Love it or hate it, it looks like Ardmore will be getting a new Target location in the near future. Lower Merion officials just approved a plan for a new mix-use building on the corner of Lancaster Ave and Ardmore Ave (that vacant lot next to Tired Hands).
Target Express, which is the brand’s newest and smallest format, unveiled in 2014 and have been cropping up across mostly urban areas that have a high population of customers arriving on foot. The new Ardmore Target will occupy the first and second floors of the building, which amount to 32,000 square feet of retail space. The developer plans to build 35 luxury apartments above. Overall there were four commissioners opposed to the project, while eight were in favor.
With these intersections already so congested, it’s hard to imagine how traffic concerns will be mitigated. The plan outlines only 87 parking spaces, which has been a major point of contention for some local residents. A Change.org petition was launched by Marie Kramer, who declares that the Ardmore Target and apartments would overcrowd the area and that municipal lots would be overfilled. The petition also mentions that only 1,500 square feet of the proposed building falls within Special Transportation District. These districts allow for lightened parking restrictions because of their proximity to walkable neighborhoods or public transportation.
Says Kramer, “Our School District is experiencing problems with overcrowding. You need to put a brake on large developments to help with the overcrowding of the School District. Allowing the developer to use the municipal parking lots will push the small businesses by Ardmore West to go out of business by having to share the only parking they have.” Closing her statement, Kramer pleas: “Keep Ardmore charming, residential and affordable.”
The proposed Ardmore Target is not the first bout of controversy throughout the township. Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place received much opposition a few years back when the developer proposed to take over the municipal lot at Cricket Avenue and turn it until luxury apartments. With that lot now a massive development site, residents are especially weary to give a warm welcome to more development and possible congestion.
The timeline for many of these projects can extend for years, so it’s not clear when construction could begin for the Ardmore Target.
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