Answering to the AWOL
Christopher Mrozinski, the development director for the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust [PREIT], is a busy person these days. He helps to oversee a company that owns and operates 30 million square feet of properties – indoor and outdoor malls and marketplaces, mostly – in 12 states, including Pennsylvania. A quick check of PREIT's web page supports Mrozinski's backlog of responsibilities; the Philadelphia-based company currently has six new projects in various stages of development, which include the Monroe Marketplace in Selingsgrove, Pa.; the Pavilion at Market East in Philadelphia; and the Pitney Road Plaza in Lancaster. Listed last on that list is the proposed White Clay Point, a 100-acre property in Landenberg that has been in various stages of discussion, blueprint, design, approval, agreement and disagreement for nearly a decade. It has faced off twice in a court of law against a grass-roots organization who had the temerity to question some of the legalities involved with the project, and been defeated both times. To date, the only visage of PREIT's presence in what remains a vacant, neglected splotch of territory is a sign for all visitors on Gap-Newport Pike to see, one that provides little more than the name of the project and a phone number.
We at the Chester County Press have dialed that number many times. No one has responded. We have also attempted to reach any one of the many individuals who came to the New Garden Township Building during 2011 and 2012 to pitch to the Board of Supervisors about how a mall of this kind would kick start the economy of the township by providing jobs. No one responded to our calls. Most recently, we have attempted to speak to Mrozinski, to ask him why he twice failed to show at New Garden Board of Supervisors meetings held earlier this year – despite the fact that he was listed first on each meetings' agenda. He has not returned our call to explain his absence at these meetings.
That PREIT chooses not to communicate with this newspaper is of little consequence; after all, we are only doing our diligence to keep our readers informed of what progress and decision, if any, has been made on the future of the White Clay Point project. We will wait, and we will keep calling. For the thousands of residents whose homes, neighborhoods, commutes and childrens' schools exist in the vicinity of what may or may not eventually become a clogged conglomerate of commerce, however, their patience is wearing thin. They deserve much more from PREIT than twin cancellations, a single roadside sign, and a year's worth or more of absolute silence. They deserve answers. It's your turn to provide them, Mr. Mrozinski.