Apartments and retail proposed for current office park in Lower Gwynedd

During the March 26th meeting of Lower Gwynedd’s Board of Supervisors, BET Investments presented a sketch plan involving 321-323 Norristown Road. The developer is proposing to knock down one of the two office buildings on the property and replace it with a 360 unit apartment complex (rendering at top of article). In addition, a 46,000 square foot retail building would be constructed on the property. A historic building on the property would remain and likely be converted into an amenity for the residents of the apartment community.

Upper Dublin Township-based BET Investments has developed and/or owns retail, office, and residential properties across 11 states. Locally it is notably the developer of the Promenade at Upper Dublin, a mixed use property with a mix of apartments and retail, and 555 Flats in Horsham, a luxury apartment community. It also owns the Spring House Plaza in Lower Gwynedd Township.

The property involved is known as Spring House Corporate Center or Berkadia, which is a lender in the commercial real estate section and the main tenant on the property.

The image to the left is the property as it is today. To the right shows BET’s proposed plan. The office building to the left will remain and continue to be offices. The office building on the right will be knocked down and replaced with apartments and a parking garage. At the bottom of the property, a retail building will be added.

Members of the board of supervisors asked about the inclusion of more affordable or “workforce” units. The representative of BET stated that they are exploring how to incorporate more affordable units into several current projects they are working on as they have been asked similar questions in other municipalities.

Our sister site recently covered a presentation BET made in Plymouth Township involving proposed apartments. We can confirm that they were asked about including more affordable units and they provided a similar answer as they did in Lower Gwynedd. The answer was that BET is not in the affordable housing business, however, they are open to exploring how to incorporate an unspecified number of more affordable units into the plan.

Other questions and concerns brought up by the supervisors involved the amount of impervious coverage, stormwater, pedestrian/cycling access, and trees.

Overall the supervisors expressed support for the proposal. BET will need to seek zoning relief either through the amendment to the zoning code that could be done by the board of supervisors or variances granted by the zoning hearing board. The representative of BET stated it has not been determined how they will proceed to seek approval.

Below is the video of the presentation (it is cued to the starting point for your convenience).

Photos – BET Investments