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Former Verizon site in Bryn Mawr acquired for mixed-use project


Commercial property buyers in Pennsylvania are busy people. They not only have to worry about obtaining financing to buy a property, but they also must consider zoning, permits and other issues that may delay or prevent the sale of the property or opening of their business on that property.

A new $20 million mixed-use project headed by Blank Aschkenasy Properties is being constructed on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr. The company has acquired several land parcels on Lancaster and along Merion Avenue, including a surface lot and adjacent structure that had formerly been used by Verizon. The nearly 60,000 square foot project will be called Bryn Mawr Village and should fill the hole in the area nicely. Right now, the company is working on getting land development approvals, but hopes to be finished by fall 2015 for investment companies and other firms to lease as office space at $40 per square foot.

Hopefully Blank Aschkenasy Properties will be able to get its land development approvals in time to begin building in early 2015, but that isn't always the case when commercial property buyers seek to build on their recently-acquired properties. Sometimes zoning restrictions get in the way, and the owners must go in front of zoning hearing boards to seek rezoning, conditional use permits and variances in order to complete the project. Further, sometimes the property may have toxic clean-up or other environmental compliance issues that the buyer knew nothing about before buying the property, causing the project to be significantly delayed or, even worse, cancelled.

As there are so many things that could go wrong and delay or cancel a commercial buyer's project on a piece of property, many commercial buyers seek the advice of an experienced real estate attorney. Knowledgeable lawyers can add clauses to the sales contract before the property is bought to certify zoning or require a civil engineer to sign off on any possible environmental impact issues.

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, "$20M mixed-use development planned for Bryn Mawr," Natalie Kostelni, Oct. 31, 2014

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