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Posted on: July 28, 2020

Whitpain Reaches Agreement To Acquire Mermaid Lake Property

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On Tuesday, the Supervisors approved a resolution to take the 63.5-acre property off Jolly Road by eminent domain unless a purchase agreement and closing could be completed in 30 days. Township officials and representatives of Metropolitan Development Group in Wyomissing completed negotiations on the property and are finalizing paperwork on the sale agreement.

"My fellow Supervisors and I are pleased to announce the permanent preservation of this property for the enjoyment of our current residents along with generations to follow," said Supervisor Chair Michele Minnick. "Our community felt deeply on this issue and we were determined to do the necessary work to save it from development."

The Township will pay $8.177 million for the property that was home to the Mermaid Swim and Golf Club since 1961. Additionally, prior to the closing the seller will demolish several structures that are in disrepair and will erect fencing. The combined total of this work adds $177,620 to the acquisition price. Metropolitan acquired the property’s aging structures, million-gallon pool, nine-hole golf course and open areas from a private owner in June 2019.

Without the acquistion, the Mermaid Lake property was destined for development. Metropolitan had proposed a by-right plan for 53 single family homes along with a large billboard in the parking lot of the property next to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The acquisition continues the Township’s nearly 60-year commitment to resource conservation and recreation. That history includes the preservation of Prophecy Creek Park through a successful public-private partnership, the creation of Centre Square Park and the soon-to-open Wissahickon Park.

Once the purchase is completed, the Township will work to open trails and meadows on the property for use by residents. Further use of the property will be determined through studies and discussions with the community.

"We intend to utilize this space for recreational purposes. Shortly, there will be access for residents to enjoy walks and jogs along mown paths," said Minnick. "We plan to form a committee to analyze potential uses and gather community input as we envision our future for this wonderful property."

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