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.

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

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