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Proposed hotel receives Smart Growth recognition

(Philadelphia, PA) -- The redevelopment of a vacant site in downtown West Chester into a mixed-use building is the the latest project to earn recognition and a letter of endorsement by the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance (DVSGA), a non-profit collaboration of more than 200 government, private sector and non-profit organizations in the tri-state region.

The proposed West Chester Hotel, developed by Zukin Realty Hotel Development, will transform a vacant commercial site in downtown West Chester into an 8-story, mixed-use building incorporating a drugstore; branded 100-room full-service hotel with restaurant, meeting and catering rooms; and one- and two-bedroom condominium units on the top two floors. The site at 29-39 East Gay Street is located three blocks from the Chester County Transit Center and is serviced by six public transit agencies. The site originally had a hotel which ceased operations in the 1940s and burned down in the 1960s. The project will retain the existing façade of the first floor restaurant, which will be relocated to the new hotel, and also replicate a second floor porch from the original hotel. Sustainability features include geothermal applications, graywater system, green roof and solar panels. Shared parking would be available at an adjacent new public garage that will incorporate solar energy panels and accommodations for bicycles and electric cars.

"By highlighting the potential of smart growth projects to add value to the region, we hope to encourage developers, business organizations, citizen groups and elected officials to strive for smart growth solutions,” said Marc D. Brookman, President of the DVSGA and Chair of the Real Estate Practice Group at Duane Morris LLP. “Projects that will receive DVSGA recognition are those that will help the region to accommodate growth and redevelopment in a manner that achieves important economic, environmental and quality of life objectives."

The goal of the DVSGA is to help good smart growth projects gain local approvals through an early-stage recognition program. Each recognized project receives a letter of endorsement from the DVSGA and its member organizations, as well as an offer of testimony before a governing body. The DVSGA accepts applications for early-stage recognition for development projects in Southeastern Pennsylvania (through Dauphin County), Southern New Jersey (up to and including Mercer County), and Delaware which meet smart growth criteria.

Only 23 projects have been recognized by the DVSGA since its inception five years ago. All recognized projects, as well as the list of supporting organizations and companies, the criteria and an application form, can be downloaded from


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