hey east whiteland residents are you aware the weston development on w. king road in west whiteland is marching forward?

Hi it’s me, the development critic. Weston is selling on West King Road across from Johnson Matthey. This is in West Whiteland, JUST over the East Whiteland border quite literally. I have written about this before:

So there was a meeting last night in West Whiteland. Planning. The Weston Development came up again. If it wasn’t for a West Whiteland resident looking at the agenda because they were at another meeting last night, I would not have known Weston was up again and with a zoning change going to zoning with I presume planning approval.

Now I have not seen the property change hands as of yet, but there is the possibility the sale is through since Chester County seems behind in what they record almost always.

I am kind of pissy about this. Right or wrong.

One reason WHY I am pissed is I have been on zoom calls of other meetings involving this property in the past. I even contacted them in writing as did many others from EAST WHITELAND. As a COURTESY, you all should have let East Whiteland residents know. I know full well they know how to reach me, and if not me the peo in East Whiteland Township.

This plan will drastically impact residents of East Whiteland who live on roads off of W. King or who are in the many houses that pepper W. King Road in East and West Whiteland.

It would be common courtesy to let your neighbors know when ANYTHING happens with this property because ANYTHING that happens with this property or the acreage across the road being sold by Johnson Matthey WILL AFFECT MORE THAN WEST WHITELAND, correct?

There is quite the eco system on that property. Has a property search been done as to any special special like bog turtles which might reside there? How many and what trees will be removed and how large will the trees be? And any tree planting should NOT be developer specials lined up like for a firing squad (what Toll brothers does) and left to die.

Also, the neighbors want a traffic signal as in yes a light right there at the mouth of that development at King and Weston Way. Otherwise, NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO GET OUT. And speaking of not getting out, has West Whiteland been monitoring the intersection of Ship and King lately? They should. And the guy who zips around on W. King in the motorized wheelchair in the lanes of traffic with nothing reflective? They should pay attention to him as well, and get him like those big reflective triangles Amish buggies have. It’s terrifying to be on W. King with traffic with him zipping around like he is driving a car.

West Whiteland approving a development of this size is going to affect the neighbors in more than one municipality. I saw a reference in old materials about a neighbors’ meeting in 2022. I don’t recall hearing about that. Thankfully this development will only overload West Chester Area School District.

I feel East Whiteland is completely out of the loop on projects that they border with West Whiteland and other municipalities and this has to stop. Soon we will not be able to navigate around the area with the development approved in West Whiteland on Route 30 from the Laborers past but including Ship Road and east on Lancaster to the municipal border with East Whiteland. Oh and this latest developer seeking big bucks at the expense of Chester County residents has a very similar plan to this brewing in Willistown. They are from Blue Bell which I sadly remember the farms and open space there before the developers moved in.

I am pretty tuned in to what happens around here, and I was a little distressed to see this all moving forward without us lowly East Whiteland folks being clued in.

Also has West Whiteland forgotten the pipelines that run through this property? Still want people running uphill or whatever?

I go out of my way to try to get East and West Whiteland to communicate. It’s only COMMON SENSE. Yet here we are.

Like I said, I can’t stop this development but I will talk about it. West Whiteland will have conditions of approval on this project and respectfully, one of those needs to include A TRAFFIC SIGNAL as well as answers to environmental questions.

It’s nice they are saving the historic structures, but as is the case with a lot of these things, seeing will be believing.

When I lived in Lower Merion they would create resident email lists for development projects. Someone in planning and/or zoning would notify residents of actions on a particular plan. A lot of your projects don’t just affect residents of just ONE municipality, they also affect residents of bordering municipalities.

It drives me CRAZY that no one in Harrisburg wants to get off of their asses and do a comprehensive non-Band-Aid update to the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), since hello the MPC drives our zoning. The last comprehensive update circa 1969 is what cause the first monster project to tear apart Chester County and blow up a school district: Chesterbrook.

It drives me CRAZY that municipalities that border each other and often have similar issues act like independent island nations. When there is collaboration there is often greater success. And West Whiteland and East Whiteland had success, great success years ago over what Rouse had planned for Church Farm. More recently, residents banned together to stop a hydrogen plant.

Development rant over. For now.

just. too. much. development.

Development in West Whiteland – Route 30 to Ship Road and down both sides of Ship Road. Bad, dense, not even particularly affordable- just another bunch of Tyvec wrapped cram plans.

The development from various predatory developers in this area heads east until it practically hits East Whiteland. Then you proceed to Easttown and Tredyffrin all the way down to Radnor Township.

Too much, too dense, cheap, fast build and rather pricey. Nothing affordable. This is stressing our infrastructure including the human variety, and squeezing our school districts to a breaking point.

Wherever you live get active in your community. Make elections have a focus on all this overdevelopment from local to state to federal elections. Start talking about the Municipalities Planning Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It hasn’t been updated comprehensively since 1969…and one of the things that first got built THEN was Chesterbrook.

I put together a small reel. Pictures speak louder than words. Be horrified because progress shouldn’t hurt our communities and that’s what is happening.

Thanks for stopping by.

meet meadowbrook manor in west west whiteland

I have friends who live in Meadowbrook Manor in West Whiteland. It’s a wonderful little cluster neighborhood of adorable little houses. Many of the residents have lived there for decades.

These residents have seen a lot of change. They have literally seen development gobble up big parts of Exton, and West Whiteland in general. They are also pipeline victims and part of hell on earth ground zero of those blasted pipelines.

Some folks from Meadowbrook Manor in West Whiteland have asked me to share the photos you see in this post and the videos. And they sent me a little statement as well which I am sharing with my readers verbatim:

Meadowbrook Manor built in the 1950s before anyone ever thought about floodplains or storm water management. We are one of (if not the) lowest point in the Whiteland valley. There are two streams that wind through our development; Valley Creek and an unnamed stream. As big, new developments have popped up along Valley Creek, one has to wonder how all the building and impervious ground cover impacts those of us downstream.

Yes, every new development must submit stormwater management plans to the township, but do those plans only protect the new construction from flooding? It is my understanding that new developments are not required to make things better for those of us downstream, but they certainly are not supposed to make it worse. Who is measuring and how is that determined, because things have definitely gotten worse. I have lived here for 26 years. The house next door didn’t flood even with hurricane Floyd, but in the last three years, it has had up to 10” of water inside. The poor young couple who bought it, has been displaced three times in three years. The house next to that has suffered the same fate. Some may blame climate change, and the intensity of recent storms, and I’m sure that is part of it.

The township has expressed sympathy, but we need action.

We need township engineers to follow the path of these streams and find places where more retention basins can be added to slow the tsunami of water that is engulfing homes with each heavy storm.

So won’t you be their neighbor, West Whiteland? When you look at this you realize exactly why Chester County needs to do better. And yes Chester County Planning Department this is why you all need to do better and get an executive director who is from Chester County and lives here. And then there are our state representatives and state senators who need to step up and get the damn Municipalities Planning Code updated and to protect our communities better.

I see all of you in Meadowbrook Manor. I just wish I had a magic wand.

keep calm and play mall cop at community events…in west whiteland

Saint Teresa of West Whiteland loves to hear the sound of her own voice and loves to make a scene at community events doesn’t she? I mean it’s always a sidewalk chalk day somewhere, right?

Yesterday was West Whiteland’s Exton Park Community Day and Lame Duck Supervisor Saint Theresa was on patrol! Quack 🦆 🦆 quack.

I couldn’t believe it, yet I totally could believe it. A report I received that was first hand is as follows:

“Above all else be kind” was certainly not the theme of the day as far as our township supervisor Theresa Santalucia was concerned. On what was supposed to be a fun-filled event, she took it upon herself to police the grounds at Exton Community Day, searching for anything she perceived to be a break of the rules, set forth by the township, regarding political parties. The township rules for Community Day state: “Absolutely no political endorsements, petition signing, or candidate literature permitted.”

At a voter registration and face painting booth run by West Whiteland Democrats, she took it upon herself to storm up, tear a sign from its stand and inform the participants that she was taking it. By identifying themselves as West Whiteland Democrats, the rules were somehow broken. Were they supposed to offer three and a half hours of face painting anonymously?

She approached individuals, from both parties, who wore political buttons identifying themselves as candidates. She told them that they could not introduce themselves to attendees and demanded that they remove their buttons. Freedom of speech still applies to individuals attending a public event.

Theresa didn’t explain. She didn’t ask. She demanded. One has to wonder what families in attendance thought as they observed her ranting. Exton Community Day…an event to celebrate community…including, Democrats, Republicans and candidates for office.

A community day is about community. It is not Theresa Hogan Santalucia’s job to play Mall Cop. Oh the memories it brings back about sidewalk, chalk and Chalkgate in 2020.

Theresa Hogan Santalucia, Mall Cop. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? She’ll need something to do when she’s no longer a Supervisor, right? And remember the blarney about how bad her health was so she couldn’t run again? Apparently she seemed in fine fettle at community day yesterday.

So what I have been told by quite a few is, she flipped out on the Republicans and Democrats who had tables set up a community day. there was no active campaigning going on. Political parties are part of the community at these events. They will have information for registering to vote, and usually something to eat. We’re not talking active politicking here.

Above is the sign that she objected to for the West Whiteland Democrats. She is still part of them, correct? There was a high school kid manning the table. A high school kid. If that was my kid, I’d be on the phone to the township tomorrow asking what gave her the right to harangue a kid for doing a volunteer job, wouldn’t you?

Again, it was reported that she also went after Republicans, and they ignored her. (As well they should IMHO.) Too bad no one Facebook- lived her. She flipped out at a current school board member for WCASD named Darrel Durnell. He wasn’t campaigning.

Now I have some experience in the planning of and volunteering at large community events. We used to do First Friday Main Line on a monthly basis for years. Politicians were always there and the local political committees had offices in Ardmore. They were part of the community and the understanding was be part of the community, just refrain from active campaigning.

It was not Lame Duck Saint Theresa’s job to police this events and act like a rude and condescending harridan. Truthfully she is as always an embarrassment to her municipality. Truly deplorable.

In today’s highly charged political climate she could have ruined an entire and large community event completely. That is completely unacceptable and morally wrong. And yes I am allowed that opinion.

Quack quack, ducky. Stick to your free crap garage sales, emphasis on crap. Leave community events to the community.

what’s a little sinkhole between friends in west whiteland?

All filming done NOT TRESPASSING. Zoom on camera ONLY.

Ah yes…once again….the schist and karst of it all. Or…. the ongoing saga of Energy Transfer just sucks.

So nothing like everyone finding out from a media report that et voilà there is a new sinkhole, right?


State Impact: New sinkhole forms along Mariner East pipeline in Chester County

by Susan Phillips July 11, 2023

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is investigating a newly formed “earth feature” along the Mariner East natural gas liquids pipeline in Chester County.More often referred to as land subsidence or a sinkhole, it occurred in the area of Lisa Drive, West Whiteland Township, where multiple sinkholes first appeared during construction of the pipeline in March 2018.

At that time, the PUC ordered a temporary shut down of a parallel natural gas pipeline, citing a “catastrophic” effect if it led to a leak. At least five homes on Lisa Drive were later sold to the Texas-based pipeline builder and operator Energy Transfer after its work damaged the aquifer and left gaping holes in residents’ backyards.Sinkholes caused by construction continued to appear in Chester County, including near the Chester Valley Trail and the Exton Library. The area sits on limestone, a porous rock that was prone to sinkhole development even before construction of the Mariner East.

In this most recent incident, Energy Transfer notified the Department of Environmental Protection that on July 6, a new sinkhole, 18 inches in diameter and 54 inches deep, opened up near its natural gas liquids lines along the Lisa Drive right-of-way.  The company reported it had excavated and backfilled the sinkhole, according to a DEP spokesperson.

In an emailed statement to WHYY, the PUC said its “independent Bureau of Investigation – which includes the Pipeline Safety Division – was notified of, and responded to, an earth feature on the Lisa Drive right-of-way in West Whiteland Township, Chester County. I&E will continue their investigation, as appropriate.”

Ginny Kerslake, a Chester County resident and organizer with Food and Water Watch, visited the site after hearing from a nearby resident. On Tuesday, she said she saw fresh straw on top of what looked to be the site of the newly remediated sinkhole.

Energy Transfer did not respond to a request for comment by Wednesday evening.

In December 2022, the company filed a brief in a case before the Public Utility Commission where Chester and Delaware county residents sought a complete shutdown of the pipeline system for safety reasons. In the brief, one of the company’s experts, Dr. Timothy Bechtel, vouched for the subsequent remediation of the Lisa Drive sinkholes. He referred to the area as “the most intensely geophysically investigated real estate of which I am aware…the most geophysically studied parcel on the planet.” Alex Bomstein, an attorney with the Clean Air Council, a plaintiff in the case, was surprised when informed of the new sinkhole.“This was supposed to be put to rest,” Bomstein said. “So why is this extremely analyzed piece of earth shifting once again beneath our feet?”

Blows your mind, doesn’t it?

But wait there is more….West Whiteland Supervisors didn’t know about this…West Whiteland staff seemingly did not know other that Energy Transfer reported a small animal hole? Do I have that correct? That the State Impact/WHYY reporter got her information from the DEP about the specifics of the hole? Said hole was like Where’s Waldo in size retelling yesterday for a while, correct? Why all the confusion Energy Transfer? It is the company doesn’t know how big it’s holes are or they don’t want to really get it out there accurately?

And the whole notification thing bothers me. The West Whiteland Manager did not know right away. The MANAGER. Does Energy Transfer find that acceptable? Did ANYONE at West Whiteland or having to do with Emergency Operations know? You know like former Supervisor Bud Turner? After all he IS the Assistant Fire Marshall and Emergency Management Coordinator, correct? And is it fair to say in the past he has had a somewhat cozy relationship with pipeline folks? Yeah Bud people are allowed to ask what you know and when you knew it…people’s lives could depend upon it, right?

Why were West Whiteland officials NOT shown the sinkhole by Energy Transfer until after it was filled? Seems like maybe Energy Transfer should have had Chair of Supervisors and Manager out to the site?

Ok have you viewed the public comment by Ginny Kerslake above? Other observations include Interesting to note that Supervisor Raj Kumbhardare was fairly rude. Looking at his phone, visibly annoyed and replied snottily to Ginny which was uncalled for. He commented that this had been discussed in email today, so it was like he was over it. Commissioner Saint Theresa the Lame Duck just acts like an angry cat and from zoom it is like she won’t even look at residents. Which of course is equal parts rude and dismissive, but hey her head is in the game of free yard sales these days, right?

So in the whole sinkhole of it all over there where the new one is if I have it straight the north side is Limestone and south side is schist. And is this something called the Martic fault (line?) I guess it is? (If I have that backwards or upside down, I am guessing someone will tell me? And is this latest hole rather near the Mariner East II 20″ pipeline? I mean what possibly could go wrong, right?

And can someone tell me WHY Energy Transfer remediates sinkholes with CONCRETE? I thought the way to properly remediate a sinkhole is excavation and then layers of soil and stone compacted? So guessing they can’t do that because pipeline might go boom so what happens if concrete fix like sinks onto pipeline if another hole were to emerge? Concrete is heavy, right? I know, I know I am but a mere mortal and a female…

Funny other thing? Yesterday, the Chester County Commissioners had as a topic approving a rather expensive safety plan for pipelines that many of us thought was in place like a while ago but isn’t?

Ok let’s talk about this company and this proposal. First view the power point presentation seemingly created by a middle schooler today:

I have to ask WHY WASN’T the ACTUAL COMPANY THERE? Did someone not want them to have to answer questions? Very bothersome. Much like the PowerPoint for toddlers by middle schoolers which basically said nothing except made you wonder how the plan this company with no experience has put forward was actually accepted? Forget about how do they think anyone is going to move fast enough if something goes BOOM because we will probably go BOOM too? What is that about running uphill in the wind or is it against the wind in a blindfold or something? Comparing it to not using cell phone at gas pump? (This gets a big WhatjatalkinboutWillis.)

Soooo related to this was when Ginny Kerslake wanted info and was denied (hey public record baby and Facebook public on the redacted blackout.)

But Ginny persisted and filed an appeal….and WON (again, public record):

Then there is the whole other thing with the presentation of who is notified and when and they had municipalities adjoining the big Energy Transfer etc invaded municipalities but are those municipalities included in the notification of it all? I mean hello, hello BLAST ZONE? Not chopped liver, BLAST ZONE.

Also to be considered now given the games of notification with this latest it’s not a sinkhole it’s a lil’ animal hole…no ooopsies it is a sinkhole but you can’t see it we covered it up can we even depend upon Energy Transfer to notify properly or in a timely fashion?

Oh here public comment from the County Commissioners meeting today:

I will note that wannabe county commissioners, i.e. candidates were also at the county commissioners meeting in the audience. They did not speak. They were not value added. So maybe just maybe ALL candidates should be asked CLEARLY where they stand on pipelines and for the new kids, would they have allowed the pipelines into Chester County like this in the FIRST PLACE? I mean we know what happened with the ones already in office running again, but hey little nouveau candidates we’re not carrying YOUR water, and if you don’t carry ours, it’s an election issue. If you talk out of the both sides of your mouth and get elected, prepare to be haunted.

No one is particularly naïve to political BS and pipelines any longer since most residents, especially affected residents have a masters in it: politicians all say what you want to hear to get elected, then they disappear. Both parties, all the way to Washington DC and Harrisburg. My opinion has kind of always been politicians and pipelines have an odd symbiotic relationship. The politicians who don’t have a comfy cozy pipeline relationship are essentially flogged daily or whenever convenient. In Chester County and elsewhere in PA, the politicians who have the fortitude and common sense to realize the risks outweigh the rewards when it comes to these pipelines are the exceptions rather than the rule. We need to change that, and I think we can.

Pipelines as an issue should be non-partisan in our communities. These pipeline companies don’t care whose lives and properties and areas they ruin.

And I will finish with the correspondence from Energy Transfer to West Whiteland’s very nice manager yesterday that was referred to in the supervisors meeting last evening:

Here is what was said in case it is hard to read:

Subject: More information on the Lisa Drive Earth Feature

Last week a third party contractor was inspecting our right of way at Lisa Drive in West Whiteland Township, Chester County and discovered an earth feature behind a property owned by Sunoco Pipeline L.P. There were no utilities or pipelines exposed and there is no concern to public safety.

A professional geologist (PG) visited the site the same day and recommended that our operations team over excavate the area and then fill with flowable fill. This work was completed the following  morning when flowable fill  was available. Moving forward we will continue to monitor the area as we have been. In relation to the earth feature – it was approximately 18” in diameter and 54” deep.  The PG believes that it could have been caused by heavy rains that occurred earlier last week. Approximate distance from pipelines –

  • 5 feet adjacent and 50 feet above the 16-inch ME2X pipeline (carrying ethane) – This pipeline was installed via horizontal directional drill.
  • 8 feet away from the 20-inch ME2 pipeline (carrying propane and butane)
  • 27 feet from the 8-inch former ME1 pipeline (currently in refined products service)
  • 25 feet from the 12-inch pipeline (Currently laid down with nitrogen)
Joseph P. Massaro
Lead Specialist – Public Affairs
Energy Transfer

Never a dull moment in Pipelineville. I guess “earth feature” is pipeline speak for “sinkhole”? And pay close attention because pipeline companies are jonesing for hydrogen hubs too.

save the joseph price house in west whiteland NOW!

I have written about the Joseph Price house in Exton so many times at this point I’ve lost count. I decided to drive by today because I was out in that neck of the woods and I’m glad I did. I am not happy about what I saw, however.

The fact that it didn’t get hit by a tree limbs that I could see from the road in the recent storms is nothing short of miraculous. However, there are tree limbs littering the property. But that’s not as unattractive as the boat and dead cars and trucks that you can see a little but which are in the back.

I did not go on the property. I took photos and video from across Clover Mill Road. there is no way that this property has anyone living in it. I don’t even think it’s secure and I think West Whiteland needs to act.

⚠️Correction: I wanted to get this video out there, and it has been a federally listed historic resource since the
early 1980s not the 1960s⚠️

West Whiteland has a property maintenance ordinance now and I don’t know what the old guys who are the owners of this place still according to county property records are thinking, or what the magic pot of gold is they think they’re going to receive, but they are leading a valuable historic resource rot and I think that’s criminal.

So basically, this is a federally listed historic asset, and has been for decades. These two dudes who have owned this property for quite a while, think they’re sitting on a pot of gold. And I know that there are people who have tried to buy this property to save this house, who ended up walking away from deals for whatever reason.

I believe this house can be saved, but I am afraid if it is not saved now somebody will bulldoze it someday, and all that will be left will be photos from over the decades.

Save the Joseph Price House. #thisplacematters

mall news that could affect exton square mall and west whiteland ?

Yesterday a friend of mine posted a brief video on social media of the ghost town that the Exton Square Mall has become. So I took a couple of screenshots for this post.

It’s creepy empty at this point. It used to be a thriving mall. Sometimes I have wondered if this mall ghost town has been created by shifting retail trends or by mall owner design?

I ask if by design because there have been plans floating around West Whiteland for a while about developing a lot of the mall into apartments which makes perfect sense to developers because what else can you shove into communities around here besides crappy all look the same Lego looking apartments or cheek to jowl lemming like townhouse developments, right? Especially in West Whiteland, right? [CLICK HERE TO GO TO WEST WHITELAND’S WEBSITE]

Anyway some recent news will just make you wonder even more what is up. First there was the interesting blog article on More Than The Curve about Plymouth Township according to PREIT who owns that and Exton Square Mall, “ghosting” the mall owners. Apparently Plymouth Township isn’t interested in their mall dream of apartment Valhalla? (And yes kinda like the mall dream Valhalla proposed for Exton Square Mall.)

That definitely made me think. I mean if heavily developed Plymouth Township doesn’t seem so interested in this why should West Whiteland Township be a Guinea Pig here?

But Vista Today pointed out yesterday some even more troubling and interesting news concerning mall owners PREIT. (PREIT a stands for Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, incidentally.) Vista pointed out a potential board shake up worthy of Succession (HBO MAX series). 7 board members tendered resignations:

Among the resigners were Chairman and CEO Joseph Coradino, Temple University Interim President JoAnne Epps, George Alburger, Michael DeMarco, Mark Pasquerilla, Charles Pizzi, and John Roberts. Each received more withheld votes than votes for as they were up for reelection. PREIT’s proxy statement requires that board members who get more withheld votes than votes for must tender their resignations.

Also covered by More Than The Curve:

Sooooo….is this God opening a window to let some reality in (you know God closes a door, opens a window of it all?) Maybe West Whiteland can just pause the thought of any redevelopment there at Exton Square Mall until they get their sheit together at PREIT? Oh and did you know Vanguard Group has their paws in PREIT? Read that in an Inquirer article.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Majority of PREIT board offers resignations after shareholder vote

The latest sign of trouble at the huge Philadelphia-area mall owner could be a sign of a sale to come.

by Jake Blumgart and Joseph N. DiStefano

Published June 8, 2023

In a major shake-up for the Philadelphia area’s largest shopping-mall owner, seven Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) directors, including CEO Joseph F. Coradino, offered to resign from the board after a majority of shareholders refused to support them in recent elections.

Although PREIT’s malls are mostly occupied and sales are strong,  the company owes creditors almost $1 billion. Debt service costs have strained its financial performance, and its share price has fallen below $1. Last December it was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

The shake-up occurred when PREIT held its annual shareholder meeting on June 1, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing released Wednesday.

Shareholders include large-money managers led by Vanguard and BlackRock, activists who have been pressing PREIT to improve results, and individual investors. They collectively withheld around one million votes from each of the sitting directors, leaving fewer than 600,000 cast for most of them. Coradino did slightly better than his board colleagues, but still failed to win a majority.

According to the company’s corporate governance guidelines, those who did not win a majority of votes must offer to resign. Shareholders also rejected the board’s compensation proposal for Coradino and other top executives, by a ratio of 3-1.

Within 90 days of the certification of the board meeting’s results, board leaders will have to decide whether to accept the resignations. According to the SEC documents, the directors ran unopposed but still couldn’t win majorities from those voting.

Now a ghost town mall sitting there is not so fabulous but West Whiteland and municipalities with PREIT properties that are floundering maybe shouldn’t have to entertain their grand plans for redevelopment while this corporate fallout is swirling around? I mean why approve yet more apartment and lemming friendly development if you don’t even know in what form at this point this company will shake out at?

Seems like the proverbial hot mess to me, doesn’t it?

If you ever wondered if giving municipalities in Pennsylvania the ability to have a temporary moratorium on development was a good idea, this is a great example where it would be a great idea. Hit the pause button already. I mean in 2022 it was announced that Exton Square Mall was being sold to a developer yet that didn’t seem to actually happen?

—The owner of Exton Square Mall in West Whiteland has entered into an agreement to sell the property.

The announcement was made during a 20-minute earnings call Tuesday, March 15, as the mall’s owner PREIT (Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust) discussed 2021 year-end and first quarter 2022 results.

PREIT Chairman and CEO Joseph Coradino said the company had executed an agreement of sale late Monday to sell the mall to a developer.

No specifics were provided, in terms of sale price or who the buyer is.

“As we have said previously, this property is better suited as mixed-use,” Coradino said on the call. “This sale will allow the builder to fulfill that destiny.”

Exton Square Mall has just over 1 million square feet of space, is 52% occupied and has sales of $283 per square foot, according to information on the PREIT website.

~ POTTSTOWN MERCURY March 16, 2022

….And then that deal fell through didn’t it?

PREIT is still searching for a buyer for Exton Square Mall to shore up cash as a pivotal loan deadline inches closer, writes Paul Schwedelson for the Philadelphia Business Journal

Recently, PREIT added Plymouth Meeting Mall to the malls it is attempting to sell. 

Last spring, Brandywine Realty Trust was set to buy Exton Square Mall for $28.8 million, but that deal fell through.

~ VISTA TODAY May 8, 2023

Philadelphia Inquirer: Facing almost $1 billion in debt, Philly mall owner PREIT emphasizes strong sales and high occupancy

Pennsylvania largest mall operator faces severe headwinds and says it’s exploring all possibilities for the future.

by Jake Blumgart
Updated on Jun 4, 2023, 5:00 a.m. ET

It isn’t the best time to be the largest mall owner in Pennsylvania, especially with a debt load of almost $1 billion coming due at the end of 2023.

That’s why the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) has spent the last few years shedding weaker properties and adding medical, residential, and experiential entertainment in locations where retail sales have softened.

“We’ve got a quality portfolio,” Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT, saidin a recent interview. “At the end of the day, it’s as good as the assets you own. That’s an important point because when one thinks about investing in a [Real Estate Investment Trust] you get caught up in extraneous details.”

In recent years, PREIT has faced the devil’s own details.

A major bet on the Fashion District, a high-end renovation of Center City’s Gallery mall in collaboration with Macerich, soured rapidly after the pandemic struck mere months after it opened. It is currently 79% occupied, the second weakest performer in PREIT’s portfolio after the half-vacant Exton Square Mall — which the company is struggling to sell….PREIT’s share price, meanwhile, fell dramatically from over $166 five years ago to $2.60 last December when it was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. As of late May, the price had fallen further still to a mere 55 cents….On the company’s first-quarter earnings call, CFO Mario C. Ventresca named the Exton and Plymouth Meeting malls as examples of sites the company would still like to sell. The Philadelphia Business Journal reported in early May that a sale of Exton Square Mall to Brandywine Realty Trust had fallen through….”With Exton, we’ve kind of decided that the best group to develop it is us,” he said. “We’ve identified several tenants that we’re working with.”

At Plymouth Meeting — which has among the lowest occupancies of the core malls at 85.4% — Coradino said PREIT’s efforts to diversify into residential development have been stymied by local politics. The company wants to add 750 housing units to the site.

“Plymouth is the one where we’re banging our head against the wall,” Coradino said. “Plymouth has just been a bear. The township’s been unresponsive. What do the kids say? ‘We’ve been ghosted.’ ” …Last year, PREIT said it had plans for 5,200 apartment units across six sites to add a new revenue stream to bolster malls where sales were down. So far, less than half of those have been permitted with a majority of the momentum in Fairfax County, Va., and Prince George’s County, Md.

Ummm Coradino says they’ve been “ghosted” by one township (Plymouth) where they have a failing mall yet magically they are the “best” group to redevelop another failing mall in another township (West Whiteland)? Ok yeah that’s some Kool Aid he’s drinking, huh?

West Whiteland get legally creative and put these people on a shelf until they figure their stuff out. I mean talk about the handwriting on the wall, right? From a practical standpoint you can’t really trust them to do anything right now can you? I mean what if they started something and you all were left with a giant hole in the ground or Tyvec waving in the breeze off of some unfinished something or other?

Pause pause pause! Warning warning danger ⚠️ Will Robinson! Proceed with caution ⛔️!

this is why municipalities need ordinances that correct wrongs

219 Namar Avenue, Exton, PA

Namar Avenue in Exton/West Whiteland is one of those little neighborhoods of post-war (as in World War II) housing and earlier. There was a housing boom in Chester County before and following World War II which is how places like General Warren Village in East Whiteland came to be for example, and parts of Northeast Philadelphia too. This house is in Whiteland Crest I believe the name of this little area in Exton. And that area started coming into existence I think in the 1930s and most building was done up to the 1950s at some point.

Sadly this cute area is home to a rather derelict house.

Can you imagine living with this derelict house next door to you? It was sold most recently in 2021. It is the first photo in this post and the two just above.

But if you just Google the address, that house has had a lot going on for years:

I think there is probably a rather sad story here PRIOR to 2021 but the new owners have continued to let it rot since 2021, so what gives?

My point of this post is not all negative. My point actually is there is hope for dealing with properties like this at least in West Whiteland since is West Whiteland is a municipality that approved a property maintenance ordinance in March. Now if that ordinance had been in effect before the property changed hands in 2021, the township would have perhaps been able to help the homeowner find a non-profit group to help them clean up. But since this property changed hands in the fall of 2021 it has continued to dangerously deteriorate, so now this code will also be of help to the neighbors who deserve better than this.

I remember when I first moved to Chester County, in East Whiteland there was a derelict house on Morstein Road. The police had to babysit it because kids kept going in etc. Eventually the family sold it for a two lot subdivision. But if there had been more of a maintenance ordinance then in that township, maybe it would have been different? I also think this West Whiteland ordinance will also address people building structures without permits that require permits. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Along with ordinance like this there should be rental ordinances. Not just life and safety and inspections required when a property changes hands. The developers have introduced so many apartment complexes and developments that are loaded with rentals that it is desperately needed.

And student rental ordinances. East Whiteland is home to Immaculata, as an example. And there is no rental ordinance or student rental ordinance is there?

What made me think about those kinds of ordinances again in particular were comments on NextDoor about Frazer Crossing Apartments which used to be known as William Henry. But I thought about rental ordinances when the whole human trafficking thing happened in East Whiteland. It just made me wonder if there were rental inspection ordinances, would there have been rentals with human trafficking going on? Or would that bad row of houses just past the Wawa at 30 and Planebrook Road exist if there were actual rental ordinances in place?

It’s a shame that we no longer live in a world where people will do the right things, but if people don’t know what the rules are will they do the right thing today? My thoughts on ordinances like this are nothing new. I wrote about the need for rental property ordinances in April.

I see West Whiteland as taking proactive steps in ordinances surrounding property maintenance and rental properties. It’s a good thing, it will create a level and safe playing field. Here’s hoping some of her neighbors follow suit.

Thanks for stopping by.

we did it! church farm boys are going to prom (in style)

So, if you all remember recently, I wrote a post about Church Farm School. And getting the boys to prom. I also remarked that there are tons of places to help girls get ready and go to prom but not boys.

So I am thrilled that the community at large came together for these boys from Church Farm School and yesterday I heard from Jenn Frederick from Fox29 that she had some good news. This is after I had heard from friends and churches that they were helping these boys as well.

Then this morning came two teases in the FOX 29 Good Day Philadelphia newscast before the big reveal!


Then came Jenn Frederick’s big reveal and I was reduced to tears of happiness for these boys:

This is amazing! I can’t tell you how happy I am! This is the school that I happen to be in ordinately fond of, and I attend events there once in a while. It’s a beautiful school, and as a matter of fact, their greenhouse program years ago was started by none other that Edith Lockwood, one of the two Lockwood sisters of Loch Aerie in Frazer.

When I first posted this some asked why a “ritzy” private school needed help to go to prom. And then I realized that so many people right here in Chester County. Have no idea about the mission of Church Farm School. That these are boys here being given a chance at a future and college. These are kids on scholarship who worked hard for this opportunity. There is no silver spoon in any of their mouths, what they do is merit based. And these are amazing kids.

This is a Church founded in the light of the Episcopalian church and their principles a century ago.

The Church Farm School was founded by the Reverend Dr. Charles W. Shreiner in 1918. Dr. Shreiner had long envisioned a school where boys could develop their minds and bodies and grow to productive, meaningful adulthood.

Originally home to 15 boys, the school was focused on instilling its students with character according to three clear tenets: the value of religion, the value of hard work and the value of education. Students were given room and board in exchange for their continued efforts to pursue personal, physical and academic growth. And, just as it still does today, the school opened its doors to the families of boys who may not have otherwise been able to financially afford such a valuable opportunity.

Today, Church Farm School is a boarding/day college preparatory school for boys of all backgrounds in grades 9-12. It offers a positive, structured home life, an outstanding private school education, a competitive athletic program and recreational opportunities. In addition, thanks to the generosity and continued support of our donors, alumni and other organizations, Church Farm School offers a liberal scholarship to every student. Over the course of its history, the school has provided generations of young men with the skills necessary to be successful in all aspects of life.

Although the school has necessarily evolved and changed to keep pace with the world around it, what remains unchanged is its steadfast allegiance to its founding principles. All students at Church Farm School are required to attend weekly chapel services and to participate in their choice of numerous diverse community service programs. For more than 100 years, CFS has provided a safe, structured environment, extremely competitive academic and athletic programs and a commitment to individual personal growth for hundreds of young men from across the nation and around the world.

~ History of Church Farm School from their website

And these boys had never gone to prom. Every kid should have the opportunity to go to prom. some kids choose not to, but others want the experience. And because of my fondness for this school when my friend who works there, put it out into the universe that she had this crazy idea of wanting these boys to go to a prom at their sister school, Linden Hall in Lancaster, I decided to write about it and share this message.

There has been an outpouring of support, including from one of my other favorite places, St. David’s Church in Wayne, Who lives their Episcopalian mission every day giving back within the community.

This all makes my heart happy. We live in a world that is very ugly some days, and to find the goodness in humankind once in a while is just so nice. Fox 29 devoted a total of close to 8 1/2 minutes of airtime to Church Farm School today, and they helped get the boys the rest of the way there to go to their prom. But they also focused on the core values of the school and the fabulous colleges that these boys are getting into and getting financial aid and assistance so they can go. This was an incredible gift to the school on the part of Fox 29 and their morning program. [CLICK HERE FOR STORY ON FOX29]

So enjoy the sunshine and if you are interested in helping Church Farm School check out their website.