I don’t know as much about newspapers as people give me credit for. Someone complained about my Melvin Wade story being on top of the fold and I had no clue what they were talking about. I later learned that’s the coveted portion of the front page that represents the top half of the paper.

Yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer had a story entitled ‘Chester rehab revisited’ on the top of their fold. It’s an article about the soccer stadium’s new movement to put some kind of new commercial development on the waterfront and what a great thing that will be for the city.

Their chief business officer says…

“We often hear from our fans that they would like to see more down here next to the stadium.”

He obviously hasn’t heard what us Chester residents have been saying for years.

The city’s Act 47 recovery coordinator, Econsult Solutions, does seem to recognize the bigger picture…

Any development that results in big investment, that is more of a destination-type thing, [will have] benefits that spread to the nearby areas and make them more attractive for further investment. Chester needs increased employment opportunities, business opportunities, and increased tax bases … and not by increasing tax rates but by having more activity out there.

The article tries to throw former mayor John Linder under the bus…

That harmony between city officials and Union leaders marks a stark difference from years ago, when accusations and legal battles plagued the relationship. Linder began pushing for new parking and amusement taxes, Union officials resisted, saying the taxes would put the team “out of business.”

If my memory serves me right, many of the city officials in place now were in place then and they all went along with the plan to suck any money they could out of the soccer folks. No one was talking about developing anything at that time.

Today, however, new leadership exists within Chester and the Union — and both say they are committed to collaboration.

And why wouldn’t the new leadership be committed to collaboration, although most of the same leaders from the past are still in office. It’s easy to collaborate when you have someone to collaborate with who are bringing new development to the city.

Already, a new brewery from Larimer Beer Co. is planned next to the stadium

Yes. A beer brewery is coming to Chester again. What a perfect business to attract the soccer crowd. Watch out Rico’s, they’re coming for your head.

2SP17
These are actual caps that sat on bar taps from the beer made at 2 Chester breweries that were here once upon a time, Silver Dime and Chester Beer.

“The good thing about our location … is that we’re in the prime position for new development,” Chester Mayor Kirkland said. “The rest of the county is filled with new development — there’s no place else to go. There is now the opportunity for Chester.”

Chester is the last frontier for Delaware County development? Well, maybe so since so many other areas of the county are facing community opposition to turning over their open space to developers. Bring it all here. We’ll gladly take it.

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