Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Breaking - Proposed Site Plan and Sketches Released for Granite Run Mall w/video

Earlier today Metro Commercial Real Estate released a proposed site plan for the upcoming make over of the Granite Run Mall.  These renderings are very interesting, as they reflect the changes I was told of by someone close to the matter last Friday.

No time-frame released yet, nor is anything final as it is a proposed plan, but these changes are drastically different from what's there now.  Looks like the anchor stores Sears, JCPenny and Boscovs, or at least those structures remain, with the "mall" portion being torn down and made into open air venues. 








37 comments:

  1. If they make it like Providence Town Square in Collegeville, I'd be a happy happy girl. That place is so nice, restaurants, The Movie Tavern, stores that you find in more upscale strips like Brinton Lake, that would be AOK with me. I'd be there all the time.

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  2. If this ends up like Providence Town Center in Collegeville, I'll be a happy happy girl. Nice restaurants, a Movie Tavern, some upscale shopping like the stores they have in Brinton Lake would be A-OK with me. I'd be there all the time!

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  3. In case anyone is wondering, this is bad news for Media's business district.
    The Granite Run Mall did serious damage to the business district the first time around.
    So much so that Media's business district only came back fully in recent years.
    This project will likely have better parking. Newer restaurants. Nicer stores.
    If you care about Media, pray it gets turned down by Middletown Township, which can't support two town centers, and the Franklin Mint town center project (now in doubt) has already been approved.

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    1. I don't see there being much overlap in the shopping clientele. Downtown Media's stores aren't really of the type you'd see in the KOP Mall, Brinton Lake shops, Providence Town Square, etc. If anything this Granite Run reconfiguration is going to keep shoppers shopping at Granite Run rather than going to KOP, Brinton Lake, or any other venue.

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    2. I pray it gets turned down for many reasons. I personally do not like "town centers". They are not convenient in inclement weather and in the case of Brandywine Town Center, you have to get in your car to go from one section to the other unless you want to walk great distances. In additiion, not everyone in the area is interested in "upscale" stores. In case those in charge aren't aware, there are many "average" people in the area that will be served by this development.

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  4. I would love to see this happen. I shop in Media all the time, but you can't get all of your shopping needs met there. People will always shop in Media because of its convenience. I travel to Brinton Lake or Suburban Square all the time because there is not one good shopping venue in Springfield. Likewise, this will attract shoppers from Swarthmore, Havertown, Broomall, etc.... Just for your info. I wish this was coming to Springfield because we could use the tax revenue. And yes we definitely need a Movie Tavern!!

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  5. I agree that this is trouble for Media business district and retail in the borough. If we don't have a thriving business district, we wont be able to have the lower taxes that come with it, among other things. Perhaps Media should consider additional destination stores in the borough, we already have Trader Joe's, but it doesn't bring people in town for retail. An Apple Store would be great, or some other place where people will want to make a specific trip. Hopefully the people who hate the idea of a corporate presence in town will be able to stomach it for the sake of keeping retail on State Street. We don't necessarily have to compete with the new place at the Granite Run Mall, but should keep in mind how it might impact State street business and act accordingly. While we're at it, let's repurpose the Media Theater so it caters to a broader audience, with live venue music on Saturday nights, anything but the insular place that is now.

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    1. I have thought for years that the Media Theater should be like the Keswick in Glenside. They offer quality performances and I've never heard of any issues with attracting the "wrong" type of audience. I believe that may be the reason that the powers-that-be in Media won't allow a broader range of shows.

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    2. I thought Media Theater was a private entity? What say does the borough have in the shows they produce?

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  6. I agree we can't support two big retail developments - but Granite Run is already built and built according to the zoning, so I'd rather see it redone FIRST (while the Town Centre is thrashing around). If the "Town" gets built, Granite Run will just turn into a rundown blight. There are two possible results for State Street - it may draw more people to Media and cause them to look at Media's restaurants, or the parking ease may pull more people away. My main reason for not going into Media when that is the decision I make is the unavailability of parking.

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    1. @AlixJ I recommend you check out parking North of State Street (near the courthouse). I live above Seven Stones and I never have problems finding parking. Even on DUTS nights.

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  7. Oh -and ditto on I shop at Brinton Lake all the time, and double ditto on we need a Movie Tavern!!

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  8. Michael Jordan, MediaOctober 16, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Wow!

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  9. A town center will be a great addition to the area. I am sure that most of us who shop in Media also travel to Suburban Square, Britton Lake, or KOP to shop as well. It is unlikely that people will stop going to Media and their unique restaurants in exchange for high end chain restaurants. Media has something that no town center will ever have- charm.

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  10. Something should be done and approved asap before Granite Run Mall before it's goes the way of Dixie Square Mall in Chicago - was already closed in 1979 when the filmed the Blues Brothers movie and didn't get torn down until 2012! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixie_Square_Mall

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  11. FREE PARKING..hear that meter lovers.

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  12. I actually don't like the idea of an open air venue... part of why I like going to a mall is to be indoors. For people with small children and babies, it's convenient to be able to stay out of the cold or the rain and visit multiple stores without having to shlep a stroller in and out of the car for each new place. As for the whole media district discussion... I never bother going to downtown media because I can never find a parking space, and the only ones open are meter parking. If I can't find what I need in a store, I've just wasted money for parking for no good reason. Plus... the stores are aren't all that great to begin with.

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    1. I already made this comment to AlixJ but I'll say it here too: parking on North of State St is almost always available. Check out the lot on Front St between Olive & Plum.

      Also, this is a public service announcement for all Media Shoppers & Diners: You don't need to feed the meters during the following times:
      - When it's raining or snowing (the meter checkers don't seem to venture out)
      - On Weekends
      - Any weekday after 4pm (the official time is 6pm but I have never gotten a ticket nor seen a meter checker after 4)

      Honestly compared to a truly "urban" environment, parking in Media is a breeze.

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  13. What consideration has been given to not generating more traffic congestion?
    I don't want the Middletown section of Baltimore Pike to be like "The Golden Mile" in Springfield.

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  14. Those who post about the impact of Media's retail are dead on. Now, in anticipation of this impact, wouldn't it make sense (there might be the challenge!) to proactively do everything possible to ensure that Media's retail district is as easily accessible as possible? INCLUDING things like: opening Third St., forget that screwy 'pay to park on weekends' and bring the tree lighting ceremony back to State St.
    While on the subject - it is only the beginning of the Providence Rd traffic nightmare, and anyone who needs to get around the back streets of the borough on a daily basis will understand how vital the Third St. thruway would be in the next 14 months. Try getting back and forth to Media Elementary several times a day and you'll understand.

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    Replies
    1. You are so right, Frog Slayer. Everything is going to be a challenge now.

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  15. anyone else find it coincidental that the Franklin Mint litigation was recently settled? http://www.delcotimes.com/business/20131016/franklin-mint-developers-settle-lawsuit-wolfson-group-out-of-project

    The plans look nice, but I was disappointed to read that the anchors stores will remain. I only shop at Sears - JC Penney and Boscov's aren't exactly going to attract the kind of stores that will give us our own little slice of KOP or Britton Lake

    I hope this doesn't take away business from the Borough! I love downtown Media and go there mostly for dining and Trader Joe's.

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  16. Granite Run has been a 'D' mall since it's inception. Unless you plan on bringing on a major upscale anchor in that mall, it will remain a dump. I also worry about traffic on Baltimore Pike, do you plan on fixing the issues about traffic?

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  17. I think this site wins over Franklin Mint. It's a shame it took so long for the mall to get sold. I like the idea of making it open air. Change is good-- the mall needed to be refreshed and security was becoming an issue. I think there could be a market for some outlet-type tenants, maybe a small higher-end apparel section, and a few restaurants. A Starbucks would be awesome. Parking at the Media Starbucks lot is horrendous. A theater upgrade would be very well received, I believe. I love Media business district and enjoy walking around in Media. Street parking around State Street is not a huge deterrent; I think it is fairly manageable most days. I think this development would be a great addition to our area and would bring lost revenues back to Middletown township. The people that are shopping in Springfield, Concord and Brinton Lake could have a place to go that is closer. I honestly don't think it would detract from Media business district. As for the anchors and Acme, they are most likely on long term leases, but it doesn't mean forever.

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  18. Finally, a Lordstrum Rack and Container Place close to home!

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    1. Yes! I was waiting for Shmilliams - Shmanoma.

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  19. 40 years ago malls were thought to be the best thing since sliced bread. Now all new shopping developments are a throwback to the old days of shopping outside. Personally, I'd rather have a convenient, indoor setting in which to do my shopping.

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  20. Looking at that Proposed Site Plan, I can't figure out how many new/different locations would be built between the anchors if, in fact, they are remaining. Any idea how many storefronts would be available? Also, where are the residential areas? I probably just don't know how to properly read the sketch, but I would like to see more details.

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  21. Town Centers are great !!!! this is awesome, it will help the area out .. Trust me. Look at Montgomery County Maryland and how succesful they have been with new town centers.. Brandywine isnt well done and we dont have anything like this in the area.. Wont hurt downtown media at all , its done well in Bethesda with the old districts and newer districts... CANT WAIT ..

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  22. The area around Granite Run has definitely become a town behind the times. Something like a town center or anything with some strong anchor stores will revive the area and can only bring more people to downtown Media who are looking for the small shoppe kind of thing. I'm in my 20s and to shop I either go to the Concord Mall or King of Prussia, it would be nice to have choices closer.

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  23. A Town Center will be a great improvement over the current mall. The traffic on 352 between Rt1, 452 and Penn State Brandywine is really bad the past few years though and I wonder how this will impact it.

    I also doubt that this new design will impact borough retail and restaurants. People hang out in Media for the small business atmosphere. Regarding parking, I too drive into town regularly and have NO issues with parking with the exception of the Trader Joes and Iron Hill lots during peak hours.

    This town has so much drama...

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  24. For all of you who have posted the opinion that this will have no impact on Media's business district, please consider history. Our business district suffered greatly and was nearly shuttered in the 70s,, because of the two malls constructed on either side of town. That's just a fact. Ask any old-timer. Who do you think will replace the dining customer who chooses to eat at one of the new Granite Run eateries instead of their normal stops in Media? There is a finite number of customers and dollars in this area. If you look forward to the new "town center" just up the road from us, that's your business. Just don't pretend that it will not draw business away from our town, especially restaurants. When the customer base here declines due to competition elsewhere, some restaurants will be forced to close, and some of the shops will follow, and vacancies and tax revenue declines will follow. It already happened here before.

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    1. Don't be such an optimist.

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    2. Then I guess the businesses in Media better up their game to compete with whatever corporate chain restaurant opens at the Granite Run location. I personally do not like chain restaurants, although if it were another Iron Hill or Azie, I'd probably drive over to avoid the wait in the Media location. Maybe the State Street businesses should consider expansion?

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  25. Dear Media Borough business owners, People LOVE Media -- can't see that changing. 1974 it isn't! People don't say, I hate the dumpy GRM I'm going to Media - they go to Brinton Lake or Springfield or wherever and then go home and have dinner and buy fairly-traded gifts in Media! Besides isn't the RTMS district as a whole impacted (positively, or not so much) by the GRM revenues? Anyway, anything that will break up that vast sea of GRiM concrete will be a welcome improvement!

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  26. As if traffic isn't bad enough around there.

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  27. Well, almost 2 years later and the site plan now looks like this: http://www.betinvestments.com/retail/Granite%20Run%20Site%20Plan%20FINAL.pdf
    A lot less appealing than those original sketches, eh?

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