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Haddon development vote looms; will Towne Center pass this time?

9/2/2015 | Real Estate Blog

The next Haddon Township Board of Commissioners meeting may finally decide the fate of the Dy-Dee Diaper Service property. About 250 rental apartments — some of which will be set aside as affordable housing — and 12,500 square feet of retail space make up the proposed seven-building complex.

The site is across the street from a PATCO station, and that should help lure both new residents and new businesses to the community. As one local business owner characterizes it, the development will be a “true transit village” and a welcome addition to Haddon.

This has not been an easy project to get off the ground. Planning started in 2002, but the recession and legal challenges from low-income housing advocates delayed the real work. The Dy-Dee Diaper Service facility itself was torn down eight years ago, and the lot since then has looked like “a bombed-out war zone,” in the opinion of the planning board’s attorney.

Not everyone is as excited about the new Towne Center. Nearby residents are unhappy with the new plan’s focus on rental units. Originally, the plan called for condos for empty-nesters — and it wasn’t quite as vast as the current proposal. Even if the new complex is designed for high-end renters and boasts state-of-the-art amenities, one resident says, there are flaws with the plan.

School enrollment is one concern. Renters may add more students than the system can support — especially since none of the revenue generated by the Payment in Lieu of Taxes will go to the schools. (For an explanation of PILOTs, please see our May 2014 posts.)

There is also a question of the aesthetics of the development. The plans show buildings that lack originality and curb appeal, said another local.

These and other misgivings may well be overridden by supporters of the project and its potential to liven up Haddon.

Sources:, “Final vote due on development of Haddon’s Towne Center,” Kevin Riordan, Aug. 26, 2015

Courier Post, “Settlement in works for Dy-Dee redevelopment,” Phaedra Trethan, June 23, 2015