The Bubble Gum Factory site on The Havertown PCP Site (NPL #542) is about 6 acres.  Haverford’s Commissioners condemned the property — an unremedied as well as unhealthful mix of land, stream and groundwater contaminated with petroleum products and wood preserver chemicals — and legally took it by Eminent Domain after holding reported back-room discussions with the YMCA, a 501c3 charitable business; the “purchase” price was $1.2 Million.  Now Haverford is in civil court where the former owners probably are requesting up to an additional $5Million because owners (Fenimore’s) wanted $6Million when it was on the market.  In today’s real estate market they will probably get $2-$3Million or more out of the legal challenge they have mounted. Partnerships between government and private sectors are becoming more common as cash strapped governments rely upon such deals.

Haverford’s Commissioners approved a second reading of the proposed lease agreement with the YMCA at the April 12 meeting, paving the way for a Y at the Bubble Gum Factory site if the Y can raise $10Million of the $20Million needed and if the can get PECo to relocate the electrical substation. The Y will raze the gum factory building as good faith even though it does not intend to begin actual construction until December 2010 or later, pending fund raising.  If the Y doesn’t begin construction in 2 years from signing of the lease agreement, Haverford can also back out of the deal; of course, they probably could extend it also.

 For Haverford, where this money is coming from in this recession period and ~9% unemployment in the country is anybody’s guess, however, current actions by EPA evaluating and studying the vapor intrusion issue probably means that EPA has not or will not issue approval to the YMCA to put up a proposed $20Million dollar structure at this time.  Besides, they have competition in the health and wellness area by the more than 5 or 6 full-scale health clubs in the area as well as about 4 swim clubs. 

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