The owners of the former Odette’s Restaurant and property on South Main Street will be seeking permission from New Hope’s Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) on Tuesday to demolish parts of the historic building as soon as possible and begin moving the remainder to the American Legion property near the intersection of Riverwoods Drive and South Main Street.
“It has been determined that this is the best process to achieve the results requested by the Odette’s developers to obtain a demolition permit in the near future for the side portions of this building,” wrote Borough Manager Cathie Thomas on March 10.
Odette’s developers Gateway to New Hope are once again claiming that speed is of the essence because, they say, the parts they wish to demolish, or “later additions,” have been “the subject of recurring vandalism…[and] are also unsafe and retaining these later additions at the present time is both a public nuisance as well as a safety hazard.”
Sources close to the situation say some HARB members are considering opposing the move at their March 14 meeting, when the group will consider approving the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness for the requested demolition permit.
But, then again, HARB has already disapproved the whole project and been overruled by New Hope Borough Council, whom, according to one member, will override them again at their own meeting March 21 if HARB refuses to let council and Gateway have their way.
HARB will hold their “special meeting” at the New Hope Borough Community Room, 125 New St., on Tuesday, March 14. HARB is holding a workshop meeting that same evening at 6:30 p.m., and the Odette’s application will be heard after, according to the borough manager. The meeting is open to the public.