LOWER MAKEFIELD >> It’s official. Wegmans is coming to Lower Makefield Township.
After several years of debate, discussion and countless meetings, the Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors on April 7 voted 4 to 1 to approve Prickett Preserve at Edgewood, a mixed use development that will bring a Wegmans, several retail and dining establishments, public space, and upscale residential living to the township.
Supervisors Suzanne Blundi, Dan Grenier, Fred Weiss and James McCartney voted in favor of the plan while Supervisor John Lewis cast the lone vote against the development.
The mixed-use development will be built on 37 acres in the township’s office research zone located on Stony Hill Road between Township Line Road and the Newtown Bypass across from Shady Brook Farm and nestled in between the north and the south campuses of the newly-rebranded Makefield Crossing Corporate Center.
Anchoring the new development will be a 100,000 square foot Wegmans Market, which has a 20 year signed lease with the developers, confirmed township manager Kurt Ferguson at Wednesday night’s meeting..
Based in Rochester, New York, the family-owned supermarket chain founded in 1916 has 105 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and North Carolina. It is one of the largest private companies in the U.S. employing 52,000 employees and with annual sales in 2019 of $9.7 billion.
The supermarket is known for its abundance of choice; restaurant-quality prepared foods; beautiful stores and displays; and its customer service.
The Wegmans is part of Prickett Preserve at Edgewood, a joint development project by DeLuca Homes, Equus Capital Partners and Envision Land Use.
The walkable development will include a 55,000 square foot commercial village at the north end of the site; 200 luxury apartments at the south end of the site; and copious open spaces and pathways connecting the various uses within the development.
The standalone retail buildings, including a pharmacy, bank and several restaurants, will surround the perimeter of the central village open space, which envisions community gathering areas with seating and movable tables, a synthetic turf field for exercising, an informal stage area, shade sail canopies, picnic areas and more.
The residential portion of the project will be “highly amenitized” with a clubhouse featuring a fitness center, activity rooms and swimming pool. In addition, the grounds in and around the apartment buildings will include green spaces with bocci courts, places to throw a frisbee and a dog park.
Another key element of the project will be the preservation of two historic structures on the Prickett property - a 1700s farmhouse and a barn - that will be adaptively reused as commercial space and become a focal point of the commercial village and its civic open space.
The plan also includes preserving a number of old growth trees and building walking and bicycle trails that will link the project internally and to neighboring uses, including the corporate center and Shady Brook Farm.
“We appreciate the time and thorough review put forth by the various township staff and their consultants as well as all of the volunteer boards and commissions for the Prickett Preserve at Edgewood,” said Vince DeLuca, President of DeLuca Homes. “The Board of Supervisors’ vote to approve the project will deliver a community that promotes a healthy-living environment."
DeLuca continued, “The Wegmans will provide a new local option for high-quality, fresh food at a convenient location for many residents, who currently travel to New Jersey for the same shopping access.”
Prickett Preserve at Edgewood will generate $1.5 million annually in new net tax revenues for the Pennsbury School District and $200,000 for the Lower Makefield. There will be almost 400 new full-time positions created through the commercial spaces.
In addition, the development will include a commitment for $7 million in traffic safety improvements to help improve the current traffic conditions around the area, including new lanes, updated signalization and road widening at three major intersections - Stony Hill and Route 332, the exit ramp at Route 332 from I-295 westbound and at Stony Hill and Township Line Roads.
“With the improvements,” said the developer’s traffic engineer Chris Williams from McMahan & Associates, “traffic conditions will dramatically improve and even with the added traffic from a mixed use development on this property conditions will improve and for the critical locations along the bypass traffic conditions will be better than they are today.”
The developer has also committed to building a pedestrian path over I-295 on Stony Hill Road that will link Prickett Preserve with Historic Edgewood Village.
“The pedestrian path will create a critical connection between Prickett Preserve, Shady Brook Farm, and the (Makefield Crossing) Corporate Center, to Edgewood Village,” said Bob Dwyer, Equus Capital Partners. “It will be a live, work and play community for all to enjoy.”
According to the developers, the mixed-use development would complement the adjacent Makefield Crossing Corporate Center and help fill office vacancies by providing housing and amenities within walking distance to their office.
“We are grateful for the encouragement and support from hundreds of Lower Makefield residents over the entire process,” said Dwyer. “We look forward to continuing to work with the township and updating the residents as the project moves into the construction phase.”
Also at the meeting, the supervisors approved two conditional use requests for Prickett Preserve - one for a drive-thru J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and one for a drive-thru pharmacy that will be part of the retail village component of the development.
In early September, the board of supervisors opened the door to the project by approving a mixed use overlay district that allows the OR (office research) zoned land to be developed with a mix of commercial and residential uses.
For more information about Prickett Preserve at Edgewood village, visit www.prickettpreserve.com