New developments planned throughout the Borough
Late last year, Al’s Automotive closed its doors. Al had been our mechanic for at least a decade and no mention had ever been made about an upcoming retirement. The surprise retirement plus a rumor something was in the works for 322 W. Market Street made me curious – could the two be related? So I began digging through County property records. What I found was the quiet consolidation of borough properties into the hands of a single owner. The game of Monopoly playing out in real life, if you will.
The goal of Monopoly is to collect and trade properties until you gather all the properties of a particular color. With a color set in hand, you are free to add houses and hotels as your money allows. Analysis of county data shows a few local developers have been playing their own high-stakes version of Monopoly, patiently waiting out the Borough real estate market with the goal of purchasing up blocks at a time.
Mitch’s Gym: 300 Block of W. Market St.
Description: Four plots of land, three situated on W. Market Street and one on S. Wayne Street. Together they form a continuous plot of land west from S. Wayne Street to Potter Ally and south from Market Street to Wollerton Alley.
Zoning: Town Center (TC)
Owner: Khan Development
- 322 W. Market – formerly home to Mitch’s Gym was purchased by Kahn Development in 1998
- 330 W. Market – most recently home to Human Services, Inc it was purchased by Kahn Development under the name 7 South Wayne LLC in September of last year.
- 342 W. Market – formerly home to Avis Rental Car was purchased by J Loew Property Management in 2013. J. Loew lists Kahn Development among its businesses.
- 7 S. Wayne – formerly home to Al’s Automotive. This plot was purchased by Kahn Development under the name 7 South Wayne LLC in March 2022
Overview: With a portfolio that already includes two vacant properties, Mitch’s Gym and Avis Rental, and the purchase of the block’s remaining two properties last year, this entire area is now owned by Malvern-based Khan Development. While we don’t have confirmation of what’s next, we do know Khan Development specializes in industrial, multi-family, office, and mixed-use properties. In West Chester, they already own 44 West and Chestnut Square Apartments and are currently in development on 250 E. Market St. (formerly Rubensteins) and 611 E. Nields (former Wyeth property).
Christmas Tree Lot: 400 Block of E. Gay St.
Description: Nine properties including five on E. Gay St., one on N. Adams, and three on E. Market Street form a continuous property west from the edge of Tires Plus on Gay Street to Adams Street then south on Adams to Market and east to the edge of the KFC parking lot.
Owner: Gunner Properties
- 400 E. Gay – mostly empty lot purchased by Gunner Properties in August of 2021
- 408 E. Gay – mostly empty lot purchased by Gunner Properties in August of 2021
- 420 E. Gay – mostly empty lot purchased by Gunner Properties in August of 2021
- 430 E. Gay – mostly empty lot purchased by Gunner Properties in 2011
- 440 E. Gay – mostly empty lot purchased by Gunner Properties in 2005
- 5 N. Adams -(Knox Auto Services) purchased by Gunner Properties in 2011
- 411 E. Market – currently used by West Chester Buggy Bath purchased by Gunner Properties in 2011
- 421 E. Market – currently used by Knox Equipment Rental property purchased by Gunner Properties in 2011
- 515 E. Market – Previously home to Service King, purchased by Gunner Properties in 2005
Overview: After nearly two decades of purchases, Gunner Properties, a developer based out of Chester Springs, is in possession of a plot of land on West Chester’s eastside that is largely underutilized. It consists of an empty service building and multiple paved lots used for the seasonal sale of fireworks and Christmas trees.
Fun fact: Gunner Properties was the developer behind Levante Stables in Chester Springs.
Parkway Plaza: 100 Block of N. Adams St.
Description: Four plots of land along N. Adams Street from E. Chestnut to E Gay Streets. Directly across the street from the Borough Building.
Owner: Khan Development
- 314 E. Chestnut -was purchased by Kahn Development in 2018.
- 120 N. Adams – was purchased by Kahn Development under the name 314 E Chestnut Street Associates LP in August of 2022.
- 130 N. Adams – was purchased by Kahn Development under the name 314 E Chestnut Street Associates LP in August of 2022.
- 329 E. Gay – was purchased by Kahn Development under the name 314 E Chestnut Street Associates LP in August of 2022.
Overview: Already in possession of 314 E. Chestnut Street, Khan Development was able to complete the block with the addition of the Adams Street properties (home to the Parkway Cleaners processing facility) and the shops of Parkway Plaza.
With the closure of Core de Roma Trattoria (see Goodbye) and China King, only two businesses are actively operating in the plaza but likely not for much longer. When I spoke to Luigi Pinti at Core De Roma about the closure of his restaurant he said, “You know why we closed don’t you?” When I admitted I didn’t. He replied, “They’re tearing down the building.”
Originally published, Feb. 3, 2023
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