A lot happened in Conshohocken in 2012. Here is a list of the Top 10 stories, in no particular order:
Totaro’s Closing After 51 Years
Before there was a restaurant boom in Conshy, there was Totaro’s on East Hector. Andrew Totaro transformed his family’s neighbor bar into a culinary destination. Totaro’s was purchased by Brian Peiri who owns The StoneRose and will reopen the space in 2013 under a new name.
Totaro’s last night will be on New Year’s Eve.
8 East Closes/Southern Cross Kitchen to Open
After a two year run, 8 East was put on the market. There was interest from a few notable Philly area restaurateurs, including the owners of Gypsy Saloon and Stella Blu in West Conshy who ultimately secured the space. It is currently operating under the 8 East name with a new southern comfort food menu, but expect a formal opening under the name Southern Cross Kitchen in 2013.
Hale Pump Closes/Residential Development Coming?
Hale Pump, which manufactures fire and rescue equipment on a large property along Spring Mill in Conshohocken, announced that it is closing its Conshohocken operation and consolidating it with an existing operation in Florida. This has opened up the property for development and the it has been looked at by several residential builders.
It has been over two years since Wawa held a public presentation at the Fellowship House and was met with lots of boos. During the course of those two years there haven’t been any public statements, but there have been private meetings with elected officials, leaders of community organizations and other deemed to have influence.
In 2012, Wawa’s developers launched a website to encourage support of the proposal and the Conshohocken Revitalization Alliance was formed to lead the effort against it. Late in 2012, Wawa finally submitted a formal proposal to the Borough and there was one heard in front of the Planning Commission. Look for a decision to be made in 2013.
One of the reasons that Conshohocken is so popular a place to live for professional is its proximity to so many major roads. In 2012, access to Conshohocken State Road was closed on the West Conshy side due to the straightening of Balligomingo Road and just this month access to Conshohocken Road at the end of West Elm was closed in Conshohocken. Both construction projects will extend far into 2013.
Townhomes in West Conshy
The property on Morehead Avenue that was last M Bar and Theresa’s, has been a number of different restaurants for at least 20 years. This past year saw the property sold to a developer that is developing it into townhome community, Lafayette Crossing. All 22 units have sold within a year.
Conshohocken Rowing Center
Malvern Prep and the Haverford School approached the Borough to work out a partnership to build a rowing center along the river in Conshy. The center broke ground in 2012 and will house the rowing programs for the two schools, plus provide the locals the opportunity to access the river to kayak or row. Expect it to open in late 2013.
What happens when a Conshy-based business wants to build a helipad to transport clients to and from its office? A public-private partnership is worked out that allows the construction of a helipad on Borough-owned property and in return a dog park is built nearby on public land with private funds. Expect it to open in 2013.
Philly vs. Conshy
Philadelphia began a targeted campaign in 2012 to encourage tech and tech investors to move their headquarters from suburban hubs like Conshohocken to the city. So far two Conshy/West Conshy-based companies have taken the bait and decided to relocate. Will 2013 see more companies move from Conshy?
Reilly Foam Closes/Apartments to Replace
Reilly Foam, another long time Conshy manufacturer located at the corner of East Hector and North lane, sold its property in 2012. Replacing it will be 385 apartment units called the Courts at Spring Mill Station, which promise a bunch of amenities and any easy commute to the city due to being adjacent to the Spring Mill train station. The apartments are scheduled to open in 2014.