Changes are coming to downtown Downingtown and the borough's landscape will soon get a modern makeover. The Brandywine Paper Mill, located along Lancaster Avenue in downtown Downingtown is the site for the revitalization project of the borough.The Planning Commission met with engineers and developers to move a plan forward that would rejuvenate the borough.
Victor Kelly, president of Commonwealth Engineers, Inc. and Kevin Silverang, principal of Sliverang Hallowell Development Company, submitted land development plans for the Brandywine Paper Mill Office to the Planning Commission and are working with the borough to begin work on the project as soon as possible.
"The building is going to have a sleek design, complete with red brick, stone front faces and lots of glass detail," said Kelly.
The first element of the project is building a restaurant. The eating establishment is going to be a country streak house. The restaurant features an open barbeque pit where guests can watch their food being prepared. Guests also have the option to dine al fresco, while taking in the views of the Brandywine from the restaurant's outdoor deck. The restaurant will be equipped for parties and offer borough residents a fine dining experience without hurting their wallets according to Silverang.
"The menu is reasonably priced and guests can enjoy a good piece of steak while experiencing a fine dining atmosphere," explained Silverang.
The project would also consist of constructing a four-story condominium building. The building would consist of 60 units, which range from 900 sq. ft. to 1150 sq ft. According to Silverang, they wanted to keep the size of the condominiums relatively small to keep costs down for buyers. The price of a condominiums ranges between $275-$325,000.
The engineers and developers want to construct the project in three phases. The first phases is getting the restaurant and parking configuration up and operational by mid-summer. The second phase consists of constructing an office building and the third is building condominiums. According to Silverang the entire project should be completed in 18 months.
Committee members and borough council expressed concerns about the preservation of the smoke stack which is located on the land developers want to build. The Downingtown Paper Mill is the oldest paper mill in Downing-town. To borough residents like Phyllis Kryven, the smoke stack has sentimental value to the community.
"I'm extremely excited about this project moving forward. However, I think it is critical to preserve the smoke stack because it tells a story about what the borough of Downingtown is all about."
According to Kelly, the developers are trying to do everything in their power to preserve the smoke stack. "The only reason to demolish the stack is if it infringed on the circulation of traffic," said Kelly. "We want to revitalize Downingtown with a thriving restaurant, office building and condominiums. Downtown Downingtown can be a place where people live, work and play," stated Silverang.