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.
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 other 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.