The two-acre property at 450 Colwell Lane (corner of West 5th Avenue and Colwell Lane) in the Borough of Conshohocken was last developed in 1975 into the existing 27,000 square feet warehouse. Most recently, the tenants were American Olean Tile and CSG Global Consulting (a telecom provider). The site previously maintained approximately 25 employees, meaning traffic and parking were minimal. The property is currently vacant, which results in the property generating minimal revenue for the Borough.
The property falls within the Limited Industrial/Research zoning district and is just outside the floodplain that encompasses lower Colwell Lane. You can view the uses allowed within this district here.
A few ideas already explored by the developer and deemed to not be feasible were:
- A mid-scale food market was deemed to be infeasible due to the non-centralized location. Research showed that these companies will only select spaces on major roads, such as Fayette Street or Ridge Pike
- A large-scale gym was deemed infeasible due to Covid-19 dampening demand for gyms. Two larger gyms also closed pre-pandemic in the market (Sweat and Conshohocken Health & Fitness)
- A more general retail facility was deemed to be infeasible due to the same reason as a market
- An urgent care facility was deemed to be infeasible as there are already multiple in the market
- An office building was deemed to be infeasible as the market is currently saturated with available facilities and the impact of COVID-19 on traditional office use
Uses Under Consideration by the Developer
The existing 27,000 square feet of conditioned warehouse space can be increased to nearly 35,000 square feet. Existing plans include expanded rebuild as a refrigerated warehouse.
PROs: Local and convenient space for grocery or convenience deliveries. Ample space allows for a refrigerated warehouse. Will create more jobs than any other proposed option. Does not require approval from Borough Council as this is a current approved use of the space.
CONs: Refrigerated tractor-trailers would be making frequent trips to and from the warehouse. In addition, these refrigerated vehicles must idle while loading and unloading which creates lots of noise and may disturb neighbors. This option would result in higher peak-time traffic as well as more overall traffic than generated by what is currently there.
Doggie Daycare/Boarding Facility
Includes 18,000 square feet of conditioned indoor play space and 8,000 square feet of outdoor play space.
PROs: Local and convenient space for doggie daycare. Ample play space allows separation of dogs by size and temperament. Boarding facilities combined with play space would allow for the dogs to only be caged for sleeping. This use would result in lower overall traffic than what is currently there.
CONs: Barking dogs can be noisy and disruptive to immediate neighbors. This use would result in higher peak-time traffic than the current warehouse use. Requires approval from Borough Council.
Includes 15,000 square feet of gun range space with 200 feet of shooting distance. Includes on-site retail space for ammunition and assorted sporting equipment but not gun sales. Gun sales have grown during the pandemic and there is a demand for practice and training.
PROs: Local and convenient space for all kinds of target practice, gun training, and gun safety with ample parking. This would result in lower-traffic than the current warehouse use.
CONs: Local neighbors may dislike a gun range near their homes. Requires approval from Borough Council.
The plan includes 48 homes that are two-bedroom, with two bathrooms, a garage, and two parking spaces per unit. Each home will be 1,500 to 1,800 square feet with balconies. An additional 35 parking spaces are planned on the site for overflow parking.
PROs: New construction attracts affluent homeowners and raises the property value of the housing stock within Conshohocken. Will create local jobs from the construction of units. This use will generate lower peak time traffic than other options. This use will generate a higher net revenue for the Borough than any other option. This will not create parking problems for neighbors.
CONs: Additional housing units in the Borough add to the existing housing stock. Requires approval from Borough Council.
Condos/Townhouses with Commercial Space
This plan includes 30 units that are two-bedroom with two bathrooms, a garage, and two parking spaces per unit. Each home will be 1,100 square feet with balconies. Commercial space could include a small grocer that focuses on prepared foods or another retail use or office.
PROs: New construction attracts affluent homeowners and raises the property value of the housing stock within Conshohocken. Will create local jobs from the construction. Will generate lower peak time traffic than other options.
CONs: Additional housing units in the Borough add to the existing housing stock. Depending on retail uses, parking could result in overflow street parking. Requires approval from Borough Council.
Indoor Sports Complex
The plan includes suitable spaces for basketball and baseball training, as well as dance floors.
PROs: Convenient location for sports enthusiasts and complementary to the nearby Proving Grounds. This will generate lower peak time traffic than other options.
CONs: Peak time parking may exceed current on-site parking and may result in competition between customers and residents for parking. Requires approval from Borough Council.
Take the Survey
The developer would like your input. Please consider taking the below anonymous survey to voice your opinion.