Monday, July 17, 2006

Cherry Hill Downtown

From the Asbury Park Press:

Cherry Hill going "downtown"

Before the 1960s, when this community boomed into a quintessential New Jersey suburb with 70,000 residents, a landmark mall, well-regarded schools and cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac of homes, there were two main features of town: farms and the Garden State Park horse racing track.
In contrast to the nearby colonial villages and older railroad suburbs such as Merchantville, Maple Shade, Collingswood and Haddonfield, Cherry Hill grew up without ever getting a downtown.

When the 225-acre racetrack closed in 2001, it created a rare second chance to build a new center of the community.

The original developers promised a downtown modeled after some of those quaint neighboring communities. But that's not exactly what's going up now after a shake up in developers and years of legal wrangling over how much housing should be built on the site for lower-income people.
The first parts of the redevelopment to go up — big-box stores, including a Home Depot and a Wegman's, an oversized supermarket with a cultish following, that are already open and condos for senior citizens under construction — have given concern to advocates for creating walkable communities.
When it's complete — likely in several years — the development will also have office buildings with easy access to a train station, an off-track betting parlor, some 5,000 residents in an array of housing options, a 10-acre park including an amphitheater, a fancy, horse-themed fountain and playing fields, Morris said.

While one early plan called for some single-family homes and keeping many of the mature oak and sycamore trees along the stables, neither is happening.

The housing has become denser, township officials say, because of requirements to include 200 units of affordable housing among the roughly 1,700 residential units.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the area where they have dance competitions.
Good area.

7/17/2006 12:01:00 PM  

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