The Dinky stays where it is…for now,
University Scraps Arts and Transit Plans (emphasis added)
The first phase of the proposed Arts and Transit Neighborhood plans involved the creation of a Steven Holl-designed arts complex, the conversion of the existing Dinky buildings into cafe and retail space, the move of the Dinky farther from the downtown into a transit plaza that would include an indoor waiting area and the Wawa, a roundabout at University Place and Alexander Road, a separate pedestrian crossing for Forbes College, and a new entryway into the Lot 7 garage.
The Dinky had already been moved away from the center of town once’ this move would have made it even more impractical.
The University is Not.Pleased.
With respect to future collaborations between the University and the two municipalities, and how Monday’s outcome affects that relationship, Mr. Durkee noted, “I don’t think it helps at all.”
“Tact”, and possibly revenge?
However, there may be an unexpected downside to halting the planned Arts and Transit Neighborhood for the Township and the Borough. The University currently supports the community with voluntary payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs. Administrators said that the cancellation of the Arts and Transit Neighborhood would likely have an impact on the payments.
The University’s current agreement with the Borough is set to expire this year and was expected to be renewed.
“I think that is completely up in the air at the moment,” Tilghman said of the renewal. “There is no question that what happened last night is going to factor into our thinking about this going forward.”
The negative outcome of Monday’s meeting may have even further-reaching consequences, as Durkee said the community’s failure to move the Arts and Transit Neighborhood project forward would put a damper on the future of the University’s relationship with the town.
“It doesn’t augur well for future relationships when the response to the University’s request for support … is the response we got last night,” he said.