Willow Grove Redevelopment
Upper Moreland Township may, under Section 1502 LXVII of the First Township Code, "undertake community development programs" and Montgomery County adopted an Economic Development Program in 2009 that can provide funding for revitalization and redevelopment projects located within a County designated revitalization area. In order to be eligible for certain funding categories described in the County Economic Development Program, the County required the Township to designate a Task Force to guide in the preparation of a Revitalization Plan and oversee County-sponsored revitalization and redevelopment activities in the Township.
Why Revitalize Willow Grove
The heart of Upper Moreland Township, downtown Willow Grove, has a rich history as a town center that spans nearly three centuries. William Penn provided a land grant, known as the Manor of Moreland, and the first home was built in 1719 overlooking a meadow, creek, and the Old York Road. This colonial farmstead slowly grew into a small rural community. By the mid-1800s, the bucolic outpost of Willow Grove served as a summer retreat for Philadelphia residents who would stay at resort hotels and drink the therapeutic waters of Mineral Spring. Once the trolley line was built along Old York Road and the Willow Grove Amusement Park opened in the 1890s, Willow Grove became renowned due to marching music of John Phillip Sousa who played at the amusement park. During the 1920s, a traditional downtown community began to take shape at the crossroads of Old York Road, Easton Road, and Davisville Road. This original town center included a post office, bank, pharmacy, clothing store , and lumberyard. After the trolley service was discontinued in the 1940s, downtown Willow Grove began to evolve into the auto-dominated suburban strip center that it is today. Downtown Willow Grove is a place that has evolved many times in 300 years, from a colonial farmstead to a small rural community to a world-renowned entertainment destination to a regional suburban shopping center. Downtown Willow Grove will continue to evolve, and may again become a quality town center with the right vision, strategies, and partnerships—the main purpose of the Willow Grove Revitalization Plan.
Revitalization Task Force
The Willow Grove Revitalization Task Force was established by Resolution No. 2010-31 to meet the requirements of the 2009 Montgomery County Economic Development Program. Their mission is to advise the Township Board of Commissioners on County Economic Development Program-sponsored revitalization and redevelopment projects in the areas of the Township that are eligible to receive County Funding. To view the Willow Grove Revitalization Plan, please click here.
The Willow Grove Redevelopment Map (PDF) will show you the defined areas in the Willow Grove Redevelopment Plan. The Willow Grove Revitalization Area includes the downtown area bounded by and including Moreland Road (between Route 611 and Center Avenue), Route 611 (between Moreland Road and Center Avenue), York Road (between Easton Road and Center Avenue), and Davisville Road (from Moreland Road to Woodlawn Avenue). This section of the Township as developed first and served as a town center for the greater community.