There is No Spin Like Lower Merion Spin on Ardmore

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carla's picture
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Oh my, it just flew off the page at me and I had to share it:

While those questions had to do mostly with the mechanics of the project, HARB member Sharon Sorokin questioned whether the new “Main Street,” with its retail component, “would detract from the Lancaster Avenue businesses.”

“On the contrary,” Murray said. Merchants there “are all excited about having additional draws” to the town for shopping.

Why Angela, did you say that with a straight face? Could you say that without fear of your nose growing like Pinocchio?

I had been sidetracked and had not written about Ardmore in a while, and then I went to Hu Nan for dinner last weekend.

I asked Betty and E Ni Foo if they were comfortable with the plans, especially for the HUGE garage planned behind them. As I asked that, I looked around a packed dining room of happy customers and took in the summer improvements - new chairs, new carpeting. These people after all these years and after all Lower Merion Township has done and tried to do to them are STILL invested in the community.

Betty paused and shook her head. In her quiet, sweet voice she said they were not comfortable.

I asked her if she had spoken to Mr. Dranoff. She said yes, but only in the presence of township personnel like Doug Cleland.

Now seriously, the township thinks so little of Carl Dranoff that they act like he needs a handler?

NO WONDER no one says how they feel. I can't just imagine it would be like the Ardmore Ad Hoc Committee meetings and the "oh we're not discussing that now", huh?

Carl Dranoff probably doesn't really know how many businesses feel because he can't hear it unfiltered and unmonitored.

Well I think that Dranoff and the Township should provide valet parking during construction so Hu Nan doesn't get put out of business. After all, where will all the cars and traffic go? Other than into Sherry's ,Sharon's , Pat's, Kim's and Si's neighborhoods of course, right?

Hu Nan can't survive if there is no parking. Even when the garage is built there won't be enough parking and the public will still be competing with township personnel and Septa patrons for parking.

The truth in Ardmore is that stupid garage has nothing to do with revitilization. It has to do with Septa and Lower Merion Township.

And I love how those commissioners who will get up and say "Save La Ronda" still want to bury Ardmore.

**NOTE** I do not think the Dranoff plan is a bad one. I do not like the garage and I do not like the non- responses we still get from Lower Merion on Ardmore all these years later.

Who gets what if that garage comes to fruition? Why does township staff seem to think it is their god given right to tell RESIDENTS we are wrong about our community? Angela Murray, for one, doesn't even live in or near our community and every time I see her face I see looks of disdain as she looks down her nose at us peasants. (But then again I hear that she just does that with everyone, so I don't take it personally, but that also doesn't mean I find the way she behaves as acceptable, ok?)

NO ONE really listens to what anyone wants. Many Ardmore business owners are not free to speak their minds because they fear some sort of punishment or reprisal.

Welcome to Septemeber, here comes more BS:

Main Line Times > News
HARB members weigh in on Ardmore Transit Center project
Published: Wednesday, September 2, 2009
By Cheryl Allison

During discussions earlier this summer about a parking-garage option for the Ardmore Transit Center project, the question was asked several times: when would a plan be presented to Lower Merion Township’s Historical Architectural Review Board, or HARB?

It was a fair question because the HARB reviews projects within historical districts in the township, and the Ardmore Business District on Lancaster Avenue is just such a district.

The new development connected with the transit center — a new train station, new mixed-use residential/retail building and new parking garage on a new “mini-Main Street” behind Lancaster Avenue — will certainly impact Ardmore’s historic business street.

The answer was, “When we have a plan.”

The township, its development partner Dranoff Properties and its other consultants don’t have a full plan yet. The project is still very much in a conceptual phase.

But a number of members of the consulting teams were on hand Tuesday morning for a HARB meeting, with a presentation that provided some new information about what may be coming to the town....In July the board of commissioners selected a parking-garage option, choosing to go with a plan that calls for one large eight-level garage on the new street, connecting the mixed-use building and the Township Building. Part of the township’s Public Safety Building will be demolished and rebuilt within the new garage.

With that decision made, architects have been looking at several concepts for the face the garage will present to the town. Each takes a different approach. In one, the openings in the building simulate windows, in another they are covered by metal grids and the building could feature a “vertical garden,” and in still another, panels would break up the building mass. But any option would strive to create the look of a commercial building that is “sensitive to the architecture of Ardmore.”

...While those questions had to do mostly with the mechanics of the project, HARB member Sharon Sorokin questioned whether the new “Main Street,” with its retail component, “would detract from the Lancaster Avenue businesses.”

“On the contrary,” Murray said. Merchants there “are all excited about having additional draws” to the town for shopping.

Dranoff has already had discussions with some potential tenants, including a restaurant, she said. Team members are also working on some concepts under which the Lancaster Avenue properties might improve their rear façades, which will face the new street.

“We’re all working on those [issues],” Murray said. Business owners are “thrilled there will be greater opportunity.”

I am SO thrilled they are recruiting new businesses but what about the ones we have now? What are you doing for them? Where are all the cars going during construction? How will you handle traffic? What are you doing for people other than blow smoke up their behinds?

How about a Master Plan for Ardmore? How about a Comprehensive Plan for the Township?

Oh no wait, silly me this is Lower Merion...we don't need any of those silly things....they will just twitch their noses and wave their magic wands...and raise your taxes too...

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politeia's picture
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It's interesting to note that the commissioners and the township want to move forward quickly because they can get a great deal on construction bids in this economic climate, but by beginning construction in a down economic climate it provides for a greater chance that Hu Nan and other surrounding businesses may not survive the harm the construction will do to their business.

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves

~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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diamonddave's picture
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These current business owners should be part of the discussion, planning, and action for the New Main Street in Ardmore. If these def commissioners won't listen maybe Dranoff will, business owners should contact-

Dranoff Properties
3180 Chestnut Street
Philla, PA, 19104
Call-215-222-3300
Fax-215-222-3999

OR

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carla's picture
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Dave,
Thanks - Carl Dranoff is actually very nice - I have to tell you that because it is true. I have also found him to be quite responsive and attentive. I have never seen him or his project per se as the issue in Ardmore, although I have seen the township consistently as the problem because some can never admit they are ever wrong, can they? Isn't it amazing? And I think that the township might pay lip service to listening to residents and merchants but what do they really DO with all that input? I think if they had ever listened and really taken opposing points of view into consideration, we would not still be having the same conversations about Lower Merion and Ardmore. And as Mike Weilbacher said in his column in Main Line Times this week on another, yet related topic of historic preservation, we have the ability to change the faces of who govern us if the people aren't getting what they want.

This year, two Ardmore-centric wards are up: the 4th and the 8th. The 4th has the annointed one and a newcomer running. The 8th has an incumbent who while nice is a yes person and that's not enough any longer, and then there there is a newcomer. I am not endorsing candidates, but it is merely common sense to say if you don't like what is there now, replace them, ok? So we'll see what happens. At the end of the day would fresh voices and new ideas be such a bad thing? Well the voters will ultimately decide.....

_____________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

carla's picture
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So,I hear Steve Lindner spent a lot of time on vacation this summer, huh? What's he going to run? A speed dating campaign of 6 minutes or less? Must be nice to be so sure the 4th ward is just his, huh? He doesn't come to First Friday and a lot of other events, doesn't seem to know the issues, and oh yes, couldn't be found at any billboard hearings in the spring or summer which is a 4th ward issue because of the borders with Haverford Township and again, it must be so nice to be so sure that he IS the annointed one? If he can't take the time to run a proper campaign, can the 4th ward in Lower Merion trust him to take the proper amount of time to spend on a LARGE and DIVERSE ward as commissioner?

But hey, no worries, apparently you can buy a t-shirt or lawn sign for the inivisible candidate or send him some money, right? What is the Ardmore Political Club?

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_____________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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Woozaleedoodle's picture
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What are "ward walks" - and why did this Lindner guy suspend them until September?

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