KENNETT SQUARE — Borough Council voted unanimously to purchase from Genesis its property on Broad Street for a new municipal building and police station for $8.2 million.
The parcel is home to three historic buildings on seven acres.
The vote took place during a special meeting on Tuesday.
Genesis has 30 days to respond to the offer for an agreement for sale.
If approved, Kennett Square also plans to lease some of the space to other government agencies.
Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick said a special commendation.
“Genesis is just consolidating all of its employees into their two main facilities in the center of town,” Fetick said on Thursday. “It is very important to us that Genesis keep their headquarters located in Kennett Square.”
The mayor said since the pandemic, many of the company’s employees are now working from home, hence the desire for property consolidation in town.
Fetick noted that the sale is pending “and we hope to have a ratified contract here in the next couple of days.”
The mayor of the popular town, known as the Mushroom Capital of the World and home to just a bit more than 6,000 residents, said if the sale is closed within the next 60 to 90 days on the purchase, the Borough Council will be working with staff on relocating to the new space.
Additionally, plans for relocation and renovation
“We do not have any concept plans completed yet,” Fetick said. A reason study conducted 18 months ago found that the borough has a need for 20,000 square feet to house municipal operations.
The space on the property has 37,000 square feet, leaving an additional space of 17,000 for other occupants.
“I expect some kind of Task Force will be formed to determine how to use the additional space,” the mayor said.
“We felt that this large parcel was better off in the hands of the borough,” Fetick said, “where we could use it for borough space. And then, who knows what the rest of the space may be, noting there is also ample space for parking at the location.
“There are absolutely no commitments on how the space is going to be used,” Fetick said,
The mayor continued, “We would never be able to replicate this again for the borough residents to own such a beautiful facility” in the heart of town, located between the bustling street of State, along Union (Route 82) and near the historic Kennett High School.
“We’re going to be looking for ideas and options,” Fetick said. “It also supports the development of Birch Street.”
The mayor added, “There are a lot of reasons why this is a good acquisition for the borough. “It is a big step for the borough to have a facility like this.”
“It is going to be a wonderful asset for the community and for the borough to own,” said Kennett Square Borough Council President Brenda Mercomes. She said having the police and borough offices together would be wonderful. People could go to one place for all borough services.
Mercomes also foresees that there is an opportunity for community events at the location, she said, in addition to building up the business community in that part of town.
Mercomes relocated to Kennett Square nearly seven years ago to live close to family. Of the borough, the council president said she had never experienced a place where the businesses are key to the growth of the town.
She said the industry here is “family, home grown” in reference to the ecosystem between the mushroom industry, the equestrian land and farmlands and the local businesses.
Mercomes, who has two degrees in English, said, “I just marvel at what the town has been able to do.”
She said some residents legitimately don’t want Kennett Square to get any bigger, but concurred that getting better is something everyone values.
If the sale with Genesis goes through, Mercomes said it is fair that the site will become a new community hub. “There are so many ways to encourage the people to come there,” she said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity.”
Mercomes added that “I think it will just be a wonderful place for people to work and for people to come.”
Due to the Independence Day holiday weekend, Genesis was unavailable for comment as of press time.