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Chester County Press

New multi-use project in Kennett Square expected to break ground in April

11/24/2015 01:31PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer

Plan by plan, building by building, the progress being made on the southwest area of Kennett Square is joining State Street in a partership that is revitalizing the historic town.

The occupancy of Magnolia Place is near to full capacity, the apartments above the Victory Brewing Company are now completely rented, and Cypress Street is currently undergoing a sidewalk project that will better link these residences to shops and restaurants along State Street. Soon, these projects will share space with a new concept intended to compliment what has become a local success story.

Mike Pia, Jr. of Kennett Square Realty is announcing plans for Cannery Row, a mixed-use development, which will be adjacent to Victory Brewing Company, near the corner of Cypress Street and South Mill Road.

Situated on the site of the former SunnyDell Foods Mushroom Cannery, the property falls within both the Borough of Kennett Square and Kennett Township. In 2006, the Cannery was the victim of a fire, which led to the company moving its base of operations to Oxford.

Introduced as part of the Cannery Row Properties LP Partnership, the new project will include a mix of uses spread across four architecturally distinct buildings, with 11,000 square feet designated for retail space; 3,000 square feet planned for restaurant space; and 6,700 square feet intended to be used for office and creative space.

In addition, the development will include 13 two-story luxury apartments, a 'bark park' for dogs, and will serve as a bulk head for the Red Clay Greenway Trail, which will connect New Garden Township and the Kennett Borough.

The project is currently in the preliminary final plan review phase, and is expected to receive final approval early in 2016 from both the township and the borough. Pia anticipates that once final approval is received, the project will begin construction next April and be completed by April 2017. He estimated that the project will create 150 construction jobs, and 120 full-time jobs that will become available once the project is completed.

"We are happy to be revitalizing this southwest corner of Kennett Square that once served as the town’s thriving industrial hub," Pia said. "After the closing of NVF, Surefine and the original Cannery, this corner of town was left vacant and under utilized. We are excited to inject some life back into to this part of town."

Pia said that Cannery Row and Magnolia Place are part of a national trend that is moving residents from the suburbs back into cities and towns.

"People want to move into walkable places, to be somewhere to grab a beer or get a cup of coffee, rather than be in an isolated area," he said. "Anywhere you see an urban core, you see people moving back. The success of Magnolia Place is evidence that people, from within town and new residents, want to be here."

The Cannery Row project is part of a $150 million long-term smart growth plan for the southwest corner of Kennett Square, and a prime example of the intergovernmental cooperation agreement Kennett Township and the Kennett Borough entered into an earlier this year, which has enabled the municipalities to work together to promote a harmonious development plan across the site.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected].