Drexeline Shopping Center Update

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Drexeline Shopping Center Update

by Mayor Barbarann Keffer
December 9, 2020

Tonight, Upper Darby Township Council voted to approve a preliminary land development plan for the development of the Drexeline Shopping Center. First and foremost, MCB delivered land development plans to the Township for the first time in February 2020. Since then, my administration has worked very cooperatively with MCB to improve the plan and that has resulted in a decrease of impervious surfaces, better connectivity for pedestrians and vehicles and a plan that reflects the realities of our post-COVID future.

There is a big difference between a conceptual plan and a land development plan. The conceptual plan was presented at the May 2018 Zoning Hearing Board meeting. It is very important for everyone to know that there was no land development plan prior to February of this year when MCB submitted one to the township. Regarding speculative lost revenue, I will refer to the testimony of MCB’s financial consultant at the May 2018 Zoning Hearing Board meeting: the development yields a positive net fiscal impact to the township of approximately $80,000 a year. The consultant goes on to say: “during construction we estimate approximately $460,000 net positive impact to the township. Most of that are construction permits and fees that would be required as part of the construction.”

To be clear, permit fees are not a revenue-generator. Permit fees cover the township costs for plan review, inspections and other professional services. In fact, municipal fees are expressly forbidden by state law to be money-makers. I am absolutely thrilled that this development, which is at the western gateway into our township, is moving forward.

A copy of the Drexeline development transcript from the May 2018 Zoning Hearing Board meeting is available HERE.

Details related to the Drexeline Redevelopment are available at: https://www.upperdarby.org/businesses/redevelopment/2001/drexeline.