Ardmore, Lower Merion Township, PA — Gov. Wolf and Gov. Rendell participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony today for what was once the controversial One Ardmore property located at 24 Cricket Ave. in Ardmore. The event started at 11 AM and dignitaries from Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County and the state legislature were in attendance.
“We have transformed a forlorn surface parking lot into a mixed-use Gem,” Said Carl Dranoff Chief Executive Officer, Dranoff Properties and the project's developer. He spoke under a large tent that seated 256 invited guests while opening and officiating the ribbon-cutting ceremony, under the sunshine of a beautiful spring day.
Carl Dranoff, CEO Dranoff Properties
Dranoff went on to tout the vitality and the prosperity that the building will bring to Ardmore’s business district. He called it the “textbook example of a Public/Private Partnership.” Referring to how the project was financed.
The state of Pennsylvania under then Governor Rendell and reauthorized by Governor Wolf used over $10 Million of Public funds to assist with the financing of the project.
Rendell was his usually affable self who made a joke about not being late, a reference to when he was Governor and his lateness which was well known and established. I have to leave here and go to a paying board position today, so I am on time he said.
Left to Right - Daniels S. Bernheim LMT Pres, Tom Wolf, PA Gov, Ed Rendell Past Gov
Rendell spoke about how the new property with its 110 residential apartment units would keep “100 cars off the road” because of the buildings location and walkability. Walkability was a theme used by the majority of the speakers.
“You don’t need a car to live here,” said Rendell.
“Ardmore is a neighborhood with a rich, historic background, in the heart of the Main Line. The investments being made in Downtown Ardmore will positively impact the future of the community – one with more residents, more shopping and entertainment, and more pedestrians,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “I’m proud to support local initiatives like One Ardmore that boost and stabilize our neighborhoods, and ensure social and economic diversity.”
Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners told the audience how the County distributed the monies received for the project and how vital and useful the project is to the business district.
Dranoff went on to describe working with the local commissioners to get the project right. He mentioned that Commissioner V. Scott Zeloff worked hard for the township in negotiating the Partnership agreement with Dranoff Properties and the township. Dranoff commented that he saw seven commissioners in attendance today 4 Democrats and 3 Republicans. He thanked them for their hard work.
It was reconfirmed that the Township had a stake in the property. A $1.00 a year lease of 200 parking spots was signed and the Township would receive all of the economic benefits of that parking. .
The township’s commissioners were well represented with President Daniel S. Bernheim, V. Scott Zelof, Elizabeth S. Rogan, Tiffany O’Neill, Anaa Durbin, and George T. Manos. Phillip Rosenzweig the past leader of the Commissioners was also in attendance.
Other township employees that were on hand were Ernie McNeely, Township Manager, Jody Kelley, Township Secretary. Chas McGarvey. Township Fire Marshall and Police Superintendent Mike McGrath.
A highly visible police presence existed and McGrath and his Senior Officers stood nearby during the event.
After the ceremonies which lasted just an hour, lunch and refreshments were being served in the new high-end apartments on the 4th floor Terrace, a magnificent space with stunning views.
State Representative Tim Briggs was an invited guest, but notably absent was State Senator Daylin Leach. Wolf (D) and Leach (D-Mont) are not on speaking terms as Wolf has called for Leach’s resignation over a he said - she said scandal. While the Democratic Party appears to be shunning Leach he was responsible for getting the redevelopment funds through the state senate for this project.
According to a source in the Governor’s office, the invitee list was orchestrated by the Governor’s team. EDITED
Ardmore One was nearly 13 years in the making. The mixed-use building has 110, one, two and three bedroom rental apartments. The 8 story structure is described as a Mid-rise building, with four stories in the front and 8 stories in the rear There are roughly 8450 square feet of ground floor retail and parking for 337 vehicles, 200 of which the township will control.
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