Acme Demolition Party promises to be a real ‘smash’
NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP – The final moments of the former ACME store are ticking down to Saturday when a wrecking ball is scheduled to slam into the long time Sycamore Street eyesore.
Demolition will get under way on Saturday, Sept. 22 during a Demolition Party organized by Jim Worthington, a partner in the Promenade project, a mixed use retail and luxury residential complex that will take the Acme’s place.
The party begins at 10 a.m. and the community’s invited to witness the final moments of the former ACME store before it disappears from the landscape forever.
“This is the town’s celebration,” said Worthington. “They are the ones who have been patient. And it’s an honor to them that they have waited so long. We’re just happy we are able to do it,” said Worthington.
Plastic hard hats will be given out to the first 300 people, free refreshments will be provided by the Corner Bakery Café, remarks will be made by township and business leaders, and, of course, a wrecking ball will ceremoniously strike the first blow in the demolition process.
“vou don’t want to miss this,” said Worthington. “I mean it’s not every day that you get to see a building coming down.”
Worthington said he expects crews from DeNucci Excavating to take down about a third of the 25,000 square foot building that day. The rest will come down on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the following week.
“If we do nothing more than knock it down, clean up the site, make it look presentable and nice I think it will be a big plus for the township and the neighboring businesses on Sycamore Street that have to look at that place every day,” said Worthington.
After the building comes down and the debris hauled away, Worthington said the site will be graded and seeded. “I’m figuring it will take a couple weeks before we clean up the site,” he said.
“People are so appreciative,” said Worthington. “hnocking down that building you would think you were some hero. People are shaking my hand and saying thank you. It feels good,” he said.
In a way, it’s kind of funny, said Worthington, who also operates the Newtown Athletic Club. “The NAC is a $40 million facility. And for 100 grand I have more people thanking me. It’s crazy, but it’s all good.”
Worthington said he hopes to officially break ground for the Promenade at Sycamore Street sometime next March or April with completion scheduled for around this time next year.
The Promenade will feature two buildings – a smaller, one story building with retail on the first floor on the south end of the property next to the Historic Presbyterian Church – and a three story structure with retail on the street level and 26 luxury apartments on the second and third floors on the north end.
“There has been an unbelievable demand on the apartments,” said Worthington. “There’s nothing like it in Newtown. These are high end apartments within walking distance of town - brand new with all the amenities,” he said.
“And the retail is very sought after right now,” added Worthington. “We’re trying to get the best mix as we can,” he said. “We’re not signing up the first person. We want to make sure it’s the higher end people who come in, that it’s something unique. We have to make sure with the high end apartments upstairs that we have the high end retailers downstairs.”
Saturday’s Demolition Party is free and open to the public.