Developer seeks text amendment to convert an office building at Plymouth Meeting Mall into 150 apartments

During the May 2nd meeting of Plymouth Township’s Council, Keystone Development + Investment made a presentation involving the conversion of the office building it owns that is adjacent to the mall into 150 apartments. The building has been vacant for several years and plans to convert it into a more office building and senior living facility haven’t materialized.

To convert the building into apartments, the developer is seeking the council to adopt a text amendment that would allow the conversion of existing buildings within the Shopping Center Zoning District, which includes the property bounded by Hickory Road, Germantown Pike, and the highway.

A representative of Keystone discussed how the building being converted into apartments would help the mall become more vibrant, reduce potential traffic, and not impact the school district. The statement made about the impact of traffic is based on an office building generating more traffic than an apartment community. In regards to the impact on the school district, statistics were provided about the number of students generated from similarly priced one-and-two bedroom apartments within the township and nearby.

The members of the council expressed that they were agreeable to allowing township staff to work with Keystone to develop a text amendment that they could consider for advertising at a future meeting.

Note that this proposal isn’t connected to the other effort to construct an apartment community on the mall property. PREIT, which owns the mall and most of the property within the shopping center district, sought zoning relief from Plymouth Township’s Zoning Hearing Board to construct an apartment building. This was denied by the zoning heard board and it is currently in the appeal process.

Below is the video from the meeting cued to the presentation.