From the Phoenix Steel Site blog:
Phoenixville Borough Council Borough Council gave unanimous approval to the proposed downtown development in project, which when complete, will bring new retail development to the downtown. The Council approved by a 7-0 vote, with Dana Dugan not in attendance, to approve the development which features 80,000 square feet of retail, 275 apartments and 30,000 square feet of office space.
The two hour meeting had the council members questioning how the development would mesh into the downtown. Concerns were voiced as how the development would impact the fire safety of the borough, the way finding program and the street music program. The development was also praised by developers as a progressive attempt on behalf of the borough to spur development at the abandoned Phoenix Steel site property.
Developer Manny DeMutis and attorney Michael B. Murray presented the plan and praised the boroughs efforts to make the project happen by offering a LERTA tax abatement project. "The LERTA was a big deal when it came to planning the project" he said, "In the days of very competitive financing arrangements the borough took a big step by saying you are open for business by offering the LERTA" he added.
The project calls for a new street to be constructed along the French Creek which will be bound by Ashland and Main Streets, the project will fill the 400 linear foot gap on the north side of Bridge Street between 101 Bridge and the Phoenix Cycle Shop. "This will complete the streetscape on the 100 block of Bridge Street. We are replicating the Iron Hill development which we completed in 2006 with historically sensitive infill development." DeMutis said.
The project will differ from others as the residential component will be rental and the commercial units will be for sale. "We will be offering the retail units for sale to ensure that many of the retailers will be able to purchase the retail space and remain part of the Phoenixville community for years to come", DeMutis stated. "We will be seeking to locate and organic food market with perhaps a direct farm to shelve retail connection by utilizing partnerships with some of the local farmers. We will attempt to fill the gaps that are located in the downtown mix.", he concluded.