Two Montco Shopping Centers Scheduled for Residential-Retail Redo

rendering of a building at an intersection
Image via Federal Realty Investment Trust.
FRT's proposed new look for the Willow Grove Shopping Center; the first floor of this structure is retail, with rental residences above it.

Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT) is looking to change the traditional characteristics of two of its Montgomery County shopping centers. Natalie Kostelni covered the refreshes for the Philadelphia Business Journal.

The intended redevelopment, still seeking approvals, is to refurbish Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center and Willow Grove Shopping Center, aligning them better with current commercial real estate trends.

FRT’s more ambitious changes involves residential development at each site.

Both the Bala Cynwyd and Willow Grove plans call for 200 apartments each, giving residents easy commuting access by way of proximity to major transportation modes (highway and public).

In addition, a general spruce-up of the retail operations has been proposed.

The Bala Cynwyd plot may benefit most from this latter initiative, putting a new shine on its original 1957 layout with the addition of walkways and place-making features. Further commercial possibilities lie within the now-shuttered building that once held Lord & Taylor.

The retail entities envisioned in Willow Grove will occupy the first floor of the proposed apartment complex.

COVID-19 has been among the drivers of these renovations; as workers continued careers from home, they still sought outdoor gathering places to get outdoors, socialize, dine, and shop.

More on the proposed shopping center renovations by Federal Realty Investment Trust is in the Philadelphia Business Journal.