Hotel, New Homes Amongst Top Picks for Willows by Parks Board

Radnor Township's Parks and Recreation Board were asked to rank proposals for The Willows.

Radnor Township's Parks and Recreation Board ranked their preferred proposals for the Willows Mansion and Cottage. The top four proposals included plans for a boutique hotel and townhouses in the township-owned park.

The board, made up of Radnor citizens, ranked their preferred plans by each member assigning a number value to each plan; those values were then added up.

The "top four" are from:

Jeffrey Miller Catering - Read about their plan here.

C.F. Holloway and Co - Read about the plan here.

100th Street LLC - Read about the plan here.

Cross Street Partners - Read their plan in the pdf section of this article.

Radnor Board of Commisisoner member John Nagle said the proposals for a hotel and houses on the property are not consistent with some major criteria that the township stated in its request for proposals. Still, he said, the township may work with them to address some of the issues.

At the Parks and Recreation Board meeting on Thursday, manager Bob Zienkowski said the next step is to create more specific requests and needs to ask the top contenders to address in an upcoming meeting. The top requests from the township's perspective are:

  • The township does not want to give up ownership of any portion of the former estate.
  • The open space, sledding hills, trails and pond must continue as public space.
  • The township wants to eliminate the annual operating and maintenance expenses for the mansion and cottage.
  • It wants the buildings renovated at the firm's expense.
  • It wants an annual fee paid to the township for use of the buildings.
  • The character should match the neighborhood and incorporate historical design elements from the original buildings.
  • The township wants residents and community groups to continue to use the mansion at a discount.
  • It wants the township's recreation and programming department to have use of the facilities for fixed days each year.



Opinion: On the Future of the Willows Mansion

Blog Post: Willows Proposals

Mark January 12, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Enough with building new homes! Do we HAVE to pave over every square inch of what's left? I appreciate that the plan maintains the view , etc... but please, lets leave something of what makes Radnor a truly beautiful place---open land.
Mark January 12, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Mr. Holloway has done good work here and has contributed greatly to the community, but eating away at park land and open space seems to cut against the quality of life he seeks to create with his projects.
i grew here you moved here January 12, 2013 at 04:35 PM
That guy is responsible for razing the Poplar estate, and ironically, many of the trees, woodlands, and open space on the site to make way for more density, more volume, more traffic/cars to the once serene Brooke Rd. neighborhood with another subdivision project. I'm sure he's done the same for other projects. But, he cries at BOC/Planning meeting when he doesn't get his way, for sympathy votes, so that makes everything fine. Out of curiousity, what has he contributed to the community?
John F. Haines January 12, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Visit my you tube page to see the meetings www.youtube.com/jhainessr
BANKER0917 January 12, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Please,no more houses in Radnor !! Pretty soon I will not be able to recognize the town tha t3 generations of my family grew up in !! The catering plan does sound like a sound proposal.
Mark January 12, 2013 at 07:54 PM
I Grew Here..., I'm not a fan of new development in Radnor and I would support a moratorium on new construction...although I cannot imagine that would happen here. A viable alternative is the redevelopment or rehabilitation of existing homes, buildings and neighborhoods. Mr. Holloway, whom I have not met, has completed two such projects in Wayne and is working on the Louella Court site. Reusing an established 'footprint' is far preferable to ripping up trees and knocking down buildings that might be saved so to that extent, I applaud his efforts. I don't know about Mr. Holloway's conduct at meetings but--like you-- I'd rather see the quality of life here maintained. I grew up here as you did and while change is inevitable, there are ways to retain the character of the community.
Bob Adams January 13, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Great idea maybe put some VU dorms there
Catherine January 13, 2013 at 03:34 AM
Check the history: building overpriced condos that owners have to sell at a loss....see condos on E Lancaster and School Lane. How does that benefit the community?
Linda G January 13, 2013 at 04:01 AM
seems to me the property was left to township for open space and parks, was I wrong on this??? I do not think that road is able to handle any more traffic then it already has - please leave this to open space - even if you have to charge for sledding
Mark January 13, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Catherine... The fact that new condos were built , as I said, within an existing footprint means that new condos were not built on raw land or space once occupied by an older building that perhaps might have been rehabbed. Beyond that, not much towards the 'greater good', but it's something. I feel like I'm defending Mr. Holloway-- I'm not-- just making the point that redevelopment is preferable to new development in my opinion and in this case.
Catherine January 13, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Mark, understood. My complaint with this builder is his failure to truly "restore" old structures like the Louella Apartments: instead of using wood on mouldings, etc, he chose to use man-made materials. Just one example. The charm and history is gone. I'm shocked that the P&R committee would put his plan in the top 3 but we shouldn't be surprised since it would bring in tons of $$ to the township in taxes. I agree with your point: let's promote the use of land that's already been built on. Every time I drive by that hideous Sinkler building, I wonder why it hasn't been sold and razed to build something more useful and attractive. Does anybody know the story there?
Mark January 13, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Hi Catherine...I understand your complaint and confess that I don't know the details of Mr. Holloway's projects in Wayne. I was speaking only to the issue of land preservation. Sinkler...that's a good question. Maybe somebody out there has background on it?
Sam Strike (Editor) January 13, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Funny you ask. I went there last week because I wondered the same thing. I was told that half of the complex is being used by its owner for his law firm, Kania, Lindner, Lasak and Feeney. Some of it is also used for the owner's son's business. So, half of the complex is in use - the inside of that part has been renovated. But the other half seems empty and the outside of the whole thing looks like it has not been renovated.
Mark January 13, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Interesting. I drive by it nearly everyday and never notice it. I drove by it again this afternoon and made a point to look based on Catherine's post and it does seem to need work on its exterior. It's a nice piece of property though. Maybe it'll be 're-purposed' someday! Thanks Sam
Catherine January 13, 2013 at 10:13 PM
There's a big wreath on one of the windows (or doors?) so it does seem somebody uses it but, what a shame that the "Gateway to Wayne" has such a woebegone, neglected look to it. Perhaps Mr Kania, Lindner, Lasak or Feeney read Radnor Patch?
Hollie holt January 13, 2013 at 10:50 PM
I have been paying pretty close attention to the proposals for the Willows and Jeffrey Miller's proposal seems the obvious choice to me, It will preserve a nice tract of the open space that attracted so many of the residents of Radnor township to the area, will renovate the mansion in a way that it has needed for so long, bring in extra revenue, not impinge on the current uses of the park for gardening, walking, fishing, etc., not add much in the way of additional traffic and no appreciable impervious cover to this corner of Radnor, and provide the residents with an aestheticially improved local venue for all sorts of events. I hope that the money this proposal estimates to generate satisfies the township's need to cover the maintenance costs of the property. Jeffrey? Hollie Holt
Mark January 14, 2013 at 03:53 AM
I agree, based on what I've read on Patch recently. A proposal that strikes a reasonable balance between cost and quality of life--and maintains open space-- seems best for the community over time.
Woodlawn Garden Center Malvern, 359 Paoli Pike February 16, 2013 at 09:38 PM
great point about redevelopment over an existing footprint. This does seem preferable.


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