Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Evidence of Positive Change in Mt. Pleasant

I decided to drive over to Mt. Pleasant yesterday to check on the progress of the demolition at the Henry Ave. development. A week ago, Maizie Hall’s house was taken down but there remained a pile of debris along with 3 other vacant, abandoned houses. I posted photos of the remaining houses and the trash so I was anxious to see what (if any) progress had been made.

Final Abandoned House Coming Down! As I drove down Henry Ave. was I ever surprised! The 2 abandoned houses on the corner of Fairview and Henry Avenues were already down and all debris cleared from those houses in addition to complete clean-up of Maizie Hall’s house. And the demolition crew were about 75% finished with the demolition on the remaining house. Such an improvement to what had been there a week ago!
I talked to the two members of the demolition crew who looked to be in charge; I was amazed that neither asked me who I was or why I was taking photos. They were only too happy to answer my questions and could not have been nicer. I was told that all demo and clean-up work would be completed today. On Monday, they will start the land development part of the construction which includes levelling of the land and laying underground utilities.
I told them that I had heard that there might be financial issues with the developer — I asked if that information was true; and if so would finances slow down the development schedule. I was told that information is inaccurate. Not only is the development project moving ahead, I was told that 2 of the townhouses have already been sold (pre-construction sale) and house sales will push the project more quickly. Although they were not completely sure of the pricing on the townhouses; they agreed that my suggested price tag of $300K was probably about right and in the ballpark.
I’m thrilled that in 1-1/2 weeks Mt. Pleasant went from 4 abandoned, empty houses, that were causing me safety concerns for the neighborhood kids, to complete demolition and clean-up. Maybe pictures do speak louder than words! The demolition guys also told me they heard that someone in the township was driving the clean-up. Hmm. . . ? I love it when the system works! The vacant lot is next on my agenda for clean-up in Mt. Pleasant.
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  1. The spring has sprung on Mazie Hall’s old property. All the oldies were down there last night reminiscing. Talking about how, when they were kids they used to drink the water straight from the ground. Catching crayfish and salamaders. This spring is mentioned in several published histories of Mt. Pleasant. One of the houses they knocked down was an old spring house built about 1860 by John Henry, a milk man who used it for storage. This spring is also where the orginal settlers who didn’t have a well on there property would get their drinking water. “The spring behind the house where Mazie Hall now lives…” It’s also indicated on old maps going back over 150 years.

    They keep trying to cover it up with piles of debris and dirt but this isn’t stopping it. This spring feeds the creek along Radnor Street Rd. and eventually flows into the pond at Martin’s Dam. The water from this spring has caused all kinds of problems to the Woods at Wayne townhomes adjacent to the F & H property. The basements are wet, the sump pumps run 24/7. I’ve heard that there are problems with the foundations. This is the same development where a retaining wall collapsed and a big lawsuit followed. Same engineer for both developments. Where do folks think that little creek begins? I guess the underground utilities they’re talking might be the retaining basin that will contain all this water and redirect it. ASAP. Even after looking at the engineering plans, I don’t know for sure if it will continue to flow into the creek along Radnor St. Rd as there was no spring indicated on the plans. Just 5 or 6 retaining basins for “stormwater”. The perc tests that were done were not that deep and not in the area of the spring. It’s difficult for me to believe that it’s ok to build on this lot. That there is no apparent protection for natural resources such as this.

    Suprised they took the houses down so quick. No more danger or blight. Looks neat and clean. I wonder when they’ll start construction?

  2. Ms. Johnson is correct (again). The spring house should have remained. Not
    that it would control the water but for the history and memories of this town. If
    the Township Engineer is not aware of this condition he should be advised. All
    the springs along Upper Gulph and Conestoga Roads have cost homeowners there thousands in damages and control. Some who write here are concerned with the cost of sidewalks. The storm water control costs will cause additional heart ache. Both are needed to sustain a livable community.

  3. The only property that I saw in my travels that remains a safety issue is the former site of the Byrd Apartments. The building that used to be there was destroyed by a major fire a few years back. It appears it is being used as a dump by the owner. The property is on your left as you start to make your way down Mt. Pleasant Ave.

    1. I agree. The vacant lot on Mt. Pleasant Ave. was brought up by Mt. Pleasant residents at the Town Hall meeting. The supervisors and township staff are now aware of that situation and I am hoping that it will be addressed at tomrorow night’s Board of Supervisor meeting.

  4. News from Upper Merion Township

    1020 Mt. Pleasant Avenue will be demolished in approximately ten days. It was in the process of being renovated. I don’t know what happened.

    I swear I feel like I live in a bombed-out war zone!

    And I just can’t see new houses being built any time soon… Even if it is in Tredyffrin, who is going to buy these $350,000+ twin/townhomes in a historically african-american neighborhood over-run with college students?

    1. Christine – the demolition guys working on the Henry Ave. project told be that 2 of the townhouses were sold (pre-construction). To be in U.Merion Twp, the 1020 Mt. Pleasant Ave. address is at the end of the street, right? Thanks.

  5. Two houses were sold out of the 9 on Henry Ave?

    Yes, 1020 Mt. Pleasant is towards the end of the street.

    1. Yes, the 2 townhouses were in the same twin. They showed me the plans — the townhouse sold is the first one on the right at the bottom of Henry. It’s my understanding that the grading was to start today and getting the utilities underground. Although they were not sure when the actual construction would start, they thought that the pre-sold townhouse would be the first one to be built.

  6. Wow. I’m really suprised. I haven’t seen them listed anywhere. I wonder how much they sold for? And who bought them? Both these factors will pretty much determine the direction of Mt. Pleasant’s future…

    1. Pattye – I am reluctant to put much faith in the info of the demolition crew. Have you seen some other evidence that some proposed homes are truly sold?

      I cannot understand with the inventory of homes for sale in the area, new and existing, why anyone would buy a house sight unseen for $350K. It doesn’t add up in my mind. I think Christine is correct, vacant lots in the neighborhood for many years to come. Better than it was a few weeks ago though i would suspect?

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