Urban Outfitters’ ‘Lifestyle Village’ in Devon Could Take First Step Forward

The Devon Yard project seeks a zoning amendment that could get the ball rolling in Devon.

An artist's rendering of preliminary plans for Urban Outfitters' $100 million Devon Yard complex, as viewed from the northeast. (Image courtesy of Urban Outfitters)

From 2013: An artist’s rendering of preliminary plans for Urban Outfitters’ $100 million Devon Yard complex, as viewed from the northeast. (Image courtesy of Urban Outfitters)

It looks like a big-time project in the ‘burbs will soon be awakened from its slumber. Developers Waterloo Devon L.P. (an Eli Kahn company), along with Urban Outfitters (URBN) and Anthropologie, will head before the Easttown Township Planning Commission to seek a recommendation for an amendment to the zoning code that would ultimately allow the Devon Yard project to move forward under a special Overlay District on the site at Lancaster Avenue and Devon Boulevard. The public meeting will be held on April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Hilltop House, 570 Beaumont Road, Devon.

Back in 2013, the development team announced a lifestyle village what would include retail, another garden center, multiple restaurants and a boutique hotel called the Devon Inn, the “driver” of the community. Until recently, those plans haven’t really gone anywhere, but they have appeared to have changed a bit. According to Dan Fox, Easttown’s Township Manager, the hotel component has been scrapped in favor of an 138-unit apartment building with ground floor retail. Neither Kahn nor a rep from URBN were available for comment about the plans or the meeting.

If the hotel bit is true, it’s kind of a bummer. Though, it would be interesting to see how URBN does residential development. Take their URBN-y type thoughts on the hotel concept, via Main Line Times:

And it will partner with an unnamed boutique hotel operator “with a similar aesthetic” to open the Devon Inn. “A handcrafted, authentic and unique boutique hotel is the driver of this village concept,” Ziel said. The Devon Inn will cater to high-end leisure travelers and business travelers and “will be done in a superior way to anything in the area.”

Fox said that it’s still early in the process and a recommendation from the Planning Commission is just that–a recommendation. The Board of Supervisors has the final say when it comes to actually giving the project the final go-ahead. Fox said he anticipated this to be a “multi-meeting endeavor” by the time it’s all said and done.

When they’re not completely pissing people off, URBN often creates (and resides in) some truly remarkable spaces. If you haven’t seen their corporate headquarters in the Navy Yard, go check it out sometime–it’s one of the best spaces in the city and you might actually be able to live near it soon, if all goes according to plan. The same can be said for Terrain at Styer’s, URBN’s garden center in Glen Mills that’s as much about the experience (and food) than it is about actually buying fancy plants and garden product.

The Overlay would set forth specific guidelines for the property. For example, building heights would be limited to 50-feet and 60-feet for commercial and residential uses, respectively. Also, building design/development guidelines would call for plans to “incorporate an outdoor plaza, courtyard or other event space”–you know, things like that. You can read the whole thing here. Also, here’s the green space plan.

Special meeting set for Devon Yard zoning amendment [Main Line Suburban Life]