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New Stores, Upgrades Planned for Village Mall

Horsham officials are beginning a lengthy review of improvements and additional structures planned for Village Mall.

The owners of Village Mall in Horsham are planning various improvements to the shopping center, which is located on Blair Mill Road. Photo credit: Theresa Katalinas
The owners of Village Mall in Horsham are planning various improvements to the shopping center, which is located on Blair Mill Road. Photo credit: Theresa Katalinas
For three years the owners of Village Mall in Horsham have envisioned stormwater management improvements to the site, an expansion beside Acme and two new independent buildings adjacent to existing businesses.

After the Horsham Township Council's review on Wednesday of the land development plans from 2010, Gerald Simon, CFO of New York-based Carlyle Management Corp., which owns Village Mall, told Patch that he'd be "lucky" to have the improvements done by fall 2014. Simon said new tenants could "hopefully" be put in place by 2015. 

"We still have to go through the approval process," Simon said. "I can’t really sell it until I know I can build it."

The approval process could take at least a few more months, if not longer. Horsham Township Manager Bill Walker said Village Mall representatives are expected to report back to the township council in February concerning various issues, including stormwater management, service loading areas, trash disposal and traffic related to the intersection of Blair Mill and Moreland roads, where the center is located.

Walker said he could not provide a tentative date for the council's final consideration.

On Wednesday night, the majority of the discussion centered on stormwater management – and if the property owners would be providing enough flood controls. 

"There’s no stormwater (management) out there now," Robert E. Blue Jr., an engineer for Village Mall told the council. "The improvement with what we’re doing will be substantial. We’re gong to control the water where it doesn’t exist right now."

But, Village Mall representatives, as part of the review process, requested that exceptions be made to lessen the amount of controls put in place. The applicant is proposing the installation of two underground storage facilities for stormwater collection.

"What’s the hardship or the problem that causes the request to reduce the amount of stormwater management?" Township Councilman W. William Whiteside asked. "So far I haven’t heard a reason why we should reduce our ordinance."

Township attorney Mary Eberle said the council had previously considered leniency with regard to stormwater management controls added to the Village Mall property.

"It is an existing site," Eberle said. "They’re trying to improve a bad situation."

Village Mall, which is anchored by Speed Raceway, Acme and Ollie's Bargain Outlet, is expected to have a new neighbor in a Retro Fitness facility planned for the former Rite Aid space. 

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