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Newtown Township Gives the Final Go-Ahead for the Renovation of the Fred Beans Dealership on Sycamore Street

Newtown Township Gives the Final Go-Ahead for the Renovation of the Fred Beans Dealership on Sycamore Street | Newtown News of Interest |

The Newtown Township board of supervisors has finally formalized plans for a major renovation at the Fred Beans of Newtown dealership and auto body shop at 10 North Sycamore Street.


The Doylestown-based auto dealership, which had acquired Bill Marsh Ford in 2016, is investing millions of dollars into upgrading the five-acre property.


With the latest action executing the land development agreement, that renovation can get underway.


At the Feb. 13 meeting, the board voted 4-0, without discussion, to formally sign the final plans which the supervisors had approved early last year.


Voting to execute the agreement were Chairman Phil Calabro, along with fellow Supervisors Linda Bobrin, John Mack and Dennis Fisher. Supervisor Kyle Davis did not attend the meeting.


The site, which lies between Washington Avenue and Jefferson Street, will see building renovations totaling 7,419 square feet added to the 34,694 square-foot showroom and body shop.


The two buildings' frontages will be extended closer to Sycamore Street in order to meet the Town Commercial (T/C) Zoning District whose goal is to create a feeling of a downtown street with building fronting the street and parking in the rear.


The auto dealership will have a new facade and no cars will be displayed in front of the showroom. The auto dealer’s attorney Don Marshall had told the board that the building has to be “more attractive to customers,” noting that automobiles no longer have to be set up for show as much as they have in the past. [But, as can be seen from the rendering above, a few cars will still be displayed along Sycamore Street in a 9’x18’ “inventory parking” area, which technically is NOT located in “front of the showroom”.]


The auto body shop will now also have a stone facade, similar to the La Stalla Italian Market which opened down the street in early 2017.


The Town Commercial District, which was established in 2012, does not allow auto dealers, so any additions and improvements had to be approved by the township’s Zoning Hearing Board as a non-conforming use.


Fred Beans will have six less signs to be more consistent with the Town Commercial District.


In addition, the four current entrances to the property will be reduced to three, with one of them being only one way.


Fred Beans had worked closely with the township and the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) to develop designs for the project that fit the streetscape, even though the site is technically not within the township’s historic district.


As part of that plan, Fred Beans will dedicate 10,890 square feet of open space on the northern-end of the property to Newtown Township. It would have several picnic tables, trash cans and a bicycle rack for public use.


A sidewalk will also be installed across the front of the Fred Beans property which will complete the missing section of the existing Sycamore Street walkway. Existing light poles will be relocated in order to minimize the auto showroom’s interior lighting onto Sycamore Street.

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Newtown News of Interest
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