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Aug. 25, 2013

Cross Properties’ 132-Unit Multifamily Development to Replace Former School in Lower Merion

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Steven Rock, a senior director with Marcus & Millichap’s Manhattan office, recently arranged $23.5 million in financing for a 120,000-square-foot property in Lower Merion Township, on behalf of real estate developer Cross Properties of Center City Philadelphia.

Located at 6 E. Lancaster Avenue in Wynnewood, a suburb of Philadelphia, the school was built 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. Main Line Media News previously reported that in 2011 the Palmer Seminary building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a “Class 1” status under Lower Merion’s Historic Preservation ordinance. This means that the building can be demolished only with permission from the board of the Lower Merion board of commissioners.

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, in spring 2013 the school’s parent institution, Eastern University, sold the property to Cross Properties for $35 million and relocated its theological programs to a temporary facility located at its campus in St. David’s, PA.

Cross Properties will reconvert the property into a residential building with 132 luxury apartments—100 of which will be one-bedroom units—and the rest will be a combination of studios and two-bedrooms.

“This property is a historical landmark,” said Steven Rock in a press statement. “The conversion to luxury apartments has enormous demand and will add tremendous value to the property and location.”

According to Cross Properties’ redevelopment plan, a 13,500-square-foot chapel will be transformed into medical office space and exclusive amenities, such as a fitness center, pool, club room and roof deck.

Photo via Palmer Theological Seminary’s Facebook page

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