York Road Realty Co., L.P. has proposed the site demolition of the former Old York Skating Club, 8116 Old York Road, Elkins Park.
The property has been vacant for seven years, and may see a return to its recreational roots.
In the rink’s place, the firm plans to construct a multi-use self-storage facility with retail spaces on the first floor and an indoor/outdoor recreational area with four pickleball courts.
“They went before the Planning Commission, and they Commission is requesting a plan that matches up with the proposal,” Henry Sekawungu, Director of Planning and Zoning, said. “They had concerns that the building’s elevation didn’t match up with the proposal, so the hearing will be continued to meet those concerns.”
The continuance is up for a vote during the December 12 Zoning Hearing Board meeting. If passed, the proposal will return to the Planning Commission on January 23.
Part of the township’s concerns lie in the recreational space’s element in the proposal.
“That’s where the challenge is. The agreement was to consider recreational space in the interior,” Sekawungu said. “Those are some of the inconsistencies that were part of their plan. The outdoor pickleball courts don’t fit in with the property, so they need to show plans that match up with the elevations and inconsistences as part of their review process.”
Sekawungu noted that the township’s preferable option would be indoor courts, and that job creation and revenue continue to be priorities of the Board of Commissioners.
“There have been challenges with potential uses at that location, and commissioners are looking for a good fit,” he said. “They want something that will benefit the township as a whole and jobs that are being created. We don’t want to dormant use. A storage facility doesn’t really do that, so we’re hoping the retail component and pickleball courts will create revenue and jobs.”
The building was put up for sale for $2 million in 2021.
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