The Tookany Valley Chronicles: Hearing For Special Tax Financing District In Elkins Park

Cheltenham Township will consider a special tax financing district for three parcels of real estate in Elkins Park.

“The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Cheltenham will conduct a public hearing…[tonight at] 7:30 PM at Curtis Hall, 1250 West Church Road, Wyncote to present the Tax Increment Financing Plan for the Elkins Estate Tax Increment Financing District, a proposed ordinance adopting same, the concept of tax increment financing, the boundaries of the District, and the benefits to the Township,” according to a statement issued by the Township.

The statement indicates that “the Elkins Park TIF District comprises three tax parcels as described below:



Two of the three parcels affected by this proposal are highlighted in yellow and gray.


“The Tax Increment Financing District is also identified as 1750 Ashbourne Road,” according to the statement from Cheltenham Township.

The Cheltenham School District has already approved this tax increment financing.

“By an 8-1 vote, the Cheltenham School District Board of Directors accepted the tax incremental financing resolution concerning the Elkins Estate at 1750 Ashbourne Road in Elkins Park,” according to a statement from the School District.

According to the statement from the School District, “The resolution reads: ‘Approval of a resolution of the Board of School Directors of the Cheltenham School District, approving the school district’s participation in a tax increment finance districting within the Township of Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in connection with the Elkins Estate Tax Increment Financing District; authorizing certain other matters relating to such tax increment district; and proving for an effective date and general repealer.'”

“Agreeing to the resolution provides a tax incentive which will lead to the redevelopment of the historic Elkins Estate as a boutique hotel, restaurant, conference center, community gardens, band shell, recording studio, distillery and more,” according to the statement from the Cheltenham School District.  “With the redevelopment, the 42-acre property, which has seven buildings, including most notably the Horace Trumbauer-designed Elstowe Manor [seen in the top photograph] and Chelten House, will be on township tax rolls for the first time since before World War II.”


Proposals included in the presentation made to the Cheltenham School District.


You can view the presentation provided by the Cheltenham School District by clicking here.

Cheltenham Township indicated in its statement that “The developer intends to develop the Elkins Estate Tax Increment District in phases with a hotel, conference center, spa, distillery, and related uses, together with covenants to preserve historic buildings and facades, to restrict residential development, and to provide public access to the property and its amenities.  The hearing is being held pursuant to the Pennsylvania Tax Increment Financing Act for the purpose of affording interested parties a reasonable opportunity to express their views on the concept of tax increment financing, the proposed creation of the Elkins Estate Tax Increment Financing District and its proposed boundaries, the proposed adoption of a project plan for the District, and the benefits to the Township.”

You can view a detailed history with photographs of the Elkins Estate from the Library of Congress by clicking here.



The top photo displayed here is a photograph that appeared in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin on July 7, 1932, and provided courtesy of the George D. McDowell
Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photographic Collection of the Special Collections Research Center of Temple University Libraries.

The map is provided courtesy of Montgomery County, 2019.

The image of proposals is courtesy of Landmark Developers and was included in public presentation to Cheltenham School District, 2018.


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© 2019 Richard McDonough