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King George Inn finally sees progress: Work begins at tract where hotel, pharmacy, offices are planned

Work is finally getting underway at the Colonial-era inn saved from demolition by the passion of history-minded residents and a cooperative developer.Hotel Hamilton LLC, owned by Atul Patel, plans to construct an extended-stay hotel, bank and pharmacy on the land where the 262-year-old King George Inn sits, and incorporate the historic structure as office space.A shuttered Burger King and Carvel ice cream shop on the parcel have been demolished on the 5-acre site on the northeast corner of Cedar Crest and Hamilton Boulevards, but little else has happened so far. The wooden additions to the King George Inn, which at one time hosted minutemen drills during the American Revolution, have been stripped away to prepare the building for the renovation and now fill a nearby dumpster, leaving the sandy-colored stone an unmistakable feature.This year marked the third one-year extension South Whitehall commissioners have granted Patel, despite waning patience.The latest extension awarded earlier this year came with a caveat: Patel must provide an update at the six-month mark. South Whitehall Planner Gregg Adams said South Whitehall commissioners expect an update in early August.Issues with stormwater runoff have caused major delays. At one point, weeds overtook the former Burger King, trash littered the King George and truckers parked in the lots without any recourse. The weeds and trash have since been cleared.Now that work appears to have begun in earnest, Adams said officials are breathing a sigh of relief and are hopeful that Patel has turned a corner.“We’ve been in a holding pattern for what seems to be forever,” Adams said. “Everyone here wants to see this move along.”Calls to Patel were not returned.The wooden additions to the King George Inn were torn down and the historic stonework has been kept in place. Studies indicate the stone portion of the building is in good shape, Adams said.The building’s most recent iteration as a restaurant came to an end in 2012 after a 42-year run. Patel originally intended to demolish the building, but the community rallied and convinced Patel to save it. But since the plans were approved, the building remained untouched. South Whitehall commissioners were growing increasingly concerned over the state of the sagging structure as months ticked by without any work.The area of Dorneyville surrounding the King George Inn has been in the midst of a reinvention in recent years. Its proximity to Dorney Park and Cedar Crest College ensures a steady stream of traffic through the area. “Right now, that property is underperforming. This is a vacant property in a nice commercial corridor,” Adams said. “We definitely want to see that move and get some new construction in there to put some revenue generation uses in there while also preserving the King George. Everyone is happy to see this moving.”Morning Call reporter Sarah M. Wojcik can be reached at 610-778-2283 or swojcik@mcall.com.
Source: Morningcall

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