TAP Panel Informational Packet
Technical Assistance Program
West Chester, PA
January 11 - 12, 2012
Chester County Bar Association
15 West Gay St, 3rd floor
West Chester PA 19380
Many thanks to Wendy Hoffman and the Chester County Bar Association for allowing the use of their meeting spaces.
Parking located at the Chestnut Street Garage, 14 East Chestnut Street, park in long-term parking. From there, proceed to Gay Street and turn right, going west. CCBA is located a half-block past High Street. See information on downtown parking including a downtown parking map.
The BID is seeking information to address at least these basic questions:
- What can be done to strengthen the retail mix downtown? (See the current retail categories at the downtown directory)
- What are the obstacles that are impending good development downtown?
- If national or regional retail chains are attracted downtown, how will that effect the current downtown retailers?
- Are there design features that should be considered when attracting chains? ie: size, quality, condition, etc.
- How will increased tourism effect retail?
- Suggestions for strategies, parking management, best practices, etc.
Malcolm Johnstone, Executive Director
West Chester Business Improvement District
PO Box 3109
West Chester, PA 19381
Location: 119 North High Street
About the Borough of West Chester
West Chester is a Home Rule Municipality governed by a seven member council, each elected from a ward with a two-term limit. Council is precided over by the Council President. The Mayor is elected by the Borough and is the elected liaison to the police department. See the Borough website at: west-chester.com.
Background information on West Chester and West Chester BID
About Downtown West Chester
About the West Chester Business Improvement District. At that page, note the West Chester BID Five Year Plan 2011 - 2015 plus the current West Chester BID Boundaries.
There are about 510 businesses located within the BID.
There are about 21 retail vacant spaces.
- Vacant, but not being marketed : 7
There are about 27 office vacant spaces.
- Vacant, but not being marketed : 3
The study area for the TAP within the BID is the Retail Overlay District. See the Retail Overlay District map (PDF). The focus project is known as the First Block (this report was done in response to a proposed expansion of Chester County government services that actually took place at the new Justice Center. However, the study provides information on the existing building inventory.)
On October 6, a portion of the First Block properties, including the North Wing, was sold to partnership company owned by Eli Kahn and Jack Loew. See Eli Kahn's concept to date for development.
Snapshot view of facts and demographics of downtown West Chester
A Nielsen report was prepared to reflect demographics within a 10-minute, 20-minute, and 30-minute drive time. The full report will be available at the TAP and any panel member may request a copy before hand. See the executive summary.
The study area and focus project are located within the West Chester Historic District. See the Design Guidelines.
On April 20, 2011, the West Chester Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan was completed.
The BID sponsors or publishes a number of publications that will be available for review at the TAP.
Pending new developments that are currently exempt, under-developed, or under-contruction
The Hotel Warner (120 N High Street, one-block from the First Block. Opening October, 2012)
124 Marketplace (124 E Market Street, blighted)
10 North High (North Wing)
16 East Market (under-construction)
220 East Chestnut (vacant lot)
39 East Gay (vacant lot, blighted)
123 N Church (old YWCA)
Two properties are scheduled for divestment by the federal or state government: The Armory at High & Washington; the Post Office at Gay & Walnut.