Collingswood Chooses Developer to Advance "Heart of Collingswood" Long-Term Plans for Water Tower Area

Community Input Sessions Scheduled for Wednesday, May 29 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, June 8 at 10:00 am. 

Earlier this year, the Borough of Collingswood issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking developers to submit their qualifications and preliminary concept proposals for a mixed-use development of the area along N. Atlantic Avenue surrounding the Collingswood water towers. Of the six proposals submitted, Borough officials have selected Tantum-Pennrose to continue the process of soliciting public input and developing more detailed concepts for the project. 

"This development partnership showed strong relevant and local experience, a mix of features including green spaces, affordable senior housing options, and sufficient parking. Their initial concepts very broadly match what we would like to see along N. Atlantic Ave as far as density and use, so we are excited to enter a next phase of conversations and fine-tune that vision with the public,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley.

The process to develop the “water tower” area along N. Atlantic Ave was included in the 2003 “Heart of Collingswood” study, which aimed to create a long-term vision for key development areas in town with extensive public input. The LumberYard/Powell Lane was one such area developed as a result of the study based on resident input. Through public charrettes, the N. Atlantic Avenue area underwent a visioning process which incorporated mixed-use buildings that echo the iconic water towers in height, beautification measures, and enhanced public spaces. See the Heart of Collingswood vision slides here.

The 1.8-acre proposed project site is adjacent to the Borough’s thriving downtown, two blocks from the Collingswood PATCO station. The site currently contains a large area of surface parking, the site of the former police department, and the soon-to-be relocated Department of Public Works. The relocation of these uses frees up valuable space for the creation of new residences, expansion of the central business district, and structured parking - further solidifying the Borough’s Transit Village designation.  

“Housing our Public Works Department is not the best use of the water tower area,” said Commissioner Rob Lewandowski. “The relocation of DPW and the former police station not only addressed the dire need for upgraded facilities allowing for improved services to residents, but it’s also part of a long-term strategy that we can start to dial in on now that we’ve moved Borough operations off those parcels.”

“These initial ideas are very conceptual. We can take the very best parts of what the developer has presented and work toward exactly what we’d like to build in this space, bringing our residents into the conversation to update the work that began with the Heart of Collingswood study,” said Commissioner Morgan Robinson.

Designated as a Transit Village by New Jersey Department of Transportation, Collingswood’s approach to development incorporates the principles of transit-oriented development, emphasizing pedestrian-friendly design, a diverse range of housing options, and a vibrant mix of commercial and retail spaces—all seamlessly connected to the surrounding community.

Studies consistently highlight the benefits of concentrated populations in downtown areas, and Collingswood's dedication to this concept has proven advantageous. For example, a 2021 Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission study on pandemic effects  in downtown areas, affirmed the effectiveness of this strategy. Collingswood’s downtown area exhibited a lower pandemic impact score, credited to its dense downtown population, diverse amenities, walkability, and strategic access to public transportation. In essence, Collingswood's dedication to fostering a vibrant and interconnected community is not merely an aspiration but brings tangible benefits to the town and economy.

The first Community Input Sessions are Scheduled for Wednesday, May 29 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, June 8 at 10:00 am. 
Project updates can be found here. 

Water Tower Public Sessions V2 - Copy