Kennett Region Economic Development Study

CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO THE STUDYscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-1-24-26-pm

BACKGROUND:  In the spring of 2015 Historic Kennett Square, under the advisement of its Economic Development Committee, applied for and was awarded a Vision Partnership Program grant from the Chester County Planning Commission.  This grant from the County, along with funding from project partners Kennett Township, the Borough of Kennett Square, Longwood Gardens and GenesisHealth Care allowed for an RFP process to begin with the goal of hiring a consulting team to conduct a Kennett Region Economic Development Study for seven focus areas in Kennett Township and the Borough of Kennett Square. In the fall of 2015 Todd Poole from 4ward Planning and Mark Keener from the RBA were hired to create the plan.  Read more about this process and the 7 focus areas in press release from July 2015.


Todd Poole 4Ward Planning Collage

Todd Poole is president, founder and managing principal of 4ward Planning Inc., with more than 22 years of economic development experience, both as a private sector consultant and a public sector practitioner.

Specifically, Todd has extensive experience in the following economic and real estate land- use planning areas: comprehensive and master planning, transit-oriented development, economic and fiscal impact analysis, regional transportation planning, redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization, park and trail revenue analysis, adaptive reuse, and development advisory services.

Todd holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Economics from Rutgers University and a Masters in Public Administration, also from Rutgers. He is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) by the National Development Council. Todd is also member of the American Planning Association and past member of Urban Land Institute.

Mark Keener RBA collageMark Keener, AIA/AICP/NJPP, Director of Urban Design brings a strong commitment to public participation in planning and well-honed graphic design instincts, both of which are central to the ongoing success of many of the communities the firm has worked with and to the firm’s numerous awards. His work has consistently led to successful preservation and development strategies that reconcile the goals of private entities and the concerns of public agencies. Mark received both a B.S. and M.Arch from the Univ. of Virginia.

The scope of work for the strategy and plan includes 3 public meeting.  The first public meeting took place on  Thursday, February 11th from 6:30 to 8pm in the garden level of the Genesis HealthCare Building (101 East State Street).  At this first public meeting Todd and Mark will be introduced the overall project concept, the team and their charge forward.  CLICK HERE TO SEE A PDF VERSION OF THEIR PRESENTATION (please note, this is a large file and may take a little while to download). Read more about the public meeting in this press release.

In preparation for the Community Input Workshop on Thursday, April 7th the consultants created a survey those who live and/or work in the Borough or Kennett Township. Click here for more information about the survey including the survey link. The survey closed at the end of March with well over 500 survey takers.

The Community Input Workshop was both well attended and well received.  Thank you to all those who participated, including Paul Redman, Executive Director of Longwood Gardens who gave an informative introduction to the evening’s exercises.  Click here to see a photo album from the evening. Mark KeenerJonasStand and workingtable materials

To view visuals that were created for the Community Input Workshop click this link.


The final public meeting will take place on Thursday, September 8th at 6:30pm in the American Legion Building.  All are welcome to attend this final presentation of the findings and economic development strategy. 3rd Economic Development Flyer

As mentioned earlier, this processes is funded in large part from a Vision Partnership Program grant from the Chester County Planning Commission.  The CCPC along with the Chester County Community Development Center and the Chester County Economic Development Council have been hosting a series of Urban Centers Forums. Historic Kennett Square and consultants Todd Poole and Mark Keener have been a big part of the two Urban Center Forums.  Click links below to see slides from the presentations.

Fall 2015 Urban Centers Forum: Building and Implementing an Economic Development Strategy in Your Town
Please click here to see the Urban Center Forum presentation

Spring 2016 Urban Centers Workshop: Redevelopment of Underutilized Properties
Please click here to see the Urban Centers Workshop presentation.



Chadd Ford Live recap of the Community Input Workshop on April 7th- Ideas, Energy abound at Kennett Workshop

Chadds Ford Live recap of Annual Meeting –Kennett Area Aiming to Capitalize on Trends 

Southern Chester County Weeklies recap of Annual Meeting – Report indicates Kennett area well poised for economic development 

VISTA.TODAY Coverage of Kennett Square and related economic development Town By Town: Not Just Mushrooms by Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Columnist. @alheavens