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ARDMORE, PA-There has been a change in plans for the development of this town in Lower Merion Township; namely the first developer selected by the area’s commissioners–Philadelphia-based EBL&S Development–has opted out of its previously proposed $300-million plan. Up at bat now is Dranoff Properties, which is negotiating contract terms with the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners.

Its proposed vision for the Ardmore Transit Center is a more modest $150-million concept. Dranoff became the leading contender for this project following presentations by BET Investments, Strategic Realty Investments and public input at the March 19 Economic Revitalization Committee.

Dranoff, which has extensive urban redevelopment experience, is transplanting these design features into a suburban environment, president Carl Dranoff tells GlobeSt.com, with its plan to develop a mixed-use village in Ardmore with 335 residences; 60,000 sf of retail and restaurant space; 12,000 sf of office; and approximately 650 public parking spaces and 500 private parking spaces. There are four phases, with an expected 60-month build-out. The first and second phases incorporate the new train station, a mid-rise residential structure, parking, retail shops and office space.

Dranoff says this order of development is integral to its overall plan. Phasing the development so the train station is developed first means the $5.8-million federal grant to develop the station will remain secure.

One reason stated for EBL&S Development decision to pull out of the project was an inability to secure financing in the credit environment. Dranoff declined to discuss specific financial sources the firm is planning to tap other than to say that it “has never missed a beat in securing financing in 33 years.” Roughly speaking, the financial package he expects to secure will be a combination of debt and equity that has not originated from Wall Street. “The beginning phases will be self-financed and we will bring in lenders and partners as necessary.” The Ardmore Negotiations Team is scheduled to meet with Dranoff Properties on Monday, March 24.

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