Thursday, March 14, 2013

Main Line exodus: Devon deal heads to Frazer in $8M sale

By Joseph N. DiStefano 
Gone from Devon's US 30 business district: Anro Printing, Waterloo Gardens... and now Bob Sloane/Sloane Toyota, of Devon, plans a move to Frazer, two townships west, in booming East Whiteland. The dealership has agreed to pay nearly $8 million for the 8-acre United Artist Movie Theater complex, 593 West Lancaster Ave., Frazer.
"The site was a perfect fit" for Sloane, offering 495 parking spaces and a 40,000 sq ft building adjoining US 30 at US 202, Magarity added. Sloane plans a "total facade renovation."

With Sloane's planned departure, there are several prominent vacant commerical properties along U.S. 30 in the Devon sector of Easttown Township, already one of the most heavily residential communities in the county, as local taxpayers can tell you. Why didn't the multi-dealer chain expand closer to home? 
Sloane's Devon site "is less than 5 acres.  Bob needed almost double that, and there was nowhere to grow contiguously in Devon.  We had known Bob was in the market for 8-10 Acres along Rt 30, and he had been down the road with [Brian O'Neill's organization] on their land at Deerfield, but that didn't work out." "So we scoured the market," west out 30, deeper into Chester County.
"Obviously there are not many 8-10 acre parcels, with 500 parking spaces, along that corridor, so we approached Penn Real Estate Group on the idea of selling the theater site, and found the timing was ripe." He pronounced the result "a great deal for both sides."
What about the bankrupt for-sale Waterloo Gardens property at the top of Devon's hill? "Waterloo is a great location, but not a great site for Sloane Toyota's use.That does not present a lot of frontage on Rt 30, which is vital to car dealers, and it is also only 5 acres that are separated by Devon Rd."

How about the neat, vacant, pale-brick former Anro Printing plant down the hill on the Berwyn side? "Anro is now owned by YBH Audi, and we understand they will be under construction shortly."

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