’s Top Stories of 2018

It was a big news year in the coverage areas of Conshohocken, West Conshohocken, Plymouth Meeting and Lafayette Hill. Here is what we consider to be the top stories:

  • The departure of Macy’s from the Plymouth Meeting Mall left three huge floors of empty retail space at the portion of the mall facing Germantown Pike. During 2018 PREIT, the mall’s owner, announced new tenants for the space. Burlington, Michael’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Edge Fitness and Miller’s Ale House will all be opening within the former Macy’s in 2019. (read more)
  • In November of 2017, Conshohocken’s Borough Council voted 4-3 to approve a zoning change to allow a Wawa with gas pumps to be built at the Moore Property on the 1100 block of Fayette Street. During 2018, a hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board was held over three days to consider a validity challenge to the ordinance that changed the existing zoning. A decision is to be announced by February 1st. (read more)
  • The Colonial School Board and Plymouth Township’s Council both passed a “Responsible Contractors” policy/ordinance in 2018. Both resulted in lawsuits, which claimed that the policy/ordinance limits who qualifies to bid on construction projects. (read more)
  • During 2018 Whitemarsh Township’s Board of Supervisors held hearings on the proposal to build townhomes on the property of Abolition Hall. The proposal met with stiff resistance from those concerned about the impact on the historical nature of the property that was part of the Abolition Movement and a stop on the Underground Railroad. The proposal was approved and a lawsuit was filed to appeal the decision. (read more)
  • The Colonial School District reversed its previous decision to renovate Colonial Middle School in Plymouth Meeting and instead build a new school on the same property. (read more)
  • This time last year the Eagles were on a march to the Super Bowl and the region was dominated by coverage of the team. Once the Eagles had earned the ticket to the Super Bowl in January of 2018, Saturday Night Live ran a sketch featuring Colonial-era Eagles fans. Upper Darby’s Tina Fey took part in the skit and named dropped Conshohocken. (watch the video) (buy a Wawa’s Cornfritters t-shirt)
  • When the Archdiocese of Philadelphia merged Conshohocken and West Conshohocken’s four Roman Catholic parishes in 2014, no one would have predicted that two of three churches closed as part of the merger would be serving as churches in 2018 (especially one still as a Roman Catholic Church). A Coptic Orthodox church previously took over the former Saint Cosmas & Damain Church on West 5th Avenue. This year, through the efforts of the Saint Mary Polish American Association and the The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (PFSP), the former Saint Mary Parish on West Elm Street was named Saint Mary Quasi-Parish by the Archdiocese and is now operated by the PFSP order. The order celebrates Mass in the Extraordinary Form (in Latin). (read more)
  • Sinkholes are common in the area, but the one that occurred in August 2018 closed a key portion of Butler Pike between Germantown Pike and Plymouth/Flourtown Roads which causes daily traffic headaches. The closure continues. (read more)
  • In 2018 we learned of two plans that if completed would result in more access on and off Conshohocken’s riverfront via one new railroad crossing and new access to another. The first involves SEPTA’s plan to move the Conshohocken Train Station further up river to Oak Street. A new vehicle crossing would be built there. Just over the border in Whitemarsh Township, a developer is proposing a townhome community on the river, which would include Washington Street being extended to the existing Lee Street crossing. (SEPTA plan) (townhome plan)
  • AmerisourceBergen’s selection of Keystone Properties’ redevelopment site, SORA West, in Conshohocken as the new home of its corporate headquarters has huge ramifications for the community. Along with the corporate headquarters (at West First Avenue and Fayette Street), will come a hotel (at the corner of West Elm Street and Fayette), a new parking garage (along West Elm Street between the Washington Fire Company and Saint Mary Quasi-Parish), a restaurant within the old fire house and a public square. There will be lots of new people and lots of new cars trying to get in and out of Conshohocken. It will be interesting to see how the area absorbs the impact. (read more)

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.