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Chester County Press

Kennett Pointe projected to become newest 'gateway' to Borough

12/16/2020 11:12AM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

Over the past several years, the Kennett Square Borough has matched the number of accolades that have called it one of America’s coolest towns with an equal amount of new-home construction that has helped to attract a new wave of residents who have arrived looking to take advantage of all of that cool.

At two of its four main entrance points, Kennett Square’s economy has been stimulated by the emergence of Magnolia Place at its western edge – a community of homes that has led to a vibrant off-shoot of businesses. At its southern entrance near the Five Points intersection, Bentley Homes has created a village-like nook of town homes that are a quick walk away from downtown services, stores and restaurants.

Most recently, the eastern gateway off of Route 1 has become the borough’s newest site for residential growth, with the opening of The Flats at Kennett, that provide luxury apartments with close access to the trails and nature at nearby Anson B. Nixon Park.

These developments are part of a growing number of “economic opportunity zones” being identified by the borough and neighboring Kennett Township as a sustainable measure of growth meant to further define the community as a great place to live, work and invest.

Beginning in the first quarter of next year, a ten-acre patch of land on the periphery of the borough – that has long been considered an underutilized brown field of neglect -- will be transformed into the community’s newest opportunity zone.

At the Dec. 12 Zoom meeting of the Historic Kennett Square Economic Development Council, Don Robitzer, senior vice president & COO of The Commonwealth Group, introduced plans for Kennett Pointe a recently approved mixed-use commercial and residential development located at the intersection of Ways Lane and East Cypress Street in Kennett Township.

“New urbanist” design

Known previously as Kennett Gateway, the project will be constructed by Montchanin Builders and include 53 “new urbanist” townhomes -- sized between 1,876- and 2,285-square feet – that will be priced between $319,900 and $365,000. The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom homes will feature nine-foot ceilings, front porches, bay windows and cedar trim details, a gourmet kitchen with island and granite countertops, composite decks, hardwood and tile flooring.

Home owners at Kennett Pointe will be able to choose from two floor plans, which will both offer a front entry and alley-fed two-car garages. In addition, the plans will offer space expanding features which may include a finished basement with walk out, a fourth bedroom, den, home work space and the option of adding a loft.

In addition, Kennett Pointe will also feature a 41,000-square-foot mixed-use building that will be located at the northern edge of the property and be visible from East Cypress Street. (Its parking lot, however, will not be visible from the East Cypress Street.) 

On its first floor, over 13,000 square feet of retail/commercial space will be available for businesses that add value to a community, such as restaurants, boutiques, cafés, hair salons, bakeries, yoga studios, or small grocers.

On its second and third floors, the building will house 24 one- and two-bedroom apartments -- ranging between 910 square feet to 1,152 square feet -- with monthly rentals between $1,800 and $2,100.

Additional amenities in Kennett Pointe will include an abundance of outdoor “collaborative” spaces and walking trails throughout the community, a 6,000 square-foot plaza, pavilions, activity lawns and gazebos, trails and tree-lined streets. As part of its development, repairs will be made to the heavily-wooded outer regions of the property that is used by wildlife as a travel corridor.

As part of the project, Robitzer said that the Boy Scouts building on Ways Lane will be renovated, and will become a future home for 2,500 square feet of what could be used as a commercial space, a workspace for artists and a community area.

In his presentation before several elected officials and key economic stakeholders, Robitzer said Kennett Pointe is an outgrowth of the economic development study conducted by the township and borough in 2016 – a plan to re-imagine the eastern entrance to the borough as a multi-purposed “gateway” that would develop residential and economic opportunities.

In August 2018, The Commonwealth Group first submitted its design plans for the complex to the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors and the township’s Planning Commission, which led to additional conversations, amendments and eventual approval earlier this year.

Robitzer said the decision to place Kennett Pointe’s mixed-use building along West Cypress Street is a strategic one, one that will create a feeling of action and activity between residents, businesses and visitors. He said that he imagines the building as the home of an independently-owned coffee shop, an intimate bistro-like restaurant with take-out service, a small fitness center and medical offices – all of which will give the residents of Kennett Pointe the flexibility of being a part of an increasingly walkable borough.

“People will be able to drive by and see that this is a really vibrant neighborhood, which helps you with your commercial tenants, it helps you with your residents and helps you with those who drive by, because they all want to be a part of something that is connected to the community,” he said.

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