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New Town Center Living,
in the Town You Already Love.
110 Park Avenue will bring modern condominium living to the heart of Swarthmore Borough. Close to all the village features you already love, this tasteful project brings new living opportunities to Swarthmore’s town center.
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110 Park will feature on-site parking, ground floor retail and a newly designed courtyard area with spaces for the community and residents to enjoy. View PDF
Frequently Asked Questions
Where will 110 Park be located?
110 Park will be located on Park Avenue in the Swarthmore Town Center and will be built on an area that that currently includes 102 – 104 Park Avenue, 110 and 112 Park Avenue.
What will 110 Park bring to the Swarthmore Town Center?
- 110 Park will extend the Retail Business District more than 150 feet and will more than double the amount of retail space presently located on its building site, including creation of the largest contiguous retail space in the Town Center.
- 110 Park will provide the most significant increase to the housing supply and the largest increase in the tax base to the Borough of Swarthmore in more than 50 years.
- 110 Park will bring more than 70 people to live in the Town Center, bringing customers to stores and restaurants.
- 110 Park will upgrade the current alleyway adjacent to 102 Park into a far more pleasant pedestrian through-way to Rutgers Ave., with new paving, improved lighting, and other upgrades.
- 110 Park is a perfect example of Transit-Oriented development that has become hugely popular as the country has become more focused on sustainability. 110 Park will bring a sustainable, green building to the Swarthmore Town Center.
Does the design of 110 Park incorporate any other garden or green features?
110 Park will have a green roof and while the building design is still to be completed, it will incorporate some of the latest in sustainable construction. The design also incorporates permanent planters along multiple floors of the Park Avenue façade, which will be filled with perennial, annual and seasonal plantings, further contributing to the overall greenery of Town Center. These plantings will be irrigated and maintained by the building management to ensure their continued health and beauty.
How will 110 Park impact the streetscape along Park Avenue?
The design of 110 Park incorporates a number of green features and streetscape improvements. The sidewalks and curbs along Park Avenue will be replaced with new, wider sidewalks that will include abundant cutout space for new trees, plantings and community benches. New street lighting will also be installed along the length of the building.
How will 110 Park impact parking in Town Center?
110 Park includes a thoughtfully concealed ground-floor parking garage for 40-spaces that will be accessible through a modest gate located on the ground floor of 110 Park. Residents will be offered optional additional vehicle storage within the garage, thereby eliminating their need to use existing Town Center parking. Patrons of the retail spaces are expected to use public parking as they do with other stores, which is consistent with the Borough’s planning objective of increasing foot-traffic in Town Center.
How will 110 Park impact traffic in Town Center?
According to a study by Albert Federico Consulting, LLC, Traffic Engineers, 110 Park will add just 21 more automobile trips to the Town Center per day, making for a very minimal impact on traffic.
How will 110 Park impact pedestrian safety?
110 Park will incorporate extensive safety features to ensure that the new development will improve, not detract from, the Park Avenue pedestrian landscape and safety.
The entrance to the parking area will be controlled with an automated system with the following features:
- Dual vehicular control points; one, in the form of a traffic arm, at the opening in the building façade, and second, in the form of an automated gate, set back approximately 30 feet from the façade, to create a ‘holding zone’ large enough to accommodate one vehicle between the two control points
- Remote actuators for parking users that are triggered when approaching the parking entrance
- Automated, illuminated bollards at the sidewalk, which will flash to alert pedestrians anytime a vehicle is preparing to cross the sidewalk (either into or out of the parking area)
The intent of this system is to alert any pedestrians of approaching vehicles entering from the street or exiting from the building, as well as to eliminate the possibility of vehicular conflicts when entering and exiting the garage. The result will be that the entrance to 110 Park will be far safer than similar conditions that currently exist in the Town Center.
Are there specific businesses you anticipate moving into the 110 Park retail spaces?
While we have not yet made commitments for the retail spaces, our discussions to date have been with local businesses who may be interested in expanding and other independently owned small businesses who are interested in opening a location in Swarthmore Town Center.
How will the design of 110 Park be compatible with the current Town Center?
It was of utmost importance to the design and development teams that the design of 110 Park be fully in accordance with Town Center Zoning District ordinance. As designed it meets every standard in the ordinance including height, setbacks, floor-area-ratio, façade articulation, ground floor façade, architectural elements, pedestrian accessibility, streetscapes, driveways and parking requirements. In addition, as a result of valuable community input, a number of architectural features and elements have been thoughtfully incorporated into the building’s overall design to ensure it not only conforms to the zoning ordinance but also complements and enhances our current Town Center.
These design elements include:
- Segmenting the building into three main buildings with recessed connectors between the segments. This design feature acts to soften the façade and creates a look reminiscent of a row of grand townhomes. As a result, the longest continuous façade will be less than 45 feet.
- Covered terraces along the majority of the 2nd floor along Park Avenue, bringing lightness and openness to the lower building façade.
- Horizontal segregation to the building. The 3rd floor of 110 Park is set back 10 feet from the street-level building façade, creating the appearance from the sidewalk of cornices comparable to the height of the surrounding two and three-story buildings. In addition, the latest design of the building includes an additional 20-foot setback at the 5th floor. The result of this newest modification is that 110 Park will have the appearance of a four-story building from the ground. Although not required by code, this change was made after receiving valuable community input.
The result is that 110 Park will be a significant building and an important asset to the Town Center when it is completed.
How tall is 110 Park?
The zoning code dictates that the height of the building measured from the sidewalk to the top of the parapet of the front facade be no more than 65 feet. The height of the parapet of the 4th floor of 110 Park is approximately 51 feet. The highest point of 110 Park – the top of the stair to the roof towards the rear of the building – is 65 feet.
Does Swarthmore have a Historic District that is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places?
No. We love our downtown, but no buildings in Swarthmore Town Center nor the Town Center itself are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Did Swarthmore have the opportunity to have its downtown district designated as a recognized historic district?
Yes. The Planning Commission and Borough considered the opportunity to have its downtown designated a Historic District, but chose not to. They believed doing so would limit development and growth opportunities in downtown.
Does Swarthmore have any designated downtown district?
Yes. Located in the heart of our beautiful Swarthmore community is the Swarthmore Town Center. The district was created in 2013 as the Town Center Zoning District, and was established with the goal of encouraging development, supporting the growth of local businesses and bringing more people into the Town Center to shop, dine and live. A link to the Town Center Zoning Ordinance can be found here.
In addition, Swarthmore Town Center, Inc., a non-profit comprised of local business owners and interested residents, who have worked diligently for more than twenty years in fulfilling their mission to “promote the downtown as an exciting place to live, shop and invest”, has long supported the addition of a mixed-use building in the Town Center district. In addition, in a recent STC survey, the majority of the business owners responded that they support the project, as it would bring additional customers to their small businesses in our town.
Is 110 Park part of a larger, previously existing plan to bring more residential living opportunities to the Town Center?
Yes. 110 Park is precisely the kind of development the Town Center Zoning District was established to encourage. Numerous studies over the past 20+ years – including the 1999 Town Center Revitalization Report, the Aging in Place Task Force and, most recently the Swarthmore 2030 Task Force – have identified a significant need for the kind of housing and expanded retail 110 Park will provide. 110 Park is thoughtfully designed to offer new residential living opportunities in the heart of the Town Center that were not previously available.
What is the Historic Resources List?
In 2001, Delaware County conducted a survey of the county’s “Historic Resources”. The survey included a brief history of Swarthmore and an inventory of buildings built before 1960. The list included nearly every building in the Town Center, including two that were demolished a few years after the list was published without controversy. It also includes more than one hundred houses in the borough. The full list of “Historic Resources” in the Town Center can be found HERE. Inclusion on the list does not mean that the borough has selected a building for preservation; the list is simply an inventory of old buildings. A fuller explanation of the purpose of this list by someone involved in it and specifically cited on the cover can be found HERE.
Are any of the existing buildings on the planned location for 110 Park directly protected by an historic designation?
No, they are not directly protected from removal by an historic designation. The only language in the Swarthmore code that relates to a building’s protection from removal is the requirement that an applicant for removal demonstrate that the removal “will not have a substantial negative effect on the character of the Town Center.” (Chapter 1256.06). Most people would agree a number of buildings meet this threshold – Michaels, The Shirer building, the PNC Bank Building for example – but clearly not every building in the Town Center. Indeed, the Town Center Zoning District would be meaningless if every building on the Historic Resource list was to be protected, as there has been no vacant land in the district for decades.
Did the 110 Park developers explore preserving 102 Park?
Yes. The developers, together with their architects and structural engineers, explored options to preserve portions or the façade of the 102 Park building. Ultimately, it was determined that it was not feasible or desirable for several reasons:
- The existing 102 Park structure is not accessible to people with disabilities, and therefore would require extensive corrections to comply with ADA regulations
- The condition of 102 Park’s foundations and structure were found to be unsuitable for preservation or incorporation into a new structure, according to a Structural Engineer’s assessment
- The current structural layout of 102 Park restricts the retail space to small and less efficient spaces
- Keeping the existing structure would make it impossible to comply with a number of Town Center Zoning District requirements with regard to window and door openings
The developers of 110 Park have profound respect for historic preservation in construction. W.S. Cumby Construction, the owners of which are the majority partners in 110 Park, has been involved in historic restoration work both in Swarthmore and the Greater Philadelphia area for the past forty years. In fact, W.S. Cumby renovated the Swarthmore Train Station after it had fallen into complete disrepair in the mid-80s. They subsequently used the station for their offices until they outgrew it nearly twenty years later, and their current offices are in another adaptively reused building. Finally, it has just recently been announced that three of W.S. Cumby’s recently completed projects were awarded Grand Jury prizes by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, more than any other firm.
Have the 110 Park developers offered any relocation assistance to tenants of properties at 102 Park or other affected buildings?
The developers understand that the construction of project will entail some disruption, particularly for the current retail tenants of 102 Park. The developers met with these tenants immediately after signing the agreement of sale with the owners in August 2021 to discuss the plans for the new development and to assure the tenants of their desire to minimize the disruption to their businesses. The developers offered the current retail tenants affordable space in the new building and to assist them with temporary space during the construction period, but both declined.
What is the current status of the building’s zoning permit?
The Borough’s Zoning Officer previously provided feedback regarding the design of the building, finding that it was not compliant with the zoning ordinance in two areas – residential storage on the Ground Floor and building height. Per a process outlined in the ordinance (Section 1256.04), he referred a third issue – how the building complements the pattern of existing landmark structures – to the Planning Commission. Although the 110 Park development team didn’t entirely agree with the Borough’s interpretation, they have decided to fully comply with the Zoning Officer’s findings and are in the process of submitting an amended plan that deletes the residential storage on the Ground Floor and reduces the building’s height and scale. The revised submission is under review by the Zoning Officer.
Is there a demand for 110 Park and is there a list I can get on if I am interested in either residential or retail space?
Yes. Even at this very early stage, the developers have received interest in both residential and retail space that well exceeds ultimate availability. No formal sales or leasing process has begun, however, and if you would like to add your name to the interest list, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there an opportunity to get more information about all of this if I have additional questions?
Yes. Please send any questions that you might have to email@example.com.
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