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East King Street Redevelopment

What will this really bring to Malvern?

Each day I hear, from half a block away, the bulldozers, jackhammers and trucks which are changing the look of King Street east of Church Street. I admit it's wonderful to see activity, people at work and earning a living. But I continue to wonder at what cost?

I've lived on this block for 22yrs and witnessed subtle changes here and there. None, however, have caused more concern than this one. While I look forward to possibly having more options for a nice meal, I fear the increased traffic will only cause more problems than already exist along King Street and the one-way streets that feed into it. The one way streets feeding King are nothing short of speedways during morning and evening rush. A trip from the eastern edge of the Borough through to and beyond Bridge and Warren can be, at best, a bloody mess during rush hours. What will a few hundred more cars do? Should I put bleachers in my front yard and pretend I'm at a NASCAR event? Should I now allow an extra 15-20mins to get from my street down to Rt. 29?

Time will tell. Right now, I'm skeptical and concerned traffic will get much worse before we see any benefits.

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S.Jeffries May 01, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I suppose the aternative of continued non-tax generating empty buildings and lots would be the solution to possibly too many vehicles.Many folks wil take the train as is the large draw to the forth coming homes. The many empty store fronts along King Street will have a chance to be full of vibrant businesses dawing from locals and vistors alike.
Eduard May 02, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I have to echo S.Jeffries comments - even though I've only lived off of King for 4+ years. I think this is an opportunity for the greater Malvern area (borough and non-borough) to create something special. With the stalled development near Wegman's it is great to see some vitality in the area. I hope that the traffic planners can synchronize the lights so that flow improves. Also since GV is predicting a school spending deficit, new businesses that increase the tax base are a blessing.
John "JC" Curry May 02, 2012 at 05:21 PM
I seem to be generating some thoughtful response...which is good. However, the question I have remains. Is this project too big and was there sufficient discussion and planning to account for the additional traffic concerns? Will the borough now require the Malvern Police to more carefully watch traffic flowing from one-way side streets into King for the purpose of maintaining speed limits and improving traffic flow? Or, will we need to have endless meetings and discussion for the next few years? While I agree that it will be nice to see something there replacing old warehouses and run down parking lots, I have a gut feeling this is too much for the existing neighborhood to support. Seriously...slanted parking on King Street? How many accidents will it take to figure out that's not a good idea? Just sayin.....
S.Jeffries May 02, 2012 at 06:39 PM
The size of the project is big for sure...too big, John I agree possibly. Taxing on malvernPD for sure. There was even talk of getting rid of the dept. That would have been a big mistake...lots of good folks on the force. You points are valid, but the borough has been strggeling for years with no real tax growth nor opportunity to become more than an afterthought community for shopping, dining etc. As for parking, I can tell you slanted parking does work in certain area and doen't in others. wayne is an example of bad...try backing out onto Lancaster Ave. Conshohocken requires cars to be backed into slanted spots....getting out is much safer... lets look for solutions...keep issues in the forefront and welcome our new malvern neighbors
John "JC" Curry May 02, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Yes, slanted parking does work..in a restricted and enforced 25mph zone..which, as you know, King Street is not particularly during rush hour. Fortuneatly, I won't have to drive..just look both ways 4-5 times before cross the street! I'm fully prepared to welcome new neighbors but again, at what price to the quiet and peaceful nature of our little town. I keep seeing visions of Upper Darby and Wayne and suddenly, things just seem a bit..crowded. So, let's see what comes and let's not be afraid or delayed in letting Borough Council know, directly, when things are in need of attention. Bring on summer!
Regina DiLabbio Klugh King May 02, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I was born in Malvern 65 years ago and have lived in its suburbs, Willistown & EW Twps. To say it always was a one-horse town is an understatement. To predict that it will be a noveau Manayunk or trendy, chic new Main Line designation is absurd! Perhaps it would have been best to wind the Chester Valley trail through it and have hikers, bikers access The Land of Stop Signs That Time Forgot! I not only miss the scenes of my youth but the fine folks who lived there, who bought into Malvern, proud property owners who sat on their front porches in the evening and communed with their neighbors. Apartment renters are transient and eventually move on to bigger and better things. Businesses come and go. But the traffic will back up forever! Kudos to the days and nights of Malvern with Police Chief Bill Cockerham and Officer Bob Magee keeping watch over UNLOCKED doors! I miss the good old days and the good old me! Regina DiLabbio Klugh King
Eduard May 03, 2012 at 12:48 PM
I anticipate that some of the side and one-way streets will end up having speed bumps installed similar ro the ones near the baseball fields. It is a simple yet effective way to keep the speed in check. Regina I think you might want to go back and look at housing trends - home ownership in the US has declined for the past six years. Also, town centers and the ability to walk to shops / restaurants are what is revitalizing cities. When I was transferred to the area, it was renting first and growing to appreciate the locale that made me purchase.
tina floyd May 03, 2012 at 02:30 PM
i, too, grew up in Malvern and have very fond memories of the little borough where everyone knew everyone. but times change and malvern can certainly use the money and jobs that will be generated. all towns face the rush hour crunch and it's just a fact of life. the project has already begun, there's no going back now.
B.Biggingsworth May 03, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Regina, With all do respect to a long time resident who has certainly seen changes...good, bad or both I ask you the following questions: do youlike enpty store fronts as almost 50% of those not in the shopping center are? Do you like generally reduced revenue to levels such that the borough almost elimintaed its own Police force? Sure the days of yore are romantic with everyone knowing each other and unlocked doors. This new project will bring vitaility, tax revenue and much need dollars to the borough. Traffic is an excuse to blame on progress. Meter the street spots and charge in the municple lot and gain more revenue. It's a dollars an cents issue.
Tom Logue May 05, 2012 at 11:59 AM
As life long resident like Regina, no I don't like seeing as you come over the bridge and see the empty building that was (Tony's barber shop) suppose to be torn down a few years ago and rebuilt. Things do change and we have to adjust. Traffic will be a problem and if it isn't handled correctly it might keep some people from coming to the shops and retaurants in Malvern,
LC May 06, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Hello fellow "Malvern-ites". I live right outside of the borough, off of King Street and I'm very excited about this project for several reasons. First, do you know that there will be underground parking? Second, I do not believe with the (rather short) strip of re-development it will create dramatic traffic changes, albeit the flow will increase. I personally do not see our current traffic pattern as a huge burden. This is good for the economy, employment opportunty and real estate value. The goal is to create a "walkable" community and frankly, I'm tired of looking at non-thriving businesses and a useless farmer's market building that can turn into something useful. My biggest question is "what's coming to our town"?! Any insight??
Rob May 10, 2012 at 02:15 PM
We've come a long way in my 30+ years of living in Malvern Borough. From the days of the Gun Shoppe (yes there was an actual shop that sold guns in malvern), Auntie Carol's restaurant and their amazing breakfasts, along with the local IGA supermarket (which was ultra convenient). What i am getting at is that the town was obviously expanded at one point to allow these business to succeed. My guess is many objected when these new buildings were built. The real issue is that we need to expand and develop to make this town better for future "malvernites". In this day of going green and higher gas prices, we need more places that are walkable. Maybe this can get people out and about to reestablish that "olde town community feeling." I'm talking about more places to grab a bite to eat or a drink or even coffee. Less stupid pointless shops that locals avoid. The traffic is already ridiculous during rush hour. Is it really going to get that much worse?
Lauren September 15, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I own and live on e king st. i like to sit out on my front porch, but sometimes the fumes from autos are too much. what i would like to propose is that malvern buy out parking space from private owners like me. i can think of one lot in particular near warren ave that is always empty. i bet for a price spaces could be bought! as far as fumes go, i suspose i will just have to deal with it. also, malvern pd will be able to handle the new business.
Kristin Thomas December 11, 2012 at 04:23 PM
As the building is going up, we on East Broad st who thought we were going to look at a very large wall are now wondering why we are staring at a parking garage. A parking garage which will have lights on 24/7 and a public view of our yard. It's so close that our children never open their blinds during construction b/c the men standing on the building appear to be standing right behind our yard. Living in a twin on the train tracks is one thing, but living in a twin on the train tracks behind a parking garage will destroy our property value. With four children we can't sell, we are stuck and even though we are excited for the town with this project, it seems to be horrible for us financially, personally, and privately in our now public backyard.
John "JC" Curry December 11, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Mom...I do feel your pain. It's a shame that developments like this simply never take everything into consideration. It's nearly impossible to. I continue to have open and unanswered questions regarding traffic issues that will be worsened once construction is done. While I don't have an issue with the developer and the basic idea is a good one (I've always said the few overpriced antique shoppes in town didn't give we residents much in the way of shopping options) what I fail to understand is the boroughs lack of a comprehensive understanding of the impact to traffic on both King St and the feeder streets like Ruthland, Church and Channing. While you'll be looking out your back window at a wall or a few apartment windows, I'll be watching the cars speed up my street in the hopes of avoiding the traffic backed up Bridge St or Warren Ave. it would appear neither of us is going to have much of a view.
Kristin Thomas December 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM
John, I fear we will have the traffic as well as people already cut down East Broad to avoid the line on Bridge. Especially Villa parents and Vanguard employees.
Kristin Thomas December 12, 2012 at 12:02 AM
We're going to the Borough Council meeting next Tuesday night, the 18th, to ask for their help. Please read and comment if this project is affecting your home as well. http://malvern.patch.com/blog_posts/east-king-st-project-will-it-increase-or-decrease-property-values-96dbafc7
Joyce P. March 14, 2013 at 03:29 AM
While I understand the comments both pro & con with regards to the E King Street proj, I am left to wonder why there has never been such a public outcry of horror, anger or intolerance when it comes to the two EYESORES that are allowed to exist on King Street-one which was once The Oasis, a barber shop & a quasi-antique store & another that once housed a video store...both owned by the same person. How "nostalgic" is it for people to come to the top of Bridge Street to face in particular, a filthy dirty dump, fire hazard, mold factory etc? While we sit & wait to enter King St & behold that mess (& frankly a deterrent to potential investors), we have the added pleasure of a bird's eye view of the white "goo" which the owner of the Flying Pig seems to think is appropriate to have dripping over the edge of their gutters. Give me quality construction by professionals vested in providing attractive & well maintained properties which will ultimately enhance our landscape & bring value to our real estate any day. Allowing run down bldgs which carry a negative impact on Malvern is nothing short of criminal, in my opinion. I suspect that if anyone's pvt home was in such disrepair as the one on King facing Bridge, it would condemmed. It may be less stressful to take a "wait & see" approach re:E King St. Someday, it will be "part of the landscape"; the old empty warehouses a distant memory like the posting of names not allowed to cash checks in shop n' bag or Lou's b'fast club.

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