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Orchard Square Apartments expansion approved in Middletown

The complex will nearly double in size with 5 new buildings and a pool


Despite continued community concerns, the Middletown Township Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to add five buildings with 72 apartments to the Orchard Square Apartments complex on Old Lincoln Highway a stone’s throw from Neshaminy High School.

Several residents spoke out against the expansion, which was first brought to the local zoning board in December 2022 by The Scully Company. Their worries included increased traffic, parking, landscaping and impervious coverage and related stormwater runoff.

Supervisor Dana Kane said she agreed with the residents but her hands were tied.

“I don’t like the plan. It’s a concrete jungle,” she said. “Unfortunately, it’s zoned for apartments.”

Scully representatives said they had significantly altered their original plan to address concerns from the township and residents.

Project engineer John Alejnikov said there will be three underground retention basins whereas there are none now on the half-developed 14-acre tract, along with two rain gardens. He said the basins were enlarged in response to township concerns and would significantly mitigate stormwater runoff, which is a significant township problem.

There are currently 84 apartments at Orchard Square, which is bordered by Old Lincoln Highway and Orchard, Granite and Fairhill avenues. The now-approved plan calls for five new buildings, all two stories high.

“We had less buildings and more height originally,” project attorney Matthew McHugh said after the approval.

There will be 36 one-bedroom units, 28 two-bedroom units and eight, three-bedroom units, according to president Jessica Scully. The monthly rents will be 15% to 20% higher than the current ones, which are as high as $2,000 now, she said.

The plan also includes a clubhouse and a pool.

Development officials also said they will more than double the number of parking spaces in Orchard Square, going from 145 to 312. In response to a resident saying traffic in the area is “outrageous now,” Alejnikov said a traffic study has already been reviewed by the township and PennDOT.

There is no timeline for breaking ground but once that happens the project could take a year to complete, Scully representatives said.

In other business Tuesday, the supervisors approved the purchase of 37 in-vehicle cameras and 61 body-worn cameras for the police department. Police Chief Joseph Bartorilla explained that similar equipment was purchased in 2013 but was incompatible from a security standpoint, and eventually had to be returned. The new equipment will cost $616,824 over five years but that will be reduced to $447,892 thanks to a grant, he said.

“It will be up and running hopefully within 60 days,” the chief said.

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