HomeNewsParkwood could home athletic training facility

Parkwood could home athletic training facility

Joe Brown is still pitching.

A couple weeks ago, the Mayfair native and “huge sports fan” brought his proposal to put an indoor softball and baseball training facility in a McNulty Road warehouse to members of the Parkwood Civic Association.

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And the residents who attended the civic group’s last meeting before its summer break seemed to like the idea.

In November, Brown told members of the Walton Park Civic Association about an almost identical plan for the 10000 block of Drummond Road.

Walton Park’s members seemed to think the proposal for a year-round training facility in the Northeast was a good one, but they were not sold on the idea of locating it in property zoned for industry.

They wouldn’t support the idea and suggested that Brown look elsewhere. He did.

The proposal Brown made to the Parkwood members during their May 24 meeting at Community College of Philadelphia’s Northeast Regional campus was to set up his Sluggersville Indoor Baseball/Training Facility at 12285 McNulty Road, Suite 106.

Sluggersville would contain 10 “tunnels,” or netted training areas, within a space that measures about 122 feet by 73 feet. Because he would be installing turf and netting only, Brown said there would be no physical changes to the building.

Brown said there is no other training facility like his in the city. He said anyone who wants to go to an indoor baseball facility has to go to Bucks County. He said his facility could be used by children and adults, teams and individuals. About 10 jobs could be created, he said.

He added that the building has plenty of parking spaces.

Dave Kralle, an aide to state Rep. Dennis O’Brien (R-169th dist.), and Mark Fabbi, an aide to state Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-170th dist.), said they saw Brown’s proposal as an asset to Parkwood. Mike Hatala, the civic association’s president, agreed.

Several residents also said they thought Brown’s plan would be positive for the neighborhood, and no one expressed concerns about a commercial use for property currently zoned for light industry.

However, because Brown’s use is not allowed under that zoning, a variance is necessary from the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment. A hearing date has not been scheduled.

The building is owned by Boston-based Cabot Properties Inc., which bought it for $3.58 million in August 2010. ••

Reporter John Loftus can be reached at 215–354–3037 or jloftus@bsmphilly.com

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