Zoning change to allow apartments at Plymouth Meeting Mall on agenda of Plymouth Township’s Planning Agency

There is one item on the agenda for the November 2nd meeting of Plymouth Township’s Planning Agency and it involves a proposal to amend the zoning code for the Shopping Center Zoning District to allow apartments. You can find the proposed ordinance here. The planning agency can make a recommendation to the township’s council on whether it should adopt the proposed ordinance.

In May 2022, Keystone Development & Investment, which owns the office building that is adjacent to the mall, announced that it would seek a text amendment to convert the building into 150 apartments. The office building is vacant and it has been targeted for redevelopment as an elder care facility and an updated office tower, however, neither project moved forward.

This does not directly involve the proposed 503-unit apartment community that was denied by the township’s zoning hearing board in 2021. That proposal was from PREIT, the owner of the mall. The zoning board’s decision is currently being appealed.

The language of the proposed text amendment that will be before the planning agency on November 2nd would allow for apartments within converted office buildings that are located in the shopping center zoning district as a conditional use. So for example, this would involve the office building adjacent to the mall, plus the former long-vacant IKEA headquarters.

While the mall encompasses the largest area zoned shopping center, there are some smaller areas around the township with this zoning designation. This includes the Plymouth Square Shopping Center at the intersection of Butler and Ridge Pikes and the small strip mall along Germantown Pike that is home to the Pretzel Factory. Those properties do not have any office buildings.

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