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It appears as though Urban Outfitters' "lifestyle experience" development (aka Devon Yard) has been put on hold. Proposed for the 6.5-acre site that formerly hosted Waterloo Gardens in the Main Line town of Devon, the URBN Inc compound was to comprise a Terrain garden center, an Anthropologie store, two restaurants, a specialty foods market, and a health/spa facility and/or a boutique fitness studio. Located adjacent to the fairgrounds of the prestigious Devon Horse Show, the cash cow was scheduled for a 2016 debut.
Here's where it gets juicy: The project was proposed by Devon Horse Show chairman/founder descendant Wade McDevitt, who (very literally) is in bed with Urban Outfitters. McDevitt's wife, Wendy McDevitt, is the president of Terrain. What's more, Wade McDevitt's brother-in-law is none other than Scott Belair, the co-founder Urban Outfitters who remains on the company's board of directors. Allegedly, the McDevitts stood to gain a tidy little profit from Devon Yard, as the plan included leasing lots from the horse show, reports the Inquirer. The horse show's 52-member board wasn't privy to McDevitt's dealings; drama ensued.
McDevitt has since hung up his reins as horse show chairman for reasons unrelated to the controversy, and his replacement, Sarah Cox Lange, notes that the Urban Outfitters airwaves have gone silent: "No one's called me, made any effort to call me, called any of the board." Stay tuned for updates.
· Devon Horse Show chairman resigns amid development debate [Inquirer]
· Urban Outfitters' 'Lifestyle Concept' Coming to the 'Burbs! [Racked Philly]