New zone protects existing property owners while promoting high-quality redevelopment for underperforming assets
With a 5-0 vote, the Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance to permit mixed-use development in the King of Prussia business park. Upper Merion Township and the King of Prussia District (KOP-BID) worked together for three years to re-write the outdated former zoning code and subdivision and land development ordinance (SALDO) to create an active district where people will be able to live, work and play.
Today, companies, employees, residents and visitors are looking for dynamic places that offer high quality commercial spaces, residential choices, access to public transportation, and retail amenities. To compete in the 21st Century, suburban municipalities need to reposition older zoning codes that prohibited these types of communities from developing and encourage mixed-use development in a thoughtful and comprehensive way.
“We believe that the change in zoning from the traditional 1960’s suburban office park to a dynamic, mixed-use district will trigger significant investment in the coming years,” stated Eric T. Goldstein, King of Prussia District Executive Director.
Goldstein added, “Now that the zoning is in place, we will turn our sights to the rest of the ‘package’ which includes extending the High Speed Line into the business park, creating better access from the PA Turnpike, and building a Linear Park along the prime corridor of First Avenue. The KOP Mixed-Use District is now poised to be the premier business location in the Philadelphia suburban region.”
With more than 20,000 people employed in the current business park, it made sense to the Township and KOP-BID to create opportunities for people to live and work in the same neighborhood. Allowing underperforming assets to be converted into multi-family residential with service retail will result in more activity seven days per week, reduce the amount of daily auto trips on local roadways, and result in a true live/work community that is highly attractive to companies and their employees.
“The mixed-use zoning district repositions the old business park into a place where people can live and work in the same neighborhood, benefit from significant pedestrian and vehicular improvements, and experience high-quality residential, service retail and office developments, while mitigating vehicular traffic,” said Greg Waks, Chairman of the Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors. “Repositioning suburban neighborhoods in this way is key to their survival in the face of shifting demographics and modern corporate and employee desires.”
Organization will continue work to improve economic environment in King of Prussia
On September 18, 2014 during the Upper Merion Township public meeting, the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance extending the King of Prussia District’s (KOP-BID) organizational life for an additional term of five years through May of 2020.
“The King of Prussia business community is now a collective force working together with public partners to collaboratively improve the economic environment in King of Prussia by making it more vibrant, attractive and prosperous,” said Eric Goldstein, King of Prussia District Executive Director. “There is a new, exciting vibe in King of Prussia, and we look forward to building upon that in the next five years.”
During the next few years, KOP-BID will continue its work with the Township to: promote economic development; grow jobs; improve physical conditions; promote the area through marketing and communications; develop zoning and tax strategies; and promote better transportation connections.