Ardmore “Cricket Lot” Cleared for Development

Lower Merion settled with Ardmore business owners, paving the way for a Dranoff property.

Rooftop rendering of One Ardmore Place | Image courtesy of Dranoff Properties.

Rooftop rendering of One Ardmore Place | Image courtesy of Dranoff Properties.

After a settlement with business owners in Ardmore, Lower Merion Township has finally paved the way for Carl Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place project to be developed.

Dranoff will be able to go through with the development, reports, of One Ardmore Place on the former Cricket Avenue parking lot, which over the last year has been protested and maligned as harmful to business and not in line with the “character of downtown Ardmore.”

The lawsuit, brought by Ardmore business owners against Lower Merion Township in February 2015, contended that an access road — Haws Terrace — is public land and could not be sold to a private developer. Business owners claimed it was the only way for emergency personnel to reach their businesses in the Cricket parking lot area.

Dranoff’s 8-story mixed-use project had originally been approved by the Lower Merion Township Building and Planning Committee in November 2014 after nearly a decade of controversy since the One Ardmore Place development was originally proposed. Before that approval, 90-some people showed up to protest the development.

In March, a Lower Merion Township common pleas judge blocked the lawsuit, and site preparation for the 24-month construction was to begin in the spring. However, in April, the business owners appealed to again block the development, Main Line Media News reported.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, says, Dranoff must provide a $55,000 trust to help the business owners offset costs and/or losses during the construction of One Ardmore Place, and an additional $40,000 to cover the plaintiffs’ legal fees.

Dranoff said in a statement to Philly Mag that he is “very grateful to the local community for its continued support, as well as the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners for its decision to authorize the execution of the proposed settlement agreement.” Dranoff continued:

“We listened to and addressed issues raised by the business community and our neighbors during numerous Township, neighborhood and business district public meetings … As we begin to take the next steps forward, Dranoff Properties will continue to partner with the community to build quickly, minimize disruption and offer ongoing support.”

And once the 100-unit project is complete, with a parking garage included, the garage must for the first five years provide the same number of public spots — 133, with four-hour meters — that the Cricket Avenue lot provided for the local businesses, says. On the plaintiffs’ side, the business owners will drop the appeal and agree to no longer challenge the project.

Per Dranoff, construction in any phase has not yet begun.

This story has been updated with statement from Carl Dranoff.