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Phoenixville, PA

The Phoenixville Foundry is a late 19th Century structure located in downtown Phoenixville. Urban Partners, with Kise Franks & Straw Architects, was retained by the Phoenixville Area Economic Development Corporation (PAEDCO) to examine potential rehabilitation schemes for the highly visible and historic building. We conducted a market review to assess potential interest in the Foundry facility.

Due to the restoration costs inherent in the site’s rehabilitation, it was assumed that the scheduling of work would be contingent on the receipt of development grants and other subsidies. This made it imperative that we consider the long-term market opportunities for the site rather than attempting to identify any specific shortterm
users. Our market analysis identified several potential uses for the Foundry property that would be complementary to the proposed visitors center use, including theme restaurants, select freestanding retail, an event/conference center, headquarters for the Phoenixville YMCA and site for its day care operations, a satellite facility for a local college, professional office space and a relocated Borough Hall. Together, this range of potential uses produced a variety
of development programs for the building, which were examined by KSK. The simplest alternatives included various combinations of retail stores and professional offices, perhaps including a theme restaurant and/or a bank. More elaborate development programs created a facility of up to 25,000 SF by constructing second and possibly third floors.

Based on our assessment, PAEDCO has entered into an agreement of sale and obtained a $375,000 Communities of Opportunities grant from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development to help finance rehabilitation costs. The building’s exterior was stabilized and construction of the visitor center facility began in October 2002. The project has since received $1.8 million in private funds and $2.1 million in state and federal aid and has been fully
rehabilitated as a heritage area visitor’s center and a very successful wedding and corporate event facility.

Client: Phoenixville Area Economic Development Corporation
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