dare they ….?
How dare we let them ?
PAID FOR BY YOU
THEN THERE IS :
MYTH OF JOB CREATION
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY BAD
Jobs ( long term jobs)
New people ( looking for local jobs ) ……… 500
to 800 (in 365 apartments)
The real math:
500 people looking – 155 jobs = a possible LOSS of
800 people looking – 155 jobs = a
possible LOSS of 645 jobs
– 645 COMPETITORS FOR YOUR LOCAL JOB
And that is
only from one building. Multiply that by 5 or more
will be 400 + very temporary jobs during construction … 18
The developer may have a regular “team”
for a lot of these…….
Have fun hanging on to YOUR local job
MYTH OF THE EXPANDED TAX BASE
…. FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY
BAD AT MATH
WHAT ARE THE REAL COSTS OF SO MUCH DEVELOPMENT ?
Road widening is
( Montco Pikes project studying Easton
now- you get to pay for
the study and implementing the fixes)
The position of the
first building proposed
would prohibit necessary
lane additions for the massive unflux
Traffic Signaling increases (Penn Dot just did Reservoir & the
Mall … )
Intersections, walkways and crosswalks ( a recent
attempt was made to use
HUD monies to alleviate a
Mall responsibility in such a project)
Increase in all
infrastructure repairs ( roads,bridges, etc from increased use)
Storm water measures ( these are about
to move to a fee basis )
School expansion ( how fast can we
make the current expansion obsolete?)
Cost to educate each
student $20K to $24K per child
so if they are saying there will be none- lets see that in
Increase in police services, patrol cars,
resources, anti crime measures, etc
Increased use of our
parks, librairies, and other shared resources
services for seniors
Increased costs at the Township
Clerical staff, Code personnel, public works
personnel and resources
like trash trucks, paving
Increased needs for County, State and Federal
grants and projects
(which also come from your taxes ….
these are rarely factored in )
The cost of corporate voices &
corporate homeownership --A cost few ever even think . The
corporations already are planting their associates and employees
on our Boards and Committees . They can afford to
hire people to go to meetings and sway the conversation and have
even brought large cheering sections with them during
development issues .
the list just goes on…..
WITH LOSS OF QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES
Crowded roads, sitting in traffic
All the other reasons that many moved from the
city and prefer hte suburbs
………??? And if I told the Township that I was going defunct
unless they let me turn my home into a triplex – and maybe
sell off the side yard to put a fast-food drive -through on it … you would AT LEAST
WANT TO SEE SOME NUMBERS BEFORE YOU FELL FOR THAT, WOULDN’T YOU?
So we deserve to see numbers –
of how this will help the Mall ..... instead of just addding
to a very wealthy developer's bottom line so he doesn't have
to sell one of his 18 Malls off and only have 17 left ( poor
thing) . See, I would rather he do that than ruin
We deserve to hear about alternatives –
that could make the mall more viable and
learn about what they are doing at their other 18 Malls etc
. Plymouth Maeeting turned down their request for
residential, too. We deserve that – because we would be giving up a LOT and we
haven’t been told what we are GETTING.
This is going
to have a huge impact on our Township. But it is also already
setting a precedent for how this administration – with
Commmissioners Spiegelman and Hecker in cohort with Manager
Richard Manfredi - are operating........ by keeping you in the dark,
using very unsavory techniques, like putting meetings on at 10
pm and not allowing us to speak, by NOT forcing the developer to
answer even the most crucial of questions.
perhaps you see the harm that can be done to you when you allow
them to remove your Committee meetings and your speaking rights
. They were removed almost totally in October 2020 via lout right lying
to the public and saying you would have EXPANDED speaking rights
if they invented the Committee of the Whole and replaced your
Committtee meetings with it. Who needs to do that
when they are operating in your interest?????? Wake up
…WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE INSTEAD
They do not have to put in RESIDENTS
We’d like Roller Rinks,
Ice Rinks, Bowling Alleys, Concert
Arts Center w/ Stage for Shows, Concerts, Musicals,
Operas, Symphony, Laser
Tag & Family Games of every kind, Exercise
Classes, Strength Training Sessions, Trapeze, trampoline, Movie
with reasonable prices for
families, Restaurants –QVC
or similar -
Expanded Medical for Hospital needs –( docs offices, MRI,
PT etc) keeping hospital growth out of neighborhoods-
Research Facilities….Med Or Dental Labs , Electronics,
Robotics, Genetics, all kinds of Life Sciences, Digital Think Tanks, Family
Entertainment –Escape Rooms, Dance Clubs, Group Dance Nights (
Club Med Style) Dance Lessons, Karaoke Etc Geared For Families /
There are many many more ideas – ALL better than
residences. Especially RENTAL ones in an already saturated
market that might end up being subsidized housing……
oh yes, maybe some Real
Estate offices - for the people fleeing Abington as
it becomes over-crowded
CONVERSATION IS NEEDED
will be glad to hold personal zoom meetings or group
zooms at any mutually agreeable time to help you understand this
issue . Please email me if you are
A much more detailed page
on this issue ( the Willow Grove Park Mall ) can be found here
EXCELLENT LOCAL NEWS SITE "MORE THAN THE CURVE " JUST DID THIS
THIS IS UNIVERSAL – RESIDENTS ALL OVER ARE CONCERNED
WITH THE OVER DEVELOPMENT HERE IS A RECENT SURVEY
DONE BY OUR NEIGHBORS
FINDING ME : Lora
215-885-7130 address 1431 Bryant La,
Meadowbrook, PA 19046
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