Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bottom Dollar Coming to Ambler

Thomas Celona
"A grocery store is coming to Ambler Borough.

Nearly three years since the Acme on Butler Avenue closed its doors, the borough has announced a Bottom Dollar Food will be built in 2012. Borough officials delivered the good news during borough council's committee meeting on Tuesday.

"It's just something we've desperately needed and missed, and we're just excited to have another store investing in our community and opening up," Borough Manager Mary Aversa said Wednesday.

Moreland Development has struck a deal to build the grocery store at the former Knopf Motors property at 219 E. Butler Ave., according to Aversa.

The agreement on the property just occurred within the past couple weeks, and plans for the store will now move to the review stages.

"We've gotten plans within the last week," Aversa said. "They're preliminary plans. We're still working through a lot of things."

The proposed grocery store would be approximately 17,000 to 18,000 square feet, according to Aversa.

The plans will have to go before both the planning commission and zoning hearing board, according to Aversa. The zoning hearing board will hear the application from Bottom Dollar Food at its Dec. 15 meeting.

The developers are looking to get through the process quickly and bring the store to the borough.

"They're very anxious to get started," Aversa said.If all goes to plan, the developers have said the store could be completed by as early as this spring, according to Aversa.

The borough has been without a grocery store since Acme, formerly located at the present-day spot of CVS Pharmacy at 272 E. Butler Ave., closed Jan. 29, 2009.

Since Acme's closing, many residents have voiced their concern about the lack of a walkable grocery store — a concern borough council heard loud and clear.

"This has been a priority of borough council, and they've given me the direction to do what we need to do to facilitate this to make it happen," Aversa said.

Aversa said the new grocery store will be an important piece of life in the borough and be a major plus for many residents who are elderly or like to walk to the store.

"I think it's critical," she said. "It really gives us back our walkable community."

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