Top 10 biggest stories of 2021 in Conshohocken, West Conshohocken, Plymouth Meeting, and Lafayette Hill

What were the biggest stories that covered in 2021? Below are the top 10 (actually 12) in no particular order.

  • Hurricane Ida caused flooding in Conshohocken. The hurricane came ashore in Lousisana and its renaments brought heavy rain to the Philadelphia region. The rain caused the Schuylkill River to overflow its banks. Recent floods haven’t gone beyond the railroad tracks, but this major flood went over the tracks and even found its way into homes and businesses along a portion of East Elm Street.
  • Two new office buildings. AmerisourceBergen moved into its corporate headquarters at SORA West and Hamilton Lane moved into several floors of Seven Tower Bridge.
  • Area around Conshohocken has become home to distribution centers. In 2021, Amazon opened a last mile distribution facility on Ridge Pike in Conshohocken (Plymouth Township) and started the conversion of the former Wal-Mart in East Norriton into a distribution center. Bimbo Bakeries opened a new sales and distribution center for 12 of its brands in Conshohocken (Plymouth Township) in June of 2021. also reported that Target is opening a sorting center on River Road in Conshohocken (Upper Merion).
  • More apartments. Three apartment communities were under construction in Conshohocken in 2021 and a fourth was approved.
  • Spot zoning. The state’s second highest court sided with the neighbors opposing a Wawa at the Conshohocken/Whitemarsh border at 1200 Fayette Street. The court found that Conshohocken’s Borough Council committed spot zoning.
  • Pandemic. The biggest story locally involving the pandemic in 2021 was its continued impact on the workforce in the big buildings coming back to the office. Everything was hearing early in the year about returning to the office collapsed with the arrival of the Delta variant in May/June.
  • Municipal election. Democrats continued to expand one-party rule in the area. Whitemarsh and Plymouth townships already had one party rule. The results of the November general election brought one party rule to the Borough of Conshohocken.
  • Apartments at the Plymouth Meeting Mall. The owner of the mall sought approval for an apartment community on the property, but was denied the needed zoning relief. That decision was appealed.
  • Abolition Hall. After approximately two-years of a contenous, but succesful, approval process, the developer that planned to build townhouses on the Abolition Hall property walked away from the project. Whitemarsh Township and the Whitemarsh Art Center than joined together to work towards acquire the property.
  • Road closures and openings. A portion of Chemical Road was closed in due to sinkholes for approximately half of 2021. It reopened just before Christmas. Balligomingo Road in West Conshohocken/Upper Merion also fully reopened in 2021 (after temporariy reopening near the end of 2020). The Trinity Lane Bridge in Upper Merion also reopened after being closed for more than half a year.
  • Sewer. Conshohocken’s borough council considered selling its sewer system to raise funds needed for infastructure projects. In the end, it decided against it.
  • School board meetings and election. While the Colonial School Board did have some long drawn out meetings about pandemic issues such as masking, they never got as contenous as those in other nearby districts. The election involving four seats on the school board only had four unopposed candidates, so it was a very quiet election at a time when issues involving schools were making national headlines.