The news site of Marywood University

The Wood Word

The news site of Marywood University

The Wood Word

The news site of Marywood University

The Wood Word

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Marywood South proposal withdrawn, but developer plans to resubmit

Photo credit: Manfid Duran

Urban Smart Growth is rethinking its plans for the Marywood South property.

The company withdrew its application for a variance ahead of last Wednesday’s Scranton Zoning Board hearing. The board previously tabled a vote on granting the variance for the only building on the property located in Scranton to give the company more time to discuss concerns with neighborhood activists.

Urban Smart Growth CEO Lance Robbins said the company will submit a new proposal, possibly in December or January.

“It’s not an abandonment of the project,” Robbins said. “When we got as much opposition as we got from the local neighbors, we decided to be very legally careful about what we presented and how it was raised and we also were asked about issues that we hadn’t really thought to address yet, like planning issues as opposed to just zoning issues.”

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The company proposed turning the ground floor of the Scranton building into a community event space, a coffee shop and a restaurant with a liquor license. The second and third floors would be apartments.

The remaining eight buildings on the property are part of Dunmore, and the company is set to go in front of the Dunmore Zoning Board on Thursday, Nov. 29. Robbins said he doesn’t know if plans for these buildings will also be withdrawn yet, but said it would not surprise him.

Dunmore has been consistently supportive of the company’s plans, he said, but Scranton has proved to be more problematic.

“I think we want to put Scranton to bed before we deal with Dunmore because we want to make sure we’ve got all the difficult stuff behind us,” he said.

Urban Smart Growth signed an agreement with Marywood last January, allowing 13 months for the company to do its due diligence. Robbins said if plans for the property do not go through before the agreement ends in February 2019, he expects that he could negotiate extending the time period, as neither he nor Marywood expected the delay.

“I’ve anticipated that with them. We’ve had preliminary discussion,” Robbins said. “There’s been no agreement yet, but I would anticipate we both want to provide time to get it done correctly.”

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Twitter: @BWilliamsTWW

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