Wednesday, October 19, 2016

One more chance for the Chester waterfront

Do you remember that $500 million development that was supposed to surround the soccer stadium on Chester's waterfront?

Yeah, so do we.

In fact, that promise of a spectacular waterfront, something akin to Delco's version of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, was one of the reasons this newspaper enthusiastically endorsed a bond issue floated by County Council, despite the cries from many that public money should not be funneled into a boondoggle such as a sports facility.

That was back in 208.

The $30 million bond issue passed, over the objections of Republican County Councilman Andy Lewis, who did something unheard of on County Council - he voted not on the plan.

The stadium was built.

But little else was.

Shortly after construction started on the stadium, the economy went off a cliff. Buccini-Pollin, the developers who had such grandiose plans for the Chester waterfront, including hundreds of townhomes, retail, restaurants and entertainment venues, even a convention center, put all that on hold.

Eight years later, not much has changed.

But now there is renewed talk of developing the waterfront. It's being pushed by a firm that has made Chester their home. Power Home Remodeling led the charge back into Chester when they moved their corporate headquarters in to the redeveloped Wharf at Rivertown as one of the first signs of a turnaround in Chester.

Now they have entered into a naming rights deal with the Philadelphia Union, the city's entry in Major League Soccer, for their training facility.

And there is once again talk of what could be on the Chester waterfront.

We talk about the possibilities on today's editorial page.

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