Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Chesterbrook Shopping Center redevelopment project is underway — Its time has finally come!

If you have driven on Chesterbrook Boulevard by the Chesterbrook Shopping Center during the last several months, you will have seen obvious signs of the long awaited redevelopment project which includes both razing and resurrection.

The Chesterbrook Shopping Center was constructed in 1981 with 122,000 plus square feet of retail, including the Genuardi’s grocery store as its anchor. Poor visibility, competition (Trader Joes, Whole Foods, etc.), shopping center design flaws and ultimately the economic downturn all contributed to the center’s demise. As stores moved out and remained empty, shoppers looked to other centers as their main shopping destination. In the last five years since Genuardi’s left the Chesterbrook location in 2010, it has been difficult to watch the center’s decline.

Purchased in 2013 by 500 Chesterbrook Boulevard LP, the owners of the shopping center complex, including Tredyffrin Township resident Bob Whalen, have successfully maneuvered their redevelopment plans through Tredyffrin Township’s Planning Commission, with final approval from the township’s Board of Supervisors. Whalen, owner of RW Partners and Brian McElwee, owner of Valley Forge Investment Corp. partnered for the purchase and redevelopment of the Chesterbrook Shopping Center site.

The center’s plan is for a mixed-use development with 123 townhomes (their location is indicated on the map below). The plan for the 13-acre site contains 30,000+ sq. ft. of commercial space (utilizing the front row of the existing building) and new residential townhouses in the newly created Town Center District.

Parkview at Chesterbrook


The new design for the center by Goodwin Architects razes a large portion of the current shopping center including the Genuardi’s store and the back row of stores. A small retail strip will remain and local favorite Diane’s Sidewalk Deli will continue to operate at its present location. The Rite Aid drug store will move from its current location to a larger space in the new retail strip. I was assured that all other displaced tenants received the option of relocating to the reconfigured retail center. Wells Fargo Bank will continue in its present location but presumably will have a face-lift to match the upgrades coming to the otheParkview at Chesterbrook signr storefronts.

The residential townhouses, ‘Parkview at Chesterbrook’ have experienced builder Greg Lingo, owner of Cornell Homes by Ryland Homes at the helm. A veteran of the home building and residential development industry, Lingo has maintained a reputation for integrity and performance excellence, which will make the townhouses all the more desirable. With pre-construction pricing of $499K, there is already interest from local residents for the new luxury townhouses

The redevelopment of the Chesterbrook Shopping Center is long overdue – this project is a win-win for the neighboring residents, the corporate employees working in Chesterbrook and other township residents, who like me, drive through the area regularly. Here’s hoping that the exciting new retail and residential project marks a redevelopment renaissance in the area, as it breathes new life into the Chesterbrook community.

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  1. 123 Townhomes? At a starting price of $499,000? That sounds like families with kids to me. Conservatively, if half the new homes house 1 child who needs to be educated in the TESD, that’s 61 children added to local schools. I think the cost to educate one child in the schools system is around $20,000. That over a million dollars.

    These townhomes aren’t replacement homes either. They are new dwellings which will only add more tax burden to the schools, which will increase our taxes more and more. Empty nesters are already moving out in droves because of the tax increases they can’t afford. New homeowners move in with 2 to 3 kids adding even more strain to the system.

  2. You do realize that each of these properties is a new source of tax revenue. There’s also the property transfer tax as well. The assessed values will be high. That means these new homes will be paying much more in taxes than existing homes. Only 25% of the homes have kids in the district. Therefore, is no additional tax burden.

  3. Always interesting to see people try to estimate how many families with children will move into such developments – see also Wayne Glen. Let’s see how long before TESD starts considering the need for new classrooms and additions.

    I’ll miss the convenient parking for Wilson Farm Park behind the old shopping center :-(

  4. “Win win” for whom? There will be more traffic congestion suffered by residents of Chesterbrook, more burden on Tredyffrin’s decaying sewage pipes that have already had at least 2 disastrous spills of effluent into environmentally pristine Valley Creek, more children to be picked up by school buses, more children crowding our classrooms, thus more teachers and paraprofessionals to be hired! (By the way, people move here for the schools, so, yes – you can count on them wanting TE services.) This fantasy about getting more tax-revenue-from-more-housing-development has got to be purged from our zoning board’s ill-informed minds. Glad the author will enjoy seeing this new crowding bohemeth on daily errands. There is so much more that should have been considered in this kind of decision that was NOT considered by this zoning board. But of course, none of them actually lives in Chesterbrook.

  5. I am in total agreement with “Chesterbrook Resident” about the pending “crowding bohemeth”. I live across the street from the shopping center and already have problems pulling out onto Chesterbrook Boulevard from Bradford Road. With 123+ more residents, traffic along Chesterbrook Boulevard and in and out of the shopping center will be a nightmare. Why was traffic/congestion not a topic of discussion when this project was in the planning stages? Because, as he/she said, none of the board members live here! They simply don’t care.

  6. It’s ironic to hear the same arguments used when Chesterbrook was being planned and built. I wonder how thing’s turned out?

  7. I agree with “Brookmead Resident” that it will be sad to lose the convenient access to Wilson Park. Also, hope the newly reconfigured shopping area will be nicer than what they did to Gateway recently. One of the nicer features of both of these local shopping areas was the covered walkways for much of the sidewalks… it is very hard to find ANY information about what is going on in our own “backyard”. Much of this is largely not even acknowledged in Township mailings…I wish our township officials would make this information more accessible.

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