Hatboro - Blighted to Righted

Transportation Oriented Development (TOD)

Hatboro, Montgomery County, PA

 

Jacksonville Green - $20 Million TOD, Adaptive Re-Use of Blighted Factory

 

Challenge: 2011

The original four-acre "Cosmopolitan Motorcycle" factory, now known as Jacksonville Green, was vacant and empty. This parcel, part of a larger TOD project was in legal dispute by its two original owners who had developed an adjoining property called Hatboro Lofts. The Lofts were an adaptive re-use of a blighted, nine-acre factory building that had been empty for two decades.

Redeveloped as a high-end TOD, mixed-use apartment complex the Lofts were winners of the Montgomery County Revitalization Award in 2010. The Lofts have 160, SOHO style apartments with exposed brick walls, steel girders, industrial windows and exposed ductwork.

The owners were mired in a lawsuit that completely halted Jacksonville Green, Phase Two of the project.

Additional Challenges: 2016

Find a solution to re-started this $20 million dollar project delayed by two years.

Jacksonville Green, a four-acre, blighted 1900s motorcycle factory in Hatboro's Elm Street District, bordering a SEPTA Rail Line and adjacent to the Crooked Billet Elementary School was stalled in development.

Project costs had risen dramatically since first approved and financed. One of the major investors had left the project and a new partner needed to be found.

In order to revive this project over $1 Million in new funding, financing or tax incentives had to be found.

Solution:

Hatboro's walkable downtown with train station make it a very attractive investment for Transportation Oriented Developers. They recognized that the Borough's revitalized Main Street with 24 eateries and new shops is a valuable asset. Jacksonville Green is located two blocks from the Hatboro Train Station and three blocks from Hatboro's town center.

Phase One Solutions:

To first begin the project that was mired in a lawsuit we were able to mediate between both owners and have them agree to resolve their differences with a professional moderator. this led to a finalized agreement that settled the dispute and freed the second property, Jacksonville Green, for development.

We worked with the owner to begin development of Jacksonville Green and while going through zoning regulations realized that the Borough's TOD zoning had a 7-acre minimum and no other properties except the newly developed Hatboro Lofts had seven acres.

The developer challenged the Zoning Hearing Board for Hardship within their existing ordinances. The result being the Hatboro created a new TOD Zoning Overlay District. With this new TOD Ordinance the project was underway and all final approvals were recorded. 

We courted a new investor, those that specialized in TOD developments and paired them successfully with the original developer.