In January of 2008, the entire 42+ acre Laverock Hill estate was purchased by an affiliate of Hansen Properties, Inc. (Hansen-Lloyd L.P.) for $5,500,000 with the goal of building a new "age-restricted" housing community on the property.
Hansen Properties has previously integrated new housing units into historical settings in the area (Normandy Farm in Blue Bell is one example) and initially advised neighbors that their goal was to retain & restore the Charles A. Platt mansion to be used as the clubhouse for a new 55+ community.
The property stradles both Cheltenham & Springfield Townships. The mansion is sited on 9+ acres in Cheltenham Township, while the greenhouse, service buildings, barn, stable & 5 other homes are located on the remaining 33+ acres in Springfield Township.
While cautiously optimistic that an effective combination of historical preservation & residential development could be achieved, the neighbors were surprised when a Cheltenham Township "Hearing Notice" was placed outside the property in early January of 2009.
Obtaining a copy of the preliminary "Sketch Plan" that was submitted to Cheltenham Township, Hansen-Lloyd's proposal called for the construction of six 4-story buildings that contain 216 housing units, a clubhouse and 388 parking spaces. All of this would be constructed on only 9 acres in Cheltenham Township with all of the traffic to be directed onto Willow Grove Avenue.
This would require the demolition of the Charles A. Platt mansion & all of the formal gardens designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman and introduce a density that would Nearly Double the number of housing units in Laverock & alter the "fabric" of the neighborhood forever.
The remaining 33+ acres that are located in Springfield Township are also at risk. To date, no formal development plans have been submitted to Springfield Township.
Copies of the initial "Sketch Plan" submitted to Cheltenham Township are available via PDF files (they are quite large). If you desire a copy of those plans, please send an email to the address below.