A new partnership may soon begin construction on Waterside, a planned riverfront development in lower Bucks County on the former site of the Elf Atochem chemical plant. The first phase will consist of 176 neo-traditional townhomes and twin and detached homes, with 25 percent of the land preserved for a park and trails. Per a township ordinance, the development will offer riverfront access to the public.
In a statement, the developers said they plan to "repair and restore existing wetlands and wooded areas along the riverfront, replant with indigenous vegetation, and add facilities for boating and fishing.” Earlier development work on the project earned an Environmental Achievement Award from the EPA.
Waterside has been in the works since 2004, when the site was bought by developer Steve McKenna’s Mignatti Companies and underwent $5 million of cleanup work. Now, Mignatti is partnering with Resmark, a major real estate investment group to get the project off the ground.
One major catalyst for the project has been the township’s recent rezoning of 650 acres of riverfront land for residential use. With much of the area’s former industry gone, it looks perfect for residential development: open space, proximity to the river and Neshaminy State Park, and access to I-95 as well as SEPTA’s Trenton rail line.
Like Philadelphia, Bucks County has been aggressive about transforming its stretch of the Delaware River waterfront into a destination. PR materials for Waterside refer to the development as an “urban village” where you can walk to the corner store and work, dine, and shop within the community.
Houses come in three styles: Italianate, colonial, and second empire, with prices starting in the mid $200,000s. The official website is here.