Source, Philadelphia Business Journal, Natalie Kostelni
Upper Merion has approved the proposed development of a Topgolf Entertainment Group Inc. facility on 23.6 acres along North Gulph Road in King of Prussia.
Provco Group, the Villanova-based developer of the Topgolf, was able to satisfy many of the concerns that Valley Forge National Historical Park and King of Prussia District had over the project. It was a proposal that had opposition prior to plans being submitted to the township.
Provco’s plans to raze two structures at 588 N. Gulph Road where the American Baptist Church had maintained its headquarters and build a 68,000-square-foot building that would house Topgolf. The site fronts Gulph Road and is a short distance from Valley Forge Park’s entrance.
“We are optimistic that the developer will be sensitive to the park and its neighbors,” said Jonathan Parker, a spokesman for Valley Forge.
Park officials were worried about lighting and signs, the facility’s potential impact on a proposed North Gulph Road Trail and the location of parking. Topgolf placated the lighting concerns by planning for tree screening to help block the facility’s large, lighted facade from being seen from the park and has incorporated the North Gulph Road Trail in its design.
“That’s a win for the community,” Parker said.
King of Prussia District didn’t initially embrace the project because of its location since it is where the terminus for a proposed rail station is slated to go, said Eric Goldstein, executive director for the business improvement district. “We love the use but weren’t in love with the location,” he said.
King of Prussia District eventually relented. The project is permissible under current zoning and with the Valley Forge Casino Resort across the street, the addition of Topgolf creates a bit of an entertainment district with restaurants, bars and nightlife.
“From that perspective, it’s very good,” Goldstein said.
Provco also committed to building a 3-acre portion of linear park that Goldstein’s group is developing along First Avenue in Moore Park. Plans for the First Avenue Linear Park involve creating a 2.6-mile path between North Gulph and Allendale roads. When completed, it will have rain gardens, planting beds, solar bus shelters, lighting, seating areas and programmable space. Construction of the first phase of that park is scheduled to begin this fall.
The developer indicated to the township that it would likely open Topgolf in 2022.