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BJ's Wholesale Club Eyes Vacant Montgomery Township Site

Tony Di Domizio

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 • 2:08am

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Costco in Montgomery Township may soon get some competition up the street.

BJ's Wholesale Club is planning to renovate the vacant American Signature Furniture building at Five Points Plaza, said Township Planning and Zoning Director Bruce Shoupe.

"BJ's submitted for interior demolition permits. They are going through the land development process," Shoupe said. "They have to cleanup plans and, hopefully, they will be in front of the board in a month."

Shoupe said BJ's is proposing to add about 10,000 square feet of new space to the right side of the current building. The left side of the building would house the tire center, Shoupe said. An existing loading dock will be reconfigured as well.

"Where the dock is now, they reconfigured it, so that the tractor trailers come to the front of the store," Shoupe said. "It's so residents that abut the rear won't be impacted."

Shoupe said it is a great use for the space.

"They were looking a that space three years ago. For whatever reason, they are back," he said. 

Prior to American Signature Furniture, the building housed other retail establishments, such as Burlington Coat Factory, Bradlee's and Builder's Square.

BJ's has already received zoning relief for building height to allow for a peak on the roofline. The zoning hearing board also approved storage of propane tanks in the parking lot. Shoupe said the planning commission has given its OK on the project too. At present, BJ's is finalizing drafts and completing any required sewer planning module paperwork for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

"The next step is to get on the board's agenda," Shoupe said.

Montgomery Township is on the cusp of seeing a surge in redevelopment.

Wegmans just recently opened up at Montgomery Mall. Chick-fil-a is moving through its permitting and planning process to open at the vacant K&G store on Route 309, across from Airport Square.

A Giant-to-Go 10-pump 24-hour gas station is coming to the vacant strip mall on Route 309 at Vilsmeier Road, next to Hess and across from Starbucks. 

Planet Fitness recently opened its doors at the old Ross Dress for Less location at Water Tower Square on Horsham Road.

Shoupe sees good things in new tenants coming to Montgomery Mall as well, not to mention its planned renovations. 

"Everybody, in essence, is chasing Wegmans," Shoupe said. "Wegmans draws a lot of traffic. Why not be close to it?"

It also means more revenue for the township.

"People see the value of being in this location," he said. "It's a win-win for everybody."

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