Business Government

Another Upscale Apartment Building Proposed In Newtown Twp.

A new three-story, 120-unit apartment building is being proposed for the township.

The owner of The Corners at Newtown Place wants to redevelop it into a three-story, 120-unit apartment building.
Credit: Chris English/

The owner of The Corners at Newtown Place business center wants to redevelop the 3.9-acre Newtown Township property into a three-story, 120-unit apartment building with related amenities.

A letter from Matthew McHugh of Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzbur, the attorney for owner BT Newtown Corners LP on the project, to township Zoning Officer Michael Italia proposes zoning relief as the first step toward the owner’s goal of redevelopment. The center is at Buck Road (Route 532) and Newtown-Richboro Road (Route 332) and includes Jake’s Eatery, Steak and Hoagie Factory, Domino’s Pizza, Steven Robbins Eyewear, Inner Circle Physical Therapy and other establishments.

Documents submitted to the township by the developer.

“The JMZO (joint municipal zoning ordinance) does not currently provide for the type of multi-family dwelling proposed by the project,” stated McHugh’s letter, which was obtained by “As such, applicant is proposing a text amendment to the JMZO to allow for and regulate such use.” The JMZO governs zoning law for Newtown, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown townships.

The proposal for The Corners at Newtown Place comes at the same time Newtown Township officials plan to fight another plan for a four-story, 245-unit apartment building for a vacant parcel on University Drive, just off Lower Silver Lake Road. That plan, like The Corners one, requires a change in the JMZO as one of the first steps toward becoming reality.

The McHugh submission on The Corners at Newtown Place includes a proposed text amendment to the JMZO setting forth rules and regulations for a “B-11 parking core apartment building use, subject to certain conditions, in the TC (Town Commercial) District.”

Documents submitted to the township by the developer.

The parking core apartment building concept like the one being proposed for The Corners is a “building where individual apartments surround a central parking garage to feature a walkable oriented streetscape in keeping with a traditional village,” McHugh’s letter noted. “Each apartment unit has direct access to the outside or to a common hall and each unit is designed for and occupied by a single family.”

The two apartment building proposals come amidst a settlement agreement recently approved by the Newtown Township board of supervisors that will allow for a Wawa with gas pumps at the corner of the Newtown Bypass and Lower Silver Lake Road. The supervisors had been fighting zoning amendments needed for the Wawa until voting 3-2 in favor of the settlement.

Supervisor John Mack, who voted against the settlement, called the three proposals – two pending and one now approved – a “Newtown zoning Armageddon” in a newsletter recently sent out to township residents.

Renderings submitted to the township by the developer.

“It’s a call to arms for residents who moved to Newtown to escape overdevelopment and crime,” Mack wrote. “These battles, I fear, will eventually lead to developers rewriting zoning ordinances (laws) meant to protect the promise of Newtown as ‘a great place to live, work and worship’ as well as enjoy open, undeveloped space.”

In the newsletter, Mack also mentions the possibility of the Newtown-Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority building a new sewage treatment plant on the same land where the four-story, 245-unit apartment building is proposed. The treatment plant, if it happens, would presumably prevent the apartment building from coming.

“I’ve been told the authority can acquire the land via Eminent Domain,” Mack wrote.

Renderings submitted to the township by the developer.
Renderings submitted to the township by the developer.

About the author

Chris English

I’m a 1981 Temple University graduate and Bucks County resident with 40 years experience reporting and writing on sports, education, government, community and social issues on the county, regional and state level. I love reading, sports, music and movies and walking around local parks.