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Human Interest - Bristol Borough

Developer Discussed Vision for Vacant Manor Park Elementary School

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After standing vacant for over a decade, will Manor Park Elementary School be redeveloped? If the contract purchaser can get all his approvals from the borough, the site may undergo a redevelopment like 101 Washington Street project but it will take time.

The contract purchaser, Kevin Romano, of the Manor Park Elementary School and its land, presented his  vision for the use of the building and land at the previous meeting of the Morrisville Council meeting.

Romano and an attorney at Begley, Carlin and Mandy appeared before Council to discuss the future vision of the site. The attorney offered  apologies for not attending previous meetings to discuss the matter.  The application may appear confusing but there are a lot of  moving pieces especially to the relief they are requesting and he felt appropriate to be at this meeting and discuss the vision, said the attorney.

The school which is on approximately 1.7 acres has remained vacant for over a decade. The building itself is a little over 14,560 square footage. The attorney’s understanding is the school district previously had the site under contract but the deal fell apart because the former proposed developer could not secure financing. The proposal by Romano and the attorney is labeled as a “mixed use commercial building,” similar to the 101 Washington Street building that Romano operates. Speaking of the future plans, the attorney touched on many legal aspects of the application. He said that they have done what they could in the terms of requiring minimal relief.

Credit: Lower Bucks Source

Romano is the owner of 101 Washington St. in Morrisville and the Bach building in Philadelphia. He said, he has been in the development and redevelopment industry for over 20 years, the last six or seven years he has been focused on the creative redevelopment/reuse of existing structures, sometimes homes but mostly businesses.

Romano’s vision is to be similar to 101 Washington St and wants the school site to be part of the community, not a standalone. He has proven to have success in Morrisville and if they are allowed by zoning to have the same structuring of relief that 101 Washington St was granted, then the new site at the former school will also be successful.

The entire purpose of this presentation was to explain their future plans since it is different than most applications to zoning. The attorney wanted the borough to understand the vision going into the application.

The former Manor Park Elementary School in Morrisville was constructed in 1975 and closed in the late 1980s. It was then used for pre-kindergarten programs for many years.

Credit: Lower Bucks Source

Presented by Romano was information on the Bach Building in South Philadelphia. A former high school spanning 350,000 square feet was in worse shape than Manor Park Elementary. It now houses 220 tenants, there is practically no vacancy. To name a few types of businesses within the building are a bar, restaurant, coffee shop, and bike shop.

Speaking on the the 101 Washington St. building that was bought in 2020 or 2021, Romano said,  that it houses approximately 26-27 tenants who all have different hours of business. Some of the tenants are a couple photographers,  wedding/event planner, tech shop, and several estheticians.

Romano also said, “…Our sort of bread and butter quite frankly is taking buildings that most people don’t really know what to do with and finding a kind of a creative use for them…”

“…For buildings like this to kind of have someone want to breathe life back into them you know it’s a fair amount of risk quite frankly and like to take  that risk me or anyone else needs a little bit of flexibility in the zoning….”

Ames has lived in Falls Township for most of her life. She currently contributes to Lower Bucks Source doing multiple tasks. Got the reporting "bug" and is in her first year of learning the ins and outs of journalism. Her free time is dedicated to caring for and hanging with her mom. Ames admits to being a news junkie and an avid reader. Also loves the Eagles (a crazed fan) and Phillies. During football season, she loves to remind LBS Publisher/Editor Jeff Bohen "The Giants Suck.."

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Borough

Street Sweeper Operations Suspended for Sections of Bristol Borough

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Bristol Borough officials announced late Wednesday that due to paving operations in the west ward, street sweeping would cease for one week and restart operations the week of July 24 on those streets.

“Due to paving, the street sweeper will not be sweeping these streets on Thursday and Friday, July 18th and 19th of this week:  Mifflin St., Linden St., Locust St., Maple St. and Green St.  The regular schedule will resume next week,” said a press release from the Bristol Borough Police Department.

 

Paving work being performed in Bristol Borough Wednesday
Credit: Jeff Bohen, Lower Bucks Source

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Bristol Twp Undercover Operation Nets Alleged Crack Dealer

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A Bristol Borough man is facing serious drug related charges after he was arrested by Bristol Township Detectives following two undercover buys of “crack” cocaine.

According to police, James Edwards III, 30, became the focus of a drug investigation in Bristol Township for distribution of “crack” cocaine.  On May 29, Edwards allegedly delivered .79 grams of the drug to a confidential informant between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.  On the same day, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., Edwards is alleged to have delivered .82 grams of the potent drug to a confidential informant.

Edwards was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Daniel Baranoski on Tuesday on felony two counts of manufacture, delivery, possession of a controlled substance.  He was released on unsecured bail and  is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 31 at Bristol Borough District Court.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Falls Township

Bucks Judge Orders Triple Killer Committed for 60-Day Mental Health Evaluation

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The man accused of killing three family members, hours before the Levittown St. Patrick’s Day parade causing it to be cancelled followed by a hours long manhunt, has been ordered to be evaluated at a state behavioral health facility.

Andre Gordon 26, a homeless Trenton, N.J man who is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, and three counts of second-degree murder in connection to his March 16 rampage in Lower Bucks County has been ordered to undergo a competency evaluation by a Bucks County Judge Raymond F. McHugh.  The evaluation period is not to exceed 60 days, court records show.]

Mr. Gordon is to be committed to Norristown Hospital or Torrance State Hospital under the Mental Health Procedures Act (AKA 302 and 302 b.) for psychiatric evaluation and treatment, said Manuel Gamiz Jr., director of communications for the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office. He added the facts about the petition are publicly available at this link. 

Killed in Gordon’s alleged killing spree was his 52-year-old stepmother, Karen Gordon, 13-year-old sister, Kera Gordon, and 25-year-old mother of his children, Taylor Daniel.

3/16/24 Andre Gibson

In May, Gordon was charged with aggravated assault and disarming a law enforcement officer —and eight related offenses stemming from an incident in the Bucks County Correctional Facility.

District Attorney Jennifer Schorn said she is seeking the death penalty, if the case goes to trial.

Marcel Johnson, now 31, is the last Bucks County resident sentenced to death. He was convicted in 2015 for the 2013 killing of five months pregnant Ebony Talley, 22, and daughter R’mani Rankins, 4. Rankins murder is what earned Johnson the death penalty.  The last person executed in Pennsylvania was Gary Heidink in 1979 by lethal injection.

 

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