After a long summer of canceled meetings, Pennytown discussions are back on the agenda.
Last Spring our community rallied together and successfully opposed Hopewell Township’s plans to partner with Kooltronic to build a major residential and commercial development at Marshall’s Corner. Following that, the Township Committee proposed forming a task force to evaluate three options with how to proceed with the Township-owned Pennytown tract and Affordable Housing obligations.
Now, however, Township officials have seemingly scrapped any task force and are proceeding with a plan to build a 70-unit affordable housing rental apartment complex on the publicly-owned Pennytown plot.
As of Monday’s Township Committee Meeting, there appeared to be near-agreement to transfer the bulk of the property to Conifer Realty, a private developer, to build and maintain the proposed rental units. The Township may also reserve a portion of the land to sell for commercial development.
The contract with Conifer has not yet been finalized or made public, but a few details emerged at the October 28 meeting, from comments by the Committee and Charles Lewis of Conifer:
Plans are to build a rental apartment complex to feature:
- Fourteen (14) 1-bedroom units to rent (for $207, $693, or $ $864);
- Thirty-six (36) 2-bedroom units to rent (for $435, $814, or $1018); and
- Twenty (20) 3-bedroom units to rent (for $930 or $1165).
The rental complex would be built to a maximum 3 stories, with a townhouse design preferred, but design “input” may be considered. Conifer would be responsible for all permits and due diligence expenses.
- the tree protection ordinance (with implication that if trees were removed they may be “revegitated” elsewhere),
- compliance with the 150 feet stream buffer, and
- water treatment issues (the developer would retain responsibility for waste water).
The 70-unit plan hews to the Township’s original vision for Pennytown when it originally acquired the property.
We will continue to update this site as things develop, and we urge everyone to attend future meetings.