LAND DEVELOPMENT &
Our development team possesses a unique understanding of the potential obstacles and complexities associated with the procurement of land development entitlements, governmental approvals, construction permitting and project financing.
We select development projects where we believe above market returns can be generated for our clients and partners. Our extensive experience enables us to specifically tailor each project to its market environment and to implement strategies relating to approvals, project design, construction management and financing that optimize the development’s community appeal and its financial performance.
Beachcomber Swim Club
Whitpain Township, PA
The Beachcomber Swim Club (the “Club”) was opened in 1956 as a family oriented recreational facility targeting membership for families from local communities such as Cheltenham, Oak Lane and Abington. The Club was founded by John Bernheimer and was operated by the Beachcomber Board which was made up of a group of his neighbors from Cheltenham to create a self-contained social environment for families looking for a broad range of outdoor activities. Most early members felt they were “coming out to the country” when visiting the Club.
In the 1960’s, the Club boasted
membership in excess of 500
families and there was a waiting
list for membership. On any given
Saturday or Sunday in the summer,
there would be between 1,200 to
1,500 people enjoying the Club’s
facilities and participating in the
Club’s organized activities.
Membership remained strong
through the 1970’s but the 1980’s
and 1990’s would result in
decreased membership for the
Club resulting from changes in the
economy and a decline in the
popularity of local beach clubs.
In 2008, Bob Berardelli purchased
the Club and began an extensive renovation of the facilities to attract new membership. However, Bob was no stranger to the Club. Bob began his relationship with the Club in 1957 as a lifeguard. At the time, Bob was a junior at Norristown High School. After two seasons as a lifeguard, Bob was promoted to head lifeguard and then enrolled at West Chester University, where he was a Health and Physical Education major. While in college, Bob continued to work at the Club each summer as the Assistant Manager for the facility. Upon graduating from college in 1963, the Club promoted Bob to Manager. Bob retained a strong and meaningful relationship with the Club until he became its owner in 2008.
In 2016, after continued declines in membership, Bob Berardelli decided to close the Club and sell the property.
In 2016, members of Envision Land Use and Summit Realty Advisors began working with Bob Berardelli on potential redevelopment plans for the Beachcomber property. The property was located in Whitpain Township and the underlying zoning for the property was P-R, Parks and Recreation District and the permitted uses were very limited. In working on various development plans with Whitpain Township, Envision Land and Summit Realty were able to get the Township to determine their P-R Zoning District was invalid due to the limited permitted uses and the Beachcomber property was rezoned to R-3B permitting low density townhouse development on the property. Envision Land and Summit Realty are currently working to secure development approvals for a 31 unit carriage home development on the property. Municipal approvals are anticipated to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Worcester Township, PA
The Palmer Farm is a 55 acre former farm property located at the intersection of Skippack Pike and Valley Forge Road in Worcester, PA The Palmer Farm has been owned by the Palmer family since 1945 and previously served as the corporate headquarters for Palmer International – a family owned specialty chemical company that processes, manufactures and distributes cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL) products. The company was founded in 1946 and is now based in Skippack, Pennsylvania.
After moving their corporate headquarters to Skippack Township in 2016, Palmer International decided to sell the Palmer Farm property.
In 2016, members of Homsher Hill Development Company and Summit Realty Advisors began working with the Palmer family on potential redevelopment plans for the Palmer Farm. Homsher Hill and Summit Realty enlisted the support and input of many stakeholders including the elected officials of Worcester Township, the Worcester Township Planning Commission and the Montgomery County Planning Commission. The existing zoning for the property permitted single family detached dwellings on one acre lots which did not seem to be consistent with the Township’s goals of preserving open space, preserving the rural character of Worcester Township and creating a small commercial core area in a walkable village setting. In working on various development plans with Worcester Township, Homsher Hill and Summit Realty were able to get the Township to consider the adoption of a new zoning ordinance that permanently protected 57% of the site as open space. In addition, by incorporating the principles of cluster development and substantial development setbacks, the existing Valley Forge Road view shed will be maintained. The proposed ordinance also includes appropriate provisions for village commercial development and architectural standards to preserve the rural character of Worcester.
Homsher Hill and Summit Realty continue to work with representatives of Worcester Township on the adoption of the proposed ordinance which the Montgomery County Planning Commission has described as entirely consistent with the Township’s adopted plan entitled “A Vision for Center Point Village”.