The historical Ardmore properties in question as of 2012. | Photo via Google Street View
Ooof, this is definitely not helping the already partially(?) deplored One Ardmore Place project.
As previously reported, Carl Dranoff’s planned mixed-use development has been mired with dissenters since its approval, going so far as to inspire a protest in November. More recently, the project was connected to a lawsuit filed by six local business owners against Lower Merion Township after the township granted the developer a historical road for his project.
Now, the Main Line Times’ Cheryl Allison reports the new owners of two historical properties on Cricket Avenue (47 and 53-55) have submitted a formal application for the demolition of their buildings. Their reasons for wanting the demo? Parking.
More specifically, temporary parking to alleviate traffic during the construction of Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place.
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Six business owners neighboring Carl Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place project at the site of the Cricket Parking Lot have filed a lawsuit against Lower Merion Township. The suit claims that Haws Terrace, an access road behind the parking lot, was deeded as public land and isn’t allowed to be sold to a private developer to create a 8-story, mixed-use complex.
A newsletter sent out by JustLaws, one of the law firms representing the business owners, sheds some light on the suit:
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Dranoff Properties’ One Ardmore Place was off to a rocky start and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. According to Cheryl Allison at the Main Line Times, residents recently banded together at a meeting to express their disapproval for the redevelopment project’s height.
During a forum with the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners this past Wednesday, neighbors wore t-shirts with the words “Save Cricket Lot 4 Ardmore” and argued that the sections of the planned mixed-use building that rise up eight stories do not adhere to the neighborhood’s character. They then reiterated past complaints, as well. From the Main Line Times: Read more »
Carl Dranoff’s mixed-use tower on Cricket Avenue in Ardmore has been in the works for a very long time, but it still doesn’t sit well with some community members, who will hold a protest in front of the Lower Merion Township building on Saturday. From philly.com:
Critics say the project, One Ardmore Place, would not jibe with the mom-and-pop character of downtown Ardmore, bringing more density and traffic, and more burden to the schools….
Dranoff Properties says the building will bring $100 million in economic stimulus and create a more vibrant downtown.
• Montco protest planned for Ardmore project
More headlines, this way…
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Carl Dranoff, above, is a diplomatic guy. Photo credit: Laura Kicey
In response to claims that the project has been opposed by many in the community, Carl Dranoff wrote an editorial for the Main Line Times today, in which he attempted to clarify some aspects of the plan that seem to have been lost in the bickering. Of course, he puts everything quite delicately, but as someone who was once in a PhD program for Translation Studies, I feel qualified to at least attempt a rendering into regular-person talk, i.e., the kind of thing I imagine he says at home, head in hands, when the frustration gets to be too much.
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Carl Dranoff’s various Ardmore plans, first proposed more than a decade ago, have caused controversy for almost as long. So it wasn’t surprising that discussion of the residential/retail proposal for Ardmore at last night’s Lower Merion Township Building and Planning Committee meeting was “raucous,” as the Inquirer‘s Carolyn Davis put it. Things devolved into personal sniping, with words like “boorish” and “venomous” being thrown around. (Davis writes that things started getting ugly last week with a string of emails — which, alas, no one leaked to us.) The meeting didn’t end until after 1 a.m.
What’s known among Main Line residents as the “Cricket Lot” project — real name: One Ardmore Place — involves an apartment building with 121 units and roughly 8,000 square feet of street-level retail space fronting Cricket Avenue. Carolyn Davis boils down years of debate:
Critics say the project is too big for its site and neighborhood. Proponents claim it would boost downtown Ardmore by drawing young residents to live in a transit-friendly building near the train station.
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