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Falls Township: Grants Preliminary Land Development Approval For 2 Restaurants & Pharmacy

Amanda Kuehnle | September 16, 2015

The site of an abandoned Acme property at West Trenton Avenue and Pine Grove Road in Falls Township will likely be redeveloped, just not as originally intended.
On Tuesday night, the township Board of Supervisors, without the attendance of Vice Chairman Jeffry Dence, voted unanimously to approve preliminary land development of the site – taking it from an abandoned grocery store to a site with two drive-thru restaurants and a drive-thru Rite Aid pharmacy.
The two drive-thru restaurants have not been named by the developer, Buckingham Retail Properties, and while Chairman Bob Harvie said the developer has no obligation to announce the restaurants just yet, members of the board said they do have some guesses.

One resident stressed she was worried that not announcing the restaurants was a ploy by the developer, to keep residents at bay from arguing about long hours or busy locations.“That’s the million dollar question that everyone seems to be asking,” Chairman Bob Harvie told LevittownNow.com. “We all have our own guesses and that’s all they are right now. We honestly don’t have any inside scoop. We’ve tried to get them to tell us but they are very tight-lipped.”Harvie asked that his personal guesses not be made public in an effort to not start rumors.

It’s been almost a year since Buckingham Retail Properties left a Falls Township Zoning Board meeting empty handed after a months-long battle with residents and business owners over their original proposed idea for the site. It was a plan which would include a drive-thru restaurant, also not named at the time, a Rite Aid pharmacy and a super Wawa convenience store with 12 gas pumps.
Residents and business owners argued that a non-stop operation like Wawa would harm the spirit of the town and cause even more traffic related nightmares to an already congested intersection.

For the last several months, rumors have swirled that Wawa was coming back with vengeance, but as Harvie noted Tuesday night, there are no plans for a proposed Wawa anywhere in Falls Township. While preliminary land development was granted, Buckingham Retail Properties will have to seek PennDOT approval before coming back before the board for final land development approval.

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