Ethos Residential held informative meetings for the public to learn about and offer feedback on an envisioned development for the former Alger Farm at Horseshoe Pike/US Route 322 and Lawn Road on Oct. 25.
Three hour-long meeting slots were held at the site, with a tent set up for attendees to vote on their favorite ideas and offer input on the site’s usage.
Three different plans have tentatively been presented. All contain three-story residential buildings — planned to be high-end rentals — and a commercial area.
The development would span several South Londonderry Township parcels, straddling U.S. Route 322, that were all acquired in September 2022. Altogether, 15.15 acres were purchased at that time by ER Campbelltown LLC for $995,000.
Ethos Residential managing partner Christopher Albright spoke briefly at the beginning of the meeting to introduce the other speakers. (Watch for a more comprehensive interview with Albright later this month.)
The proposed architecture is loosely based on that used throughout historic Campbelltown and will be designed to function as a traditional town square, said Bob Northfield of BCT Design Group.
“There are so many soulless places that you can spend your dollars, anywhere around here. We want to create a space that resonates with and is indicative of Campbelltown’s great history and is something that you guys are gonna love,” said Northfield. “If we design something that you guys like, you’ll patronize it more.”
The plans utilize horizontal mixed use, meaning that the residential areas occupy a different space from the commercial district.
Northfield also noted his firm’s focus on “placemaking,” and the inclusion of outdoor areas that can serve a variety of uses including outdoor events.
He said these areas could include firepits, turf, grass, and rain gardens.
BCT Design Group has designed projects including The Avenue At White Marsh in Maryland, which similarly utilizes a retail space in conjunction with usable outdoor areas. A directory of BCT’s projects is available here.
A traffic circle is under consideration, Northfield said, but any concrete plans for traffic will emerge as traffic studies are completed and plans are set in stone.
“The pike is not a raceway, it’s a street, and we need to get it back to that,” he said.
Although the Horseshoe Pike is a US Route, PennDOT would be the agency in charge of any project design, access, maintenance, etc, including the Highway Occupancy Permit process typical for development projects accessing a state-managed road, as well as any traffic impact studies or assessment which may be required based on the specifics of a project.
In an information kit distributed by organizers, “over four acres of new public park space” is mentioned as a possible outcome. “What better way to secure Campbelltown’s place in history than with a Village Square?,” asks the press kit.
It continues: “This idea has been a vision by many residents of Campbelltown over the years. The former Alger Farm at old Main St/Horseshoe Pike & Lawn Road has all the elements to become a one-of-a-kind Village Square that highlights the community’s agricultural roots.”
At this point, Northfield said, developers are only seeking feedback so they can refine plans further to bring to the township.
Notably, developers are not bound to plans presented informally to the public, and a preliminary/final land development plan will more closely reflect the final product when it is submitted.
Which plan will be selected, as long as its details, will largely be dependent on cooperation between developers, the public, and South Londonderry Township, developers said.
Prior to any decisions being made, public hearings will be advertised and residents’ thoughts on the plans will be heard.
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