What were the big stories in 2022? We picked 12 from all of the local news we covered over the past 12 months. In no particular order:
- Hotel West & Main, 1874 Social, and Hook & Ladder Sky Bar & Kitchen all opened near the corner of West Elm Street and Fayette Street in 2022.
- The Conshohocken Beer Festival was pushed out of Conshohocken’s Borough Council when it denied the CPW Rotary the use of A. A. Garthwaite stadium. Council members would not provide a reason during the public meeting, but in subsequent emails council members and the mayor made unfounded statements about issues with the festival.
- Whitemarsh Township, in partnership with the Whitemarsh Art Center, purchased the Abolition Hall property in Plymouth Meeting to utilize for open space and a facility for the art center. The property had once been the center of Abolitionist activity and was a stop on the Underground Railroad. In recent years, the property had a development plan for townhouses, which was approved, but the developer eventually walked away from the project. This provided the opportunity for the purchase by the township and the art center (which received a $2 million gift from the Karboots Foundation for its portion of the $3.95 million purchase).
- The Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Girls Basketball Team completed an undefeated 2021-2022 season by winning the PIAA 6A State Championship in March.
- Two new apartment communities, Matson Mill and The Birch, opened on Conshohocken’s riverfront above the bridge in 2022. Together, the two communities total 800 units.
- The Borough of Conshohocken made the decision to switch from twice-per-week trash collection to once per week collection starting in 2023. In the second half of 2022, a test run was commissioned and it was determined that the move saved money and allowed the borough labor to focus on other projects.
- On July 4th during Conshohocken’s Soap Box Derby, there was an altercation that led to the crowd in that vicinity believing they were in danger and fleeing up Fayette Street. In the end, the initial incident was overblown, but that doesn’t change the fact that the crowd felt they were in danger and fled.
- Plymouth Township continues to resist apartments at the Plymouth Meeting Mall. In 2021, Plymouth Township’s zoning hearing board denied an application from PREIT, the owner of the mall, to construct an apartment community on the mall property. In 2022, the owner of an office building adjacent to the mall, Keystone Development + Investment, began the process to receive approval to redevelop that building into apartments. The township’s planning agency voted to not recommend the application. The developer could still seek approval without a recommendation from the township’s council. That has not yet happened.
- Plymouth Square Shopping Center in Conshohocken (Plymouth Township) added several new businesses and began making an update to its facade. Opening in 2022 were Fairways & Dreams Indoor Golf, Wing Stop, Philadelphia Gymnastics Center, and Sports Clips. Plant Fitness is expected to open any day.
- The Borough of West Conshohocken began taking very initial steps to redevelop Front Street. A single private entity now owns seven properties between Ford Street and William Street, plus the corner of Ford and Front Street (101 Ford Street). The borough hall along Front Street remains in the borough’s hands. In the future the borough could create a new zoning overlay or amend its zoning another way to allow for some type of redevelopment along Front Street.
- Conshohocken’s borough council considered pursuing eniment domain of the The Outbound Station property at 2 Harry Street, but eventually dropped the matter. It did, however, purchase neighboring parcels (see next bullet).
- Conshohocken’s borough council announced a series of pocket parks from the area of the bridge and up along Fayette Street to the intersection with East 8th Avenue. The four parks would be mainly passive, but offer a place to sit down and enjoy lunch or a chat with neighbors.
Let us know if you think we missed something.
Disclosure – Burb Media, LLC, the parent company for MoreThanTheCurve.com, provides management and marketing services for the beer festival.