IHOP: from Pancakes to Apartments

The IHOP on Lancaster Ave- Tripp Ronon ’24

Lower Merion Township has approved the next big development for Ardmore. A few blocks from The Haverford School, one can buy a car, attend CrossFit classes, or order pancakes at the IHOP. Soon, an attractive 5-story mixed-use project will occupy the same lot between Ardmore and Greenfield Avenues. 

After months of board meetings and proposals, the Lower Merion Township Planning Commission has given real estate company Toll Brothers approval to build 279 apartments, 5 retail storefronts, and 594 parking spaces. All of this will be “anchored” by a grocer, who will take up the majority of the ground floor storefront, at the corner of Lancaster and Greenfield Avenues. 

The IHOP on Lancaster Ave- Tripp Ronon ’24

There is a shortage of rental apartments in Lower Merion Township. Ardmore, as well as Bala Cynwyd, are the prime locations where new apartments are being built. Nearby to these “IHOP Apartments,” One Ardmore Place, a recently built 100-unit apartment development, was not well received by many neighborhood residents due to its lackluster appearance and the damaging effects to small businesses in the shadow of its imposing height. 

By contrast, the IHOP Apartments will have a sleek design and an attractive appearance that extends and enhances the walkability of downtown Ardmore. The facade facing Lancaster Avenue is consistent with the height, scale, and setbacks to the streetscape of the Historic District. It is designed with high-quality building materials and landscaping.

This exciting new development comes at a cost of approximately 100 million dollars and the demise of this beloved IHOP.

This exciting new development comes at a cost of approximately 100 million dollars and the demise of this beloved IHOP. During a recent visit to this house of pancakes, Fourth Former Lucas Harrington had some comments about the establishment.

“My funny face pancakes came out piping hot and delicious, and the insufficient lighting of the restaurant was in stark contrast to the enthusiastic wait staff and the lively buzz from fellow diners,” Harrington said. 

This community gathering spot for post-church brunches and the last day of school banquets doesn’t have much time left. The iconic blue A-frame structure, a piece of the Ardmore skyline, will be missed by many passing pedestrians and pancake connoisseurs.

There is a void to be filled. Will the next pancake entrepreneur occupy a storefront at the new IHOP Apartments?