Jenkintown sifts through forthcoming grocery store plans

The Jenkintown Planning Commission met Tuesday evening to discuss plans for a forthcoming 49,940 square feet grocery store.

Though the store has yet to reveal its full identity, it will be situated at the former site of Glanzmann Subaru and a set of commercial stores bordered by Old York Road, Washington Lane and Wyncote Lane.

The vacant and former site of the Glanzmann Subaru, Old York Road

The site’s existing buildings will be razed to make room for the supermarket. Owners are currently going through the land development process, and construction is expected to begin around March 2023.

The store will include outdoor seating and an eating area. “It’s an urban model. They’ve built a few in Philadelphia,” borough manager George Locke said. “It’s a medium-sized store, and it’s a unique design. Most of the parking is on the roof deck. It’s a smaller site and that’s how they’re fitting everything in it.”

“It’ll be nice to have it, we don’t have a grocery store in Jenkintown,” Locke said. “The developers have a good relationship with the residents, and seem to take their recommendations into consideration, especially traffic and pedestrian safety. I think they’ll make it safe and nice.”

Given the potential for increased traffic, commissioners deliberated on the area’s safety concerns going forward.

“We’d like to think of safe ways to get people through the area,” Lucinda Bartley, planning commissioner, said. “I’d be happy having flashing lights, but neighbors may not like that. We’ll continue to discuss it as part of our working group.”

“The inflow and the outflow are not ideal,” Jon McCandlish, planning board chair, said. “It’s something that has to be taken on more comprehensively as part of a broader conversation with the borough.”

“We’d like to get a stop sign at Walnut, or eliminate the stop sign at Wyncote and move all that traffic,” Kevin Poirot of the Design and Review Board said. “I was slammed coming through that intersection when you’re coming up Wyncote. Walnut is a safer area and it’d be great to see a stop sign there.”

James Garrity, zoning attorney for the Acme across the street, prepared written statements to expedite matters.

“My job is to get projects like this approved, and this isn’t the easiest site in the world to work with,” Garrity said. “Jenkintown Borough wants to see this supermarket on this site very, very badly.”