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Proposed Chester Supermarket Still in Plans

Published: Saturday, October 17, 2009
The Delaware County Daily Times

CHESTER — The Chester supermarket project is still on the table despite being pushed to the back-burner during the protracted state budget negotiations, according to officials.

Bob Rosenberg, president of the Rosenberg Housing Group and court-appointed judicial administrator for the Chester Housing Authority, has been working to seal a supermarket deal with a local development group.

He has said the agreement hinges on a meeting between the developers, state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, of Chester and state Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, to finalize state funds slated for the project.

That meeting was delayed several times during the budget impasse, but Kirkland said he is pushing to sit down with all the parties before the end of the month.

Erick Arneson, spokesman for Pileggi, said there are still loose ends to wrap up before the project can be addressed.

“Sen. Pileggi has indicated that once the state budget is fully complete (we still need to address gaming reforms, table games, and funding for the state-related universities), he will meet with the housing authority and the developer about this project,” Arneson said in an e-mail.

Rosenberg said it was important that all involved sit down and see whether funding from Harrisburg, which was promised before widespread budget cuts, is still available.

“In the overall scheme of things, we’re not talking about a lot of money to create this number of jobs,” he said.

The city has been without a supermarket since 2001, and Chester Housing Authority officials had hoped to wrap up negotiations with Brandywine Real Estate Management Services Corp, a Chadds Ford-based developer, by a June 30 deadline.

The developer was to purchase a CHA-owned lot at 15th Street and Highland Avenue, where it intended to build a full-service, union shopping mart.

Rosenberg said in late July that the developers had agreed to make one more “last-ditch” attempt to get the funding in place for the project before giving up.

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