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Preservation group recommends residential development of historic Pennhurst site, P.1

9/26/2011 | Real Estate Blog

The Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance recently presented a land use study at an East Vincent Township meeting looking at the possibility of developing the historic site while continuing to maintain its buildings. According to the study, re-developing the site’s historic buildings into rental housing would be “financially viable.”

The land use study, which was a follow up to a 2009 study, noted that 11 core buildings on the site could be redeveloped as apartments. Such development seeks to pick up on trends in the market, in which rental housing is expected to experience growth.

The 11 buildings mentioned in the study only take up part of the historic site, and 75 acres would be left available for other uses. The study noted that the total estimated cost of such development would $88 million. The rental properties are expected to bring in around $77.6 million in funding, leaving a $10.8 million funding gap to be closed through other sources.

After publication of the study in August, the Preservation Alliance of Greater of Greater Philadelphia requested that the township planning commission consider two possible options for rezoning the Pennhurst site to allow for re-development project.

The first option would defer any action on the zoning change for four months, during which time the Preservation Alliance would seek potential developers for rental properties. The second option involves including a residential use for the Pennhurst site for “historic core properties subject to preservation of the historic buildings.” So far, no hearing has been scheduled on the proposed zoning amendment.

Sources said the township planning commission voted last month to deny the request.

In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this story.

Source: Daily Local, “Land-use study recommends housing for Pennhurst campus,” Laura Catalano, Sep 17, 2011.