By Wesley Ratko
The DRC voted unanimously Dec. 8 to support the application of Rita’s Water Ice to occupy the former site of TLA video at 7630 Germantown Ave. That vote was followed by a Dec. 12 vote by the CHCA board, giving Rita’s the go ahead to open.
The motion to approve is conditional on the applicant’s agreement to manage the trash that will be generated by the business and to work with the property owner to create a new sign package for the shopping center.
Representing Rita’s at the Dec. 8 meeting, Chestnut Hill retail consultant Eileen Reilly introduced near-neighbor Jason Freeland, of the 100 block of West Mermaid Lane. Freeland was on-hand to support Rita’s application, saying that there are 13 kids on his block under the age of 12, and that their parents were fully in support of Rita’s coming to Chestnut Hill at that location.
Reilly also told the committee that Rita’s has three months before the start of its 2012 season, which gives them two months to get signage issues decided and implemented so they can get to work fitting out the location. To facilitate this, she asked the committee to recommend a design professional to help with that process.
“If you have someone that Rita’s could work with to get a couple drawings and suggestions … a professional that knows retail but also knows guidelines and appropriate façades, I would pass that on to them,” Reilly said.
Seating outside the new Rita’s would be portable. It would provide parents with young children and strollers with a place to sit, but would be taken in at night so as to not encourage after-hours loitering.
If all goes well, Rita’s will open in Chestnut Hill in March, on the first day of spring.