Top Stories of 2014 in Conshohocken, West Conshohocken, Plymouth Township and Whitemarsh Township

Below are our Top Stories for 2014 for the Conshohocken, West Conshohocken, Plymouth Meeting and Whitemarsh Township. They are in no particular order. Let us know if we forgot anything.

  • Lafayette Hill received a makeover with the reopening of Brittingham’s and the Barren Hill Tavern (formally the General Lafayette Inn). Both opened at the very end of 2013, but their impact came in 2014.
  • Conshohocken had several breweries in the past, but none in recent history. That all changed when the Conshohocken Brewing Company opened in April. While the tap room has proved a popular addition to the Conshohocken scene, you can really feel its growth just by searching “Conshohocken” on Twitter and viewing the numerous tweets from people around the region using various apps to tell people they drinking a beer from the Conshohocken Brewing Company.
  • The Conshohocken Rowing Center was completed in 2014 and an official opening is planned in 2015.
  • Single, detached homes in Conshohoken were regularly being listed for over $500,000 this year.
  • The saga involving a proposed convenience store with gas pumps dragged on another year. This story, which started in October 2010, now has the developer seeking zoning variances to allow the project to move forward. The big news for the year on this issue is that Wawa is no longer part of application and it is being proposed as a generic gas station and convenience store.
  • At one point in 2014, there were about 1,500+ new apartments under construction, proposed or approved in the Conshohocken zip code. One developer who was approved for 300+ units, eventually decided not to build apartments and instead sought and received approval for an office building. At this point, the Courts at Spring Mill Station (382 units) is partially open and O’Neill Properties has sold its approved, but not built development at 51 Washington (310 units) to another developer. O’Neill’s larger project is on the 400 block of Washington Street (598 units) and is approved in Conshohocken, but still seeking final approval in Whitemarsh (the property spans the border). So plan on a lot of new neighbors sometime in the new couple of years.
  • AmerisourceBergen, which has the highest revenue for any company headquartered in Pennsylvania, considered moving its headquarters to Conshohocken in 2014. O’Neill Properties, along with other developers, sought approval for a new office buildings and/or marketed their approved buildings to the pharmaceutical service giant. Eventually the company decided to maintain its current location in Valley Forge, but did decide to move almost 200 employees to one of O’Neill’s existing Millennium buildings on Washington Street.
  • The Borough of Conshohocken and the Board of the Fellowship House were at odds in 2014 over funding for and the programming at the Fellowship House. Eventually the Borough moved to take over the facility and will take possession on January 1st.
  • The Borough of Conshohocken fired its Borough Manager Fran Marabella the day before the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. There appeared to be some confusion by members of Borough Council as to whether he was fired or resigned, but in the end it was decided he was fired.
  • The proposed redevelopment of the western unit block of Fayette Street received a good deal of regional press in 2014, but didn’t really move forward at all. What did happen is that other property owners near the redevelopment area are now asking to be included in a yet-to-be-released special zoning district if it is to be considered and approved.
  • There was huge growth in the health and fitness businesses in the Conshohocken area in 2014. Three new Crossfits opened (there are now four total), a barre studio opened in Lafayette Hill, MIXX Fitness opened in Conshohocken, Prime Intensity Training moved to a larger space and Tone Zone opened a second location on Ridge.
  • The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that the four parishes in Conshohocken and West Conshohocken would all merged at St. Matthew Parish in Conshohocken.
  • The redevelopment of the Verizon Building moved forward in 2014. The building was gutted down to its steel and foundation, the Borough took out $10 million in loans and the Commonwealth paid for part of the remediation and dumped $2.5 million into the building through a grant. All together about $17 million in public money is now the building.