What Should the Old Firehouse and Grass Area Become?

As we mentioned last week, MoreThanTheCurve.com is going to profile the seven major areas of potential development that will/may take place over the next few years.  The areas are:

  • The old firehouse at Fayette and West Elm and the adjacent grass area
  • The Verizon building at 4th and Fayette
  • The train station area
  • Old Borough Hall at 8th and Fayette
  • The remaining river front
  • The Hale Products property
  • The Moore Chevrolet property

One thing to note is that we are not going to nix an idea because its against current zoning or attempt to suggest who should pay for it/do it, etc.  If it sounds like a good idea, we are going to throw it out there.  We believe a good idea can overcome zoning, money, parking and other hurdles.

The Firehouse

Some Background

After a wave of development in the 1980’s, there was a dispute between a developer and the Borough.  This dispute was only recently settled and the part of the settlement will provide the Borough ownership of the old fire house and the adjacent grass area.  The Borough is supposed to get the keys sometime in June 2012.

The areas discussed are marked with a red dot. The unmarked areas are the current, and in-use, firehouse.

The Ideas

We think Conshy is missing three key elements to its downtown; retail shops, a public gathering area and a live music.  The firehouse and grass area could potentially provide all three.

As you can see in the photograph at the top of this story, this building has several firetruck bays .  This area looks perfect for a year round farmer’s market, a couple retail shops and a couple artist galleries.

While upstairs could end up office space or condos, we envision a live music driven bar/restaurant.  Conshy has great bars, great food, places with lots of taps, etc., etc., but not one place that focuses on live music.  A true live music venue will enhance Conshohocken’s social scene and prominence among the “happening” burbs.  If you take a closer look at the left side of the building, there is a lower roof area that would be a perfect place to have a roof deck overlooking what we suggest below for the grass area.

From one of our readers, Chris Radvansky:

This isn’t too novel, but I believe that Conshy needs a live music venue that isn’t a small step next to a table in Guppy’s, even though Robin rules.  I’d like to see a good bar where families can go that has a stage where they can have local bands of varying genres come in and play.

We believe the grass area along Fayette should be transformed into a park with a small amphitheater shell.  There should be lots of picnic tables and benches so that people can enjoy their lunch in the park while listening to live music.  At night there could be live theater and music.  This park would also provide space for community events such as First Fridays, art fairs, family events, etc, etc.

From one of our readers, Eric Schmid:

Conshohocken needs a small, central, multipurpose open amphitheater for people to congregate. It may not generate much/any revenue but a case could be made that it meets each of the six C’s in your article.

So agree with this idea?  Since this property is going to be Borough owned, you can have a greater than normal impact on how a major piece of Conshy is developed.  So make sure you discuss this opportunity with your Borough Council representative and let him or her know what you think should happen to the property.

Feel free to comment with support of this concept or your own ideas.  Comments are open, here and on Facebook.

Next week, we look at the Verizon Building at 4th and Fayette.