During last Thursday evening’s meeting of the Conshohocken Planning Commission, its members voted 4-1 to recommend to Borough Council that the redevelopment of the western unit block of Fayette Street, known as SORA West, move forward. The recommendation to Borough Council came with a lot of conditions. Concerns that were discussed during the meeting were vehicle access to the property, emergency vehicle access, and improvements/plan to encourage public transportation.
The office building is slated to become the new corporate headquarters for Amerisource Bergen.
One thing we learned is that the Washington Fire Company No. 1 has sold a portion of it catering hall to the developer of SORA West, Keystone Property Group, for an undisclosed sum. As you can see in the above image, the space that was formally occupied by a portion of the catering hall is now part of the path to enter the property and reach the service area for the hotel. We shaded in a light blue the portion of the firehouse as it exists today that will remain and the firehouse as it appears on the diagram.
The historic portion of the fire house (the white box in the center of the diagram), which has long been closed, is connected to the current firehouse by the portion of the catering hall that will be removed to create the service area. The historic fire house is designated as a “brewery” on the diagram.
This diagram shows the pedestrian and accessible circulation through and around the property.
This diagram shows the routes to the train station. When this issue was being discussed, the Chair of the Planning Commission brought up that the train station is going to move further up river to where Oak Street dead ends with the railroad tracks (basically near The Grande). We have reported that this move was possible, but it was the first time we heard it discussed as something that was going to absolutely happen.
This shows the parking garage (if you were coming down West Elm Street towards Fayette Street) that will be along West Elm and next to the Washington Fire Company. The office building is directly behind it (they are not connected). The hotel is just beyond the firehouse.
This shows the parking garage looking from the corner of Fayette Street and West Elm Street. The pattern of the outside of the parking garage shows what it could look like. It was used as a sample and the final determination would be made with input and approval of the Borough.
In other news about this redevelopment, Keystone Property Group is planning to raze the buildings that exist on the property by the end of the year according to an article published by the Philadelphia Business Journal (it is behind a paywall).
The approval process now moves to Borough Council. Keep you posted on when it is on an agenda.