Developer of 8200 Germantown Ave. project reaches ‘good neighbor’ agreement with residents

Members of the Chestnut Hill Community Association voted on Thursday night to approve covenants related to construction on a property at 8200 Germantown Ave. The agreement is a ‘good neighbors’ pact that is the framework for CHCA’s support of the project.

The subject on ongoing negotiation for several months, the Germantown Ave. site will include The Fresh Market grocery store and four stories of condominiums.

As reported by Newsworks, earlier this month project architects Richard Gelber and Stanley Runyan delivered updates and changes to the design of the mixed-use portion of the overall plan, which would include the 20,000 square foot grocer and have a maximum overall height of 60 feet from street level. Fifth-floor residences which once had balconies overlooking Germantown Avenue now have enclosed spaces.

Still pending are plans for townhomes to be built at the rear of the site on Shawnee Street, which faces part of Pastorius Park. Plans for that component are ongoing.

Seth Shapiro, project manager, said earlier this month that the two phases of the project – the grocer and the townhomes – will continue on independent, though possibly simultaneous, construction schedules.

 While CHCA President Jane Piotrowski indicated that the agreement was final and not open to amendment, there were still some questions about the language of the document.

Executive Committee member Tom Cullen asked whether the CHCA/Bowman agreement could exclude nearby residents from future input on the development.

Patricia Pregmon, attorney for CHCA for the Germantown Ave. project, said that the community will have input in the future should any problems come up.

With the approval in place, representative from Bowman Properties said earlier this month that they hope to secure building permits for the 8200 Germantown Ave. by late October.


CHCA to get new president

In other CHCA news, Thursday night witnessed a change of the guard as part of the group’s annual organization meeting. Brien Tilley will replace Jane Piotrowski as president.

“It was both challenging and rewarding,” said Piotrowksi of the past year, invoking CHCA to “keep the passion – it’s what this community has built on for so many years.”

Relating his vision for CHCA in the coming year, Tilley said that he would like to place an emphasis on “branding” the CHCA.

“I’d like to create a real brand awareness,” he said, “because people need to know the good work that gets done (by CHCA).” Tilley also suggested that this could bolster CHCA’s membership.

The first initiative of Tilley was to move the monthly meetings to 7:30 p.m., in order to accommodate work schedules and family commitments. After a debate that considered other alternatives, the motion passed, and will take effect next month.

CHCA meetings will continue to conclude at 9 p.m., which Tilley hopes will encourage increasing efficiency in the consideration and discussion of proposals before the board.

The Executive Board also approved the nomination of Fund Trustee Morris Disston, along with the re-nomination of Fund Trustee Jean Hemphill.

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