Now you can jump for joy for a new business is coming into Hillcrest Plaza.
After a plan to move into the old Gasboy/Berk Wiper location at Valley Forge Road and Eighth Street fell through, the owner of Rebounderz Trampoline Park is now headed to the old Clemens site at Hillcrest Plaza Shopping Center in Lansdale.
“They have withdrawn their (zoning hearing board) application and apparently re-entered negotiations for Hillcrest. They have now worked out a lease agreement and will move into the former Clemens location,” said borough Director of Community Development John Ernst at last week’s Code Enforcement and Land Planning Committee meeting.
“It’s a neat business,” said committee Chairman Leon Angelichio. “Looking at the (Gasboy) building, I’d love to see it used, but the Main Street frontage is probably a better choice for that business.”
Ernst said the future construction of North Penn Commons – a development that will bring an expanded North Penn YMCA, Manna on Main Street, The PEAK Center and Advanced Living Communities all in one building at the old Lans-Bowl site – will be a nice shot in the arm for that whole area.
Angelichio said the opening of Rebounderz could “spur interest from another family-oriented venture.”
While he was not at liberty to talk about potential businesses going in to Hillcrest Plaza, Ernst said the shopping center is one of Lansdale’s target areas that would give a shot in the arm to economic development, if the Department of Community Development were to help different businesses find a home there.
“It’s a nice opportunity to have visitors (to North Penn Commons) to go to the bottom of the hill while there and do shopping or eat at a restaurant,” Ernst said. “We are working with clients and owners of the property to make sure we find appropriate businesses to jump start the activity.”
Ernst said Rebounderz proprietors are working with local professional architects, who are also borough residents, to get work done at the site. He expected a lot of interior work to be done at the site.
“They have building permit applications and approvals for construction, and we are in the process of providing that for the site,” Ernst said after the meeting. “It is a permitted use, by-right. They are providing construction drawings that meet all building codes. Once approved and paid for, they can go through with construction.”
Ernst guessed the decline of activity at Hillcrest Plaza had a lot to do with Clemens leaving the shopping center and the “turf wars” between grocery stores.
“Once you get an anchor store to leave a large development, you lose a lot of pedestrian foot traffic on a daily basis,” he said. “We’re looking at North Penn Commons as being an anchor for that side of town, the east side of Main Street.”
Ernst said a revitalized, new facility for the North Penn YMCA would be a nice addition to that side of town, thus increasing foot traffic.
“We’re working hard to make sure that that east part of town looks as nice and revitalized as the west part of town,” he said.
There had been talk of King Pinz Entertainment Center, which also offered a bowling alley, opening in the shopping center at the Clemens location. Ernst said there were never any plans submitted to the borough for that development.