The Palmer: From Seminary to Sought After Residences

Lower Merion Township, PA
AwardWhen Cross Properties purchased a former seminary on 8 acres wanting to convert it to first class rental residences, they turned to Momenee to assist them to determine the feasibility of developing the property under various scenarios.  Some of their initial ideas included residential, student housing, mixed use, commercial, medical, or banking.  

The building was constructed in 1919 by famous Philadelphia Architect Horace Trumbauer and operated as the elegant Green Hills Farms Hotel until 1939, then housed the former Palmer Theological Seminary for more than 70 years.  Listed on the National Historic Register and in close proximity to busy roads and a railroad station, any changes would face challenges.

Our team studied numerous options relative to zoning, parking, areas where relief was needed, and other engineering issues.  We also provided an ALTA survey, which was needed in order to implement the selected strategy and move it through the design and approval process.  We collaborated with the Township early in the process to get their perspective on the alternatives.  Our concepts assisted the client to make decisions that would get the project through different reviewing entities.  

When a decision was made on the direction of the project, our team provided land development and permitting services.  The client was able to turn the former seminary into 110 first class rental residences and 12,000 sf of medical office space. As the first modern apartment building on the Main Line in over 50 years, this preservation project has won numerous awards.  

Momenee was subsequently retained to provide site engineering services and Conditional Use testimony on a new 22-unit residential building that is anticipated to be completed in 2017.