Haverford Township commissioners cleared the way for a new YMCA after voting unanimously Monday night to take the former Swell Bubble Gum plant by eminent domain. The township intends to offer $1.4 million compensation for the 6.3-acre parcel at Eagle and Lawrence Roads, a price the current owners, the Fenimore family, say is far too low. The family has not decided whether to contest the decision or the price, said family lawyer David Snyder.
David Brooman, a lawyer representing the township, said he expected the township to start the process of taking the land in January.
The factory, idle since it closed five years ago, would be demolished to make room for a 55,000-to-65,000-square-foot YMCA that would probably include two pools, said John Flynn, president of the YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity. The project is estimated to cost nearly $20 million.