by Jennifer Katz

A site plan shows the market development with retail space fronting Germantown Avenue and town homes along Shawnee Street.

After almost two years of preparation, Bowman Properties is ready to present its plans for 8200 Germantown Ave. to the community, including the long-anticipated acknowledgement that national grocer The Fresh Market will anchor the new development.

In an application to the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Design Review Committee for its April 19 meeting, Bowman provided details of the plan for the former Magarity Ford site, which includes a mix of residential and retail space.

“We felt this is the pivotal site for Chestnut Hill,” said Bowman managing partner Richard Snowden. “We wanted to make sure it reflected Bowman’s vision from the Chestnut Hill commercial corridor.”

North Carolina-based grocer The Fresh Market is known for its open style, European-market likestores, where selection and quality take precedent over size and quantity.

“It’s like the offspring of DiBruno Brothers and Whole Foods,” said Chestnut Hill Business Improvement District president and Nauset Group principal Seth Shapiro, who is the consultant and project manager.

The market will occupy two-thirds of the first floor of the commercial development. Retail spaces will front the Avenue while the market’s entrance will be from the side parking lot off of Germantown Avenue.

More than 18 months in the planning, the development would create another block of housing on Shawnee Street across from Pastorius Park in the form of nine townhouses. While the design plans are not complete, the homes are expected to be approximately 2,500 square feet and sell for more than a $1 million a piece.

“It’s a mixed use development with a strong residential component,” said Snowden.

In addition to the townhomes, there will be 14 condominiums above the front retail stores. The condos will average 2,000 square feet and will have parking in an underground garage.

Bowman is seeking to change the zoning classifications on the property. The lot is divided into C-7 and R-5 districts, although it is not divided along any property line. Bowman would like to have the portion of the property along Shawnee Street that is currently zoned R-5 and where the townhomes would be built rezoned as R-10B residential and the rest of the parcel changed to C-3 commercial.

Bowman is also seeking to be exempted from the Germantown Avenue Special District Controls, proposing alternative site-specific controls that are “protective of the neighborhood.” Those controls are a special zoning overlay for Germantown Avenue designed to preserve the scale of Avenue development.

Pending approvals, Bowman intends to start construction later this year, with the goal of opening the Fresh Market in late 2012 or early 2013.