Park­ing garage ex­pan­sion may be done by year’s end

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Fran Maye [email protected]­tu­ry­media.com @ dai­ly­lo­cal on Twit­ter

A $2 mil­lion ex­pan­sion to Ken­nett Square’s pub­lic park­ing garage could be ready by the end of the year.

Joe Scalise, bor­ough man­ager, said he met with de­sign con­sul­tants this week, and a bid pack­age will go out be­fore the end of this month.

The ex­pan­sion of the park­ing garage, lo­cated at East Lin­den and North Union streets, will add an­other 92 park­ing spa­ces to the ex­ist­ing 350 park­ing spa­ces avail­able now. But 310 of those spa­ces are des­ig­nated as per­mit­ted park­ing spots, and Ge­n­e­sis Health Ven­tures cur­rently uses 340 spa­ces.

“The ma­jor­ity is pre-cast con-

crete, and there is a sig­nif­i­cant lead time on pre-cast con­crete,” Scalise said. “It could be up in 10 months. We are hop­ing to get it done this year, but that will de­pend on pre-cast sup­pli­ers and who ac­tu­ally gets the bid.”

The fund­ing is al­ready in place, and none of it will come from Ken­nett Square tax­pay­ers. Bor­ough of­fi­cials re­ceived a $500,000 grant from the county, and $750,000 from the state, al­though most of that fund­ing won’t be re­im­bursed un­til most of the project is com­pleted. The re­main­ing por­tion will come from the bor­ough’s park­ing fund, which Scalise said is self-sus­tain­ing.

To make room for the park­ing garage ex­pan­sion, the bor­ough will de­mol­ish the long-va­cant Dis­trict Jus­tice Cen­ter, on the cor­ner of East Lin­den and Broad streets. At Mon­day’s coun­cil meet­ing, coun­cil ap­proved a cer­tifi­cate of ap­pro­pri­ate­ness, rec­om­mended by the bor­ough’s His­tor­i­cal and Ar­chi­tec­tural Re­view Board. The bricks façade of the new struc­ture will closely match the ex­ist­ing one.

“We were re­ally con­cerned the bricks wouldn’t match after 20 years, but we found a re­ally, re­ally close match,” Scalise said.

Pub­lic park­ing me­ters will be in­stalled at the new garage ex­pan­sion. Park­ing is $1 per hour, with a three-hour max­i­mum. The rate for per­mit­ted spa­ces at the park­ing garage is $700 per year.

De­mand is high for new park­ing, in part be­cause the bor­ough’s pop­u­la­tion has spiked in the past decade as the town has ex­pe­ri­enced resur­gence. Pop­u­la­tion has in­creased 20 per­cent in Ken­nett Square since 2000.

Matt Fet­ick, Ken­nett Square mayor, said park­ing is­sues have al­ways been a prob­lem in town.

“Park­ing and traf­fic and speed­ing are by far the things peo­ple are con­cerned about,” he said. “It never changes.”

FRAN MAYE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ex­pan­sion of this park­ing garage in Ken­nett Square will add 92 spa­ces and con­struc­tion will likely be­gin by the end of the year.

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