Children of America daycare center to be open by June 18

Updates on a number of neighborhood developments were revealed Thursday night during an abbreviated version of the Chestnut Hill Business Association’s annual meeting.

Anne McNally, CHBA’s co-president, delivered news about the soon-to-open Children of America Daycare center and Chestnut Hill Hospital’s expansion project.

The national childcare provider, which will fill the site of a former Borders bookstore location on Germantown Avenue, is scheduled to have an open house this Saturday, according to McNally. Students will start coming to the center two days later on June 18.

COA has signed a 15-year lease at 8701 Germantown Ave. with two five-year options.

In October, the company’s CEO Thad Pryor told NewsWorks that the childcare center will initially provide full-day programs for children through kindergarten and afterschool programs for children from first through fifth grade.

It’s hoped that the location will later transition into a private, K-5 charter school. The change is scheduled to get underway after the second year of operation.

The community has had mixed feelings about a daycare filling what is generally viewed as Chestnut Hill’s premiere retail space.

McNally, who also owns McNally’s Tavern, asked that attendees welcome COA as its clientele is likely to patronize local businesses during trips to and from the childcare center.

Chestnut Hill Hospital

McNally also announced that Chestnut Hill Hospital’s $40 million expansion will open in October.

The three-story building will house, among other things, a new Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit.

Say goodbye to the Magarity building

Greg Welsh, CHBA’s other co-president and owner of The Chestnut Grill, gave an update on Bowman Properties’ plan to build a large grocery store-anchored retail and residential complex at 8200 Germantown Ave.

The mixed-used project, the subject of a considerable amount of controversy, is set to begin demolition by early fall.

The five-story, 20,000 square-foot development, which will sit on the site of a former Magarity Ford dealership, will feature the gourmet food market chain The Fresh Market, retail spaces facing Germantown Avenue and a set of condominiums and townhomes.

The townhomes will face Shawnee Street.

Retail recruiter’s accomplishments

McNally also took time to thank Eileen Reilly for her work in the community.

Reilly was hired two summers ago to be the neighborhood’s retail recruiter. It was her job to attract new businesses to fill vacancies primarily along Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill’s commercial corridor. Reilly announced her resignation earlier this year. 

The following businesses, according to McNally, have set up shop since Reilly hit the Hill in June 2010:

– Chesnut7

– Mica

– Iron Hill Brewery

– Heirloom

– Thai Kuu

– Gravers Lane Gallery

– Greene Street Consignment

– Indigo Schuy

– Roots, Inc.

– Posh Hair Artistry

– Green Design

– Hipster Home

– Linen

– Earth

– Room Service

– Delaware Valley Nephrology & Hypertension Association

– Moneza Cleaners & Tailors

– Acupuncture Philadelphia

– Pearson Snyder Schoolwork & Tutoring

– Facility Specialists, LLC

– Cheekadee Make-up

The Chestnut Hill Business Association is currently interviewing candidates seeking to replace Reilly.

Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass was scheduled to address the crowd gathered inside the Woodmere Art Museum, but was unable to attend. Budget discussions during the legislative body’s regularly scheduled session did not wrap up until nearly 9 p.m.

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