Published On: Sat, Mar 11th, 2017

Odettes Developers to Seek Permission at Tuesday Meeting to Demolish Sides of Building

The owners of the former Odette’s Restaurant and property on South Main Street will be seeking permission from New Hope’s Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) on Tuesday to demolish parts of the historic building as soon as possible and begin moving the remainder to the American Legion property near the intersection of Riverwoods Drive and South Main Street.

“It has been determined that this is the best process to achieve the results requested by the Odette’s developers to obtain a demolition permit in the near future for the side portions of this building,” wrote Borough Manager Cathie Thomas on March 10.

Odette’s developers Gateway to New Hope are once again claiming that speed is of the essence because, they say, the parts they wish to demolish, or “later additions,” have been “the subject of recurring vandalism…[and] are also unsafe and retaining these later additions at the present time is both a public nuisance as well as a safety hazard.”

Sources close to the situation say some HARB members are considering opposing the move at their March 14 meeting, when the group will consider approving the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness for the requested demolition permit.

But, then again, HARB has already disapproved the whole project and been overruled by New Hope Borough Council, whom, according to one member, will override them again at their own meeting March 21 if HARB refuses to let council and Gateway have their way.

HARB will hold their “special meeting” at the New Hope Borough Community Room, 125 New St., on Tuesday, March 14. HARB is holding a workshop meeting that same evening at 6:30 p.m., and the Odette’s application will be heard after, according to the borough manager. The meeting is open to the public.

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About the Author

- Born in Brooklyn, raised at the Jersey Shore, lives in New Hope with wife, two kids, and too many rescued animals. Masters in politics from New York University. Former head of communications for MetLife, Vonage, Lincoln Financial. Former reporter for New Hope Gazette. Makes sure the Editorial and Advertising departments are kept separate.

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  1. Re:Odette’s
    Did you ever read an obituary and think “Gee, I would have liked to meet this person?” The discovery of dozens of unmarked graves in Philadelphia last week, set me thinking along these veins. Who were they and what was their story?
    You also have heard the saying “Oh if the walls could talk”. So much went on in that building… Revolution, fights, town fathers having a nights out with the Exchange Club, table 4 (if Odette liked you) lots of gossip, remember the buzz about Schidels book, when everyone knew who the characters were? Sigh. All gone. But maybe not done…

  2. Bravo Mr. Schmerling! I don’t know you, but wish I did! Your idea is terrific, but I expect it’s no longer economically feasible. When developers pay too much for a property, this is what happens. They make the mistake of juryrigging the physical attributes of the property, bulldozing local zoning laws and generally pulling a fast one on an unsuspecting town to reverse engineer the property to justify the price they paid! They have high hopes for a town that is seasonable and subject to horrendous flooding!

  3. Odette has been a landmark since I was a child I remember taking dates there when I was in high school and our family ate there frequently. This building represents to the community a legacy of fine dining that you can not even get at the four seasons in new York city.why don’t you find a developer who would restore the restaurant to its former glory and if they wish to include housing it should be in that style.people sometimes forget that New Hope was founded by artists and this is no difference. This represents the art of gourmet food and high service. Our community would support such a restarant. We are a mixed community when it comes to income but not when it comes to art and tradition.we have allowed to many modern art lacking restarant so called ie. Corporate starbucks and dunk in donuts .this has devalued our special nature as a town. We have lost many art antique and specialty stores to close because of supposed progress. Philadelphia did the same to south street and now it is no longer unique like our town and business has dropped off over 40% I’m the last 15 years.i employ you to reconsider your town council decision. I am an artist business man and eat in new hope and lambertville on a weekly basis.

  4. jwilliamsonnewhoper@gmail.com' Judy Williamson says:

    Poor Odettes. Now an orphan building so important to New Hope history being moved to a site that has nothing to do with it! If you believe in spirits, watch what happens when the building is moved. All the ancient river men,lumbermen who patrolled here, the rough canal boaters, to Odette herself belting out a song will be heard. What a shame! And to all you new people who have no idea what I’m talking about, please study a bit before moving things around like a Monopoly game!

  5. Wait a minute… We’re back to moving Odettes to the Legion property? Really? I read that the developers had made a deal with the Park and they were moving the building south on the existing property. This is like Alice in Wonderland…

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