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Sherrif’s sale set for site of former middle school in Bensalem


A 35-acre Bucks County development site eyed for a large-scale, mixed-use project is set for sheriff’s sale after its owner filed for bankruptcy, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

The property at 2201 Street Road in Bensalem is owned by a company controlled by Jignesh “Jay” Pandya, who is also the owner of national restaurant chain Boston Market. Pandya purchased the property, formerly home to Armstrong Middle School, from the Bensalem Township School District through an entity called 2201 Street Rd LLC for $6.3 million in June 2020, property records show.

In November 2021, the Bensalem Township Council approved a land development plan at the site for a project dubbed The Hub at Bensalem. The plans included more than 150,000 square feet of space to be built across 11 buildings, but construction never began.

Pandya has faced mounting financial troubles in recent years and filed personal bankruptcy for the second time in February. Last month, 2201 Street Rd LLC followed suit, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on June 13.

Jay Pandya owns Rohan Group and subsidiary Engage Brands.

The company owes $11.2 million to creditor Zee Bridge Capital LLC, according to bankruptcy filings, and the Bensalem property is scheduled for sheriff’s sale on Aug. 9.

In its bankruptcy filing, 2201 Street Rd LLC estimates the value of the 35-acre property at $20 million based on offers received for the property, which is situated between Hulmeville and Knights roads just south of the Jefferson Ward Shopping Center.

Attempts by the Philadelphia Business Journal to reach Pandya for comment through his attorney were unsuccessful.

The Armstrong Middle School building at the site was demolished before the land development approval was issued for The Hub at Bensalem project. The Hub was planned to have 40 residential units, a 30,000-square-foot grocery store, a 10,000-square-foot office building, a 7,600-square-foot bank, a 5,630-square-foot convenience store, and restaurant and retail space.

No new building permits have been filed for the property in the last three years. Land development approvals expire after five years.

Bob Norkus, executive director of the Bensalem Economic Development Corp., said the bankruptcy filing and expected sheriff’s sale make the future of the property a “wait and see” situation. If the mixed-use project can’t be revived, he believes a large sports facility could fit well at the site.

“Large indoor/outdoor sports facilities are in vogue right now,” Norkus said. “Teams travel to use the facilities. I think that just might be one idea that might be considered. Who knows. But there’s nothing in the pipeline, there’s been nothing discussed. We’re going to have to play it out.”

Pandya’s company, Rohan Group, bought Boston Market through subsidiary Engage Brands LLC in 2020. Since then, the Colorado-based restaurant chain has faced multiple lawsuits over unpaid bills as it rapidly downsized, according to Restaurant Business. The chain’s headquarters and three remaining locations in Colorado were seized in May 2023 for more than $328,000 in unpaid sales and payroll taxes, Nation’s Restaurant News reported.

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