Wynnewood's Palmer Theological Seminary, which has resided at the corner of Lancaster Ave. and City Ave. since 1940, will move to King of Prussia in August despite earlier plans to move out in December 2012, said Randy Frame, executive director of marketing and communications at Eastern University. The property's contract buyer, Cross Properties, will turn the seminary building and chapel into 132 apartments if final plans are approved by the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners.
Palmer Theological Seminary Dean Chris Hall told Patch in early May that the seminary was planning to remain at its Wynnewood campus until December. A June 4 announcement on the seminary website, however, states that the move will take place before the fall semester. A relocation FAQ was posted June 7.
Frame said the seminary is moving earlier than expected because Cross Properties requested to move in quickly once the sale is final, likely sometime in early fall.
Kenneth Aaron of Weir & Partners, representing Cross Properties, told Patch on May 9 that they expected to present a final plan to the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners within the next few months. Cross Properties' preliminary plan for the property was approved by the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners on May 16.
"The timing of the move was always a bit uncertain because of various technicalities related to the sale of the property," Frame said in an email. "Of course, the Seminary did not want to be in a situation where it would have to move in the middle of a semester."
Seminary staff felt that moving to its interim location in August would be the least disruptive option, Frame said.
The main reason for the move, Hall said, is to be closer to Eastern University, which is affiliated with the seminary. The seminary will eventually be housed in a new $10 million building on Eastern's campus. In the interim, it will move to a temporary home at the American Baptist Church Mission Center in Valley Forge.
"Change is always hard and … I think when we take the long view, this is really a good move and people are overall excited about the move in the future," Hall told Patch in May.
- Palmer Seminary's Conversion to Apartments Is One Step Closer (May 10, 2012)
- Palmer Begins Its Goodbyes (March 22, 2012)
- Photos: Inside Palmer Seminary (March 21, 2012)