Land Revitalization Winter '06 Newsletter – Waterfront Redevelopment Project in Chester, Pa. Scores Top Honor
The now-grand-again neoclassical building that once housed the Chester Electrical Generating Station is back and it's buzzing. The stately 1918 building has been restored and 85 percent of its space is leased. It is the new headquarters for high tech software company, Synygy, and home for a global division of Wells Fargo.
This revitalization began as the Waterfront Redevelopment Project in Chester , Pa. which was selected this year to receive the Phoenix Award – a top national honor for brownfield redevelopment.
The Waterfront Redevelopment project is a 90-acre former industrial site previously owned by PECO, now an Exelon company. Exelon, received the award at the annual Brownfields Conference in November.
The property was selected as a pilot project under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Brownfields Pilot Initiative in 2001. EPA, PECO and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection worked together to develop a plan to remediate the entire site. See EPA's web sitehttp://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/ca/pdf/peco.pdf for additional information.
After remediating the 90-acres and the several buildings, Exelon (PECO at the time) sold 63 acres of the property to Preferred Real Estate Investments for $1. In addition, Exelon donated seven acres to the City of Chester for recreational opportunities and remains the owner of 20 acres that include several small peak generating units and a PECO substation.
Since 2001, Preferred Real Estate Investments has restored and redeveloped the property which includes 400,000 square feet of office space in a majestic building on the Delaware River.
Redevelopment has already resulted in 1500 new jobs, and provided commercial and recreational space in this Keystone Economic Zone. The proposed changes will also provide green space, and a walking trail along the Delaware River. Plans also include 600 residential units and possibly more commercial space.
PECO Redevelopment Plan
"Exelon's reasons for remediating this site went further than fulfilling our environmental responsibility. We understand the need for economic stimulation in the City of Chester and hope that this project assists in restoring this once prosperous manufacturing community." said Mark Schiavoni, president of Exelon Power.
The Phoenix awards were established in 1997 and are presented annually by the non-profit Phoenix Awards Institute recognizing innovative yet practical remediation projects at brownfields sites in the U.S. and abroad. For more information on the Phoenix Awards see: http://www.phoenixawards.org/