If you build it, they will come. At least, that's the idea behind SEPTA's first new train station in 18 years.
The new Ninth Street station in Lansdale was built to breathe new life into a defunct industrial property, the former site of the American Olean Tile Company plant. The train stop boasts bike racks and 78 permanent parking spaces. It's so new that landscapers have yet to begin on what was just mud on a recent sunny November morning.
But, with Lansdale's other regional rail station closing off some of its parking during the construction of a parking garage, officials saw an opportunity to drive commuters to the new station, followed, they hope, by new development.
"In 10 years, you'll understand exactly why this station was built," said SEPTA general manager Jeff Knueppel, following a Monday press event to mark the opening.
SEPTA spent about $1.8 million on the station, and Stoltz Property Management Group, which owns the Olean site, kicked in some of its own money.