Status of the College Gateway Zoning Overlay
At the Borough’s January Business Development Committee (BDC) meeting, members reviewed new businesses for Main Street and the Marketplace at Collegeville (Redner’s) Shopping Center, and received an update on proposed zoning. They were also introduced to Naomi Crimm, the Borough’s new Montgomery County Planning Commission planner. Naomi replaces Mike Lowrey who has taken a position in Delaware. Naomi is a former Planner with the city of Reading, PA.
The Collegeville Borough Planning Commission (PC) continues their review of the College Gateway Overlay District zoning proposed for the corners of 5th Ave. and Main St. This special zoning is only for the 5th Ave. corners where the top of Main Street connects with the Ursinus campus. The zoning will be discussed again at the Commission’s Feb. 17 meeting at 7 p.m. If the PC completes its review then, the Council will vote whether to approve it at their March 3 meeting.
For an overview of the zoning see our October 12th post College Gateway Zoning Overlay Proposed for Collegeville’s Main St.
The proposed zoning for the 5th Ave. corners allows for mixed-use (retail on the first floor and apartments or dormitories above) four-story buildings.
At the BDC meeting Robert Botti gave a presentation of buildings showing how a four-story building can visually “fit in” with the height of our existing three-story buildings on the 400 block of Main St. Building setbacks between the third and fourth stories can visually reduce a building’s height from the street. Different architectural styles can also break up the linear massing of a building to make it look like smaller individual buildings.
Collegeville’s zoning will likely outline similar features as well as encourage gabled and mansard roofs to better fit in with existing buildings. Below is an example of buildings with setbacks.
If you would like to review the proposed zoning, contact Suzanne Robertson at [email protected]. All borough documents and meetings are open to the public. You can attend meetings either in-person or via Zoom. Click on the meeting on the borough calendar for the dates, times, Zoom links and agendas of upcoming meetings.
Proposed Coffee House on Main Street
Trappe residents Brenna and Jeremy Sowers continue to work with Ursinus College and their contractor to evaluate the College’s dormitory at 476 E. Main St. (map it) for suitability for their proposed coffee house and performance space, “Haven Coffee and Tea.” The coffee house would be on the model of Phoenixville’s Steel City Coffee House. If all goes well, the venue could possibly open in mid-2022. This will be a sought-after business by both the residents and students of Collegeville.
KeyBank Space Divides
Three separate retail/restaurant spaces are proposed for the former KeyBank at 364 E. Main St. (map it). Owners Keenan, Ciccitto & Associates, LLP will be dividing the building into three retail/restaurant spaces. They have one retail tenant from Phoenixville who wants space on the right side of the building where the drive-through window is for an established family retail hair products store specializing in artificial hair integration.
Ice Cream on Wheels
Many of us would love an ice cream shop on our Main Street. Now we get a chance to try one out! Downtown Scoop is a successful home-made ice cream business in Souderton’s downtown. They have built a trailer for sales at special events. To give our residents a chance to sample their ice cream, we will be inviting them to sell at our summer events in Collegeville.
Like Minds Brewing, a small craft beer business, is still interested in locating their Brew Pub in Collegeville. Their timeline has shifted and they are now shooting to open their Tap Room in 2023. Although they are primarily interested in buying a building, they are interested in seeing any spaces for lease that might be suitable.
The Marketplace at Collegeville
Upscale Thrift Store
Worthwhile Thrift will be opening at the end of February in the former Sears Hardware in the Marketplace at Collegeville Shopping Center. They have taken the entire 26,000 square feet of space.
“Our store will have an upscale branded look and appeal,” says Executive Director Dan Emr. “We specialize in higher-end clothing and housewares. Our new location will offer great clothing, shoes, accessories, books, media, housewares, décor, antiques, electronics, and vintage items as well as furniture.”
See our Business Spotlight: Worthwhile Thrift.
Children’s Play Space
Owner Ashleigh Hill is moving ahead with plans for “The Barnyard,” an indoor children’s imagination play space slated to open in March, 2022 in the former Rock N’ Roll After School space at the Marketplace at Collegeville Shopping Center (map it). The Barnyard’s mission is to provide a safe, clean, fun learning environment that everyone can enjoy. This fits in with the Collegeville Borough’s business district positioning of working to attract families with children of all ages.
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