NORTH COVENTRY - The owner of the Coventry Mall presented a conceptual plan to the township supervisors that calls for adding 20,000 square feet of retail space onto Coventry Square, the shopping center next to the mall.
Coventry Square is owned by Stoltz Manage-ment Co., of Bala Cynwyd, which also owns the mall. It is considered part of the mall complex.
Stoltz wants to build two additions to the shopping center. One would be built alongside the Super Fresh grocery store, where a small parking area is now located.
The other would be added onto an area behind the CVS store to make a larger, deeper retail space.
The additions would increase the overall size of the center from 77,116 square feet to 99,806 square feet.
Mark Curcio, senior vice president of Stoltz Manage-ment Co., said he did not know how many additional tenants the space would house. The space would be large enough to accommodate a home furnishings or electronics store, he said.
However, he observed that the mall has long-term lease commitments with CVS and Super Fresh, as well as several other tenants.
Along with expanding the site, Stoltz also plans to renovate the entire shopping center.
"We really want to make it a nice, attractive center. It would probably be similar in architecture to what we've done to the entrances of the existing building," Curcio said.
Stoltz purchased the mall 18 months ago and has since worked to make the establishment more pleasing. Last year, new tile floors were laid, bathrooms were renovated and expanded, the food court was overhauled, and new plantings and padded seating were in-stalled throughout the common areas.
The plan to improve Coventry Square would make it consistent with changes made at the mall.
The expansion would, however, infringe on existing parking spaces, leaving the mall with fewer spaces than are required by township ordinance. For that reason, the mall would likely need a variance to proceed with the plan.
According to Curcio, the existing parking spaces for the shopping center are underused, even on the busiest shopping days.
He showed aerial photos of the parking lot taken on Dec. 24, and pointed out that the lot was only 20 percent filled.
The supervisors express-ed support for the plan, and encouraged Curcio to add improved landscaping to the parking lot, in exchange for parking spaces.
Curcio said the next step would be to bring a sketch plan before the board for review.