While the potential uses of Leeland Mansion have been discussed for years, the reality of its being sold or re-purposed by the Borough of Conshohocken is now here. A few months ago Borough Council initiated a study by a private firm to investigate the viability of uses such as a bed and breakfast, catering/event facility, office space and a museum.
The results of the study will be presented at a meeting of Borough Council on Wednesday, February 3rd at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the new Borough Hall at West 4th Avenue and Fayette Street.
The mansion was utilized by the Borough for its offices until about eight years ago when it was forced out of the building due to a mold problem. Since then it has continued to hold public meetings on the ground floor. Meetings have just recently been moved to the new Borough Hall in the former Verizon Building. The police department was located in a building at the rear of the property until just recently. That has moved to the new Borough Hall building as well.
The big question is not the use, but who will oversee the property’s rehab and future. We know of at least two developers interested in the property. According to the Times Herald, HOW Properties, which is based in Conshohocken, made an $750,850 offer within the last three years which was not accepted.
In email to MoreThanTheCurve.com, Gary Jonas of HOW Properties shared:
Our plan was to engage the community when determining the use. We were considering a restaurant, office space, an entertainment type complex with family friendly activities. A wedding facility.
We discussed keeping the exterior the way it was. We also discussed letting the township use the building for their Christmas events like Santa coming down from the terrace.
Jonas, and other members of the local business community we have spoken with, are concerned that the Borough will decide to rehab and operate the property itself. One proposal coming from within Borough Council is for the Borough to operate a bed & breakfast at Leeland Mansion. In his email to MoreThanTheCurve.com, Jonas stated, “As a business owner in the community with more than 40 employees we are very concerned about the township (sic) trying to get into private enterprise. We proposed a 75 year ground lease if the township (sic) wanted to control the asset long term”.
We hope to obtain a copy of the study and publish. We also plan to attend the presentation on February 3rd. Stay tuned for more information.