New Bala Cynwyd Apartments ‘A Brilliant Project,’ Commissioner Says

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Lower Merion commissioners overwhelmingly favored plans for a new apartment complex, voting 9-1 last week to approve tentative sketch plans.

Lower Merion commissioners approved a tentative sketch plan last week for a 284-unit apartment complex that Commissioner Philip Rosenzweig called, in many respects, “a brilliant project.”

Nolen Properties is proposing to build a 284-unit, 11-story apartment complex at 335 Righters Ferry Road in Bala Cynwyd.  The property will consist of two buildings, separated by a swimming pool, as well as a landscaped area and large public gathering space.

The land is less than half a mile from the former Connelly Containers site at 600 Righters Ferry Road, where O’Neill Properties plans to build a 593-unit apartment complex. That project, years in the making, also had its tentative sketch plan approved last week—though commissioners were decidedly more enthusiastic about the Nolen Properties project.

Nolen Properties’ 11-story building, to be built at 335 Righters Ferry Road, will be one of the first properties built under the new City Avenue zoning ordinance and “is really remarkable for how much open space it preserves,” said Commissioner George Manos. With 284 units and 438 parking spaces, “not a single car will be parked on the surface,” he added.

The idea is an “exciting, beautiful plan that does all the right things with respect to the site” Rosenzweig said.

While commissioners voiced concerns about traffic, alternative access points for the site, and the way the building is facing, the board on the whole supported the project, voting 9-1 to pass the tentative sketch plan.

“There’s no doubt we will be contending with some challenging issues, as we would with any project of this scope,” Rosenzweig said. “But the applicant is to be commended once again for really coming forward with an exciting, beautiful plan that does all the right things with respect to the site.”