Measuring Success

How we PROSPER

2020

The Landscapes3 Prosper Goal is to "Grow our economic strength through developing and sustaining a skilled workforce, adaptable work areas, supportive infrastructure, a culture of innovation, and engaged communities." The following success stories represent key examples of how this goal has been realized through the actions of public and private entities throughout Chester County. This listing is not exhaustive and there are many more such success stories to be found around the county.

PhotoRestore Chester County Website

In May 2020, the county launched the Restore Chester County website. The website has toolkits in English and Spanish with guidance for individual businesses and organizations; CDC and Pennsylvania regulations; information about the Chester County COVID-19 Business Task Force; and up-to-date press releases with links to past webinars. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Recommendation 7, "Ensure economic development strategies remain responsive."

PhotoCOVID-19 Business Task Force

In April 2020, the Chester County Commissioners formed a COVID-19 Business Task Force with business, economic, and health officials to help provide input and advocate for business communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The task force is targeted towards communicating and supporting businesses in re-opening. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Recommendation 7, "Ensure economic development strategies remain responsive," as well as Objective B, "Support communication and collaboration between the public and private sectors to further economic development initiatives and community health."

Goshenville Traditional Neighborhood Design Adopted

In August 2020, East Goshen Township adopted the Goshenville Traditional Neighborhood Design overlay, which extends along Paoli Pike from Boot Road to Route 352. This rezoning helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Recommendations 3 and 4, "Support flexible zoning" and "Retain and expand existing businesses." The district will serve to connect people, calm traffic, and enhance the Town Center of Goshenville as a destination.

PhotoCounty Grants for COVID-19 Recovery

In March 2020, the county created a grant program to provide funding for Chester County small businesses and agricultural enterprises that were unable to take advantage of any existing federal and commonwealth COVID-19 response programs. These grants help to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Objective A, "Promote a diverse industry base and flexible workplaces that can adapt to rapidly evolving market, demographic, and technological trends."

PhotoNew Businesses Come to Coatesville

In 2020, new construction began at Coatesville's nth Innovation Center, (190 West Lincoln Highway). The soon-to-be 30,000 sq/ft start up hub is located within a Qualified Opportunity Zone and a Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ), and is the first major commercial building to be erected in Coatesville in over 50 years. This helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Recommendations 3 and 4, "Support flexible zoning," and "Retain and expand businesses."

(Photo credit: Valley Creek Productions)

PhotoRestore Chester County Website

In August 2020, the first Chester County Economy Report was completed as a joint effort of the Planning Commission and the Economic Development Council. This report helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Objective B, "Support communication and collaboration between the public and private sectors to further economic development initiatives and community health."

PhotoUrban Center Parking Garages

In 2020, Kennett Square Borough added 92 spaces to its municipal parking garage, while Oxford Borough opened its new municipal parking garage and multimodal transportation center. These projects received funding assistance from the Department of Community Development. This new parking helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Objective C, "Support redevelopment and strategic infrastructure investment to maximize community assets, capitalize on existing infrastructure, and provide areas for residential and commercial growth."

PhotoCoatesville Streetscape Improvements

In 2020, construction was undertaken on several streetscape projects in the City of Coatesville with funding assistance from the Department of Community Development. Improvements were constructed along 1st Street, as well as at 3rd and 4th Streets leading to the train station. These projects help to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Objective C, "Support redevelopment and strategic infrastructure investment to maximize community assets, capitalize on existing infrastructure, and provide areas for residential and commercial growth."

Bridge Improvements

In 2020, several bridges were improved in Chester County. In Modena Borough the South Brandywine Avenue Bridge was rehabilitated. The Norfolk Southern Trestle over North Main Street in Phoenixville was raised to allow emergency vehicles to pass. These improvements help to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Objective C, "Support redevelopment and strategic infrastructure investment to maximize community assets, capitalize on existing infrastructure, and provide areas for residential and commercial growth."

Photo2020 Farmer of the Year Award

In November 2020, The Agricultural Development Council presented the 2020 Farmer of the Year Award to Sonya Beltran and family of First Generation Farms, a mushroom growing operation in Avondale. This award helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Objective D, "Encourage the agricultural industry so that its diverse business models and workforce can adapt and thrive, continuing as a vital component of county industry and land use."

PhotoCareer Counselling and Assistance

In 2020, the Department of Community Development provided funding for career counseling for job seekers at PA Career Link of Chester County and training initiatives through the United Way. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Objective E, "Coordinate and support workforce development across age ranges, skill sets, and business sectors to create a workforce prepared for current and future opportunities."

PhotoMain Streets Convert for Open-Air Pedestrian Markets

In June 2020, many of Chester County's urban centers — including Phoenixville, Kennett Square, and West Chester — closed portions of their main streets to vehicular traffic in order to accommodate outdoor pedestrian-friendly dining and shopping. These actions allowed for further social distancing and expanded seating, and helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Recommendation 7, "Ensure economic development strategies remain responsive."

PhotoChester County Farmers Rise to the Challenges of COVID-19

In July 2020, despite the many challenges and hardships of COVID-19, Chester County's farmers came up with creative ways to continue serving their communities. While some utilized social media, others increased safety protocols and expanded their services. This helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Objective D, "Encourage the agricultural industry so that its diverse business models and workforce can adapt and thrive, continuing as a vital component of county industry and land use."

Downtown West Chester Business Resiliency

While many towns and Main Streets across the nation faced business closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, West Chester Borough was able to retain most of their downtown businesses in 2020. Although some businesses were lost, a comparable number of businesses opened such as Champion's Premier Dog Parlor and La Tartine Mediterranean Restaurant. This resiliency helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Recommendation 4, "Retain and expand existing businesses."

Ice Cream Shop Relocates

In July 2020, the Maggie Moos Ice Cream Shop relocated to the Whiteland Towne Center located at 137 West Lincoln Highway. The business, which was originally located in the Main Street at Exton Shopping Center, recently partnered with Great American Cookies and needed additional room for their growing operation. The new location also offers ample outdoor seating. The flexibility of this business helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Recommendation 4, "Retain and expand existing businesses."

New Distillery in Elverson

Brandywine Branch Distillers is a small batch micro-distillery which opened in late 2020 in Elverson. The distillery is a grain-to-bottle enterprise which inhabits a restored 130-year-old barn, and it is located on an eight-acre property. Everything they make is produced on site. This new business helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Recommendation 6, "Create and grow businesses" and Recommendation 8, "Revitalize Urban Centers."

New Brewery in West Chester

A 5,000 square foot brewery opened at 342 Hannum Ave in West Chester in the fall of 2020, adding to Chester County's robust and growing brewery scene. The brewery features 24 rotating taps as well as a newly-added kitchen. This helps to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Recommendation 6, "Create and grow businesses" and Recommendation 8, "Revitalize Urban Centers."

PhotoPlanning tools promoting business development

During 2020, the Planning Commission posted business related eTools on its municipal assistance web page. This included guidance for promoting Main Street areas by marketing and selling the unique aspects of a Main Street to attract visitors, as well as guidance for breweries (beer gardens, tasting rooms, taprooms, microbreweries, regional breweries, and brewpubs). These tools help to implement Landscapes3 Prosper Recommendation 7, "Ensure economic development strategies remain responsive."

2019

During 2019, public and private organizations undertook various initiatives that helped to implement the Landscapes3 Prosper Goal, "Grow our economic strength through developing and sustaining a skilled workforce, adaptable work areas, supportive infrastructure, a culture of innovation, and engaged communities." The following success stories highlight some of the more notable initiatives.

Photo"Your Town as a Destination" Urban Centers Event

In October 2019, the Chester County Planning Commission presented an urban centers event at Victory Brewing Company in Parkesburg, entitled "Your Town as a Destination."" This forum focused on challenges and opportunities for the urban centers by promoting data sharing and friendly communication. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 recommendation, "Revitalize Urban Centers."

PhotoUrban Centers Design Guide Completed

In 2019, the Planning Commission completed the Urban Center Design Guide, which serves to foster new development that is compatible with community and historic character, and protect residential neighborhoods from adverse impacts. Such development should encourage alternative modes of transportation, improve the environment, and guide appropriate development for municipalities. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 recommendation, "Revitalize Urban Centers."

PhotoThe Oxford Borough Transit Center and Borough Hall Completed

December 2019, the Oxford Borough Transit Center and Borough Hall were completed. The new multi-modal transportation center provides parking for 266 cars, along with 3,500 square feet of ground floor office space. This $7.1 million dollar project, also includes space for the borough's administrative offices, and has the much needed technology improvements they have been lacking. This initiative helps to implement Landscapes3 recommendation, "Revitalize Urban Centers."

Goal Objectives Recommendations