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Get your shops into a walkable town center | Better! Cities & Towns Online

If your town’s vision is already looking for walkability, mixed-use, transit-oriented development, main streets, sustainability… it is your duty to implement that vision by directing your retail to a walkable, mixed-use place, and supporting it by not diluting the market by also putting those shops down the street in the mega-center too.

via Get your shops into a walkable town center | Better! Cities & Towns Online.

Mixed-Use Town Center Land-Use Map

Mixed-Use Town Center Land-Use Map

In this blog post Geoff Dyer of Better Towns and Cities makes the case for directing smaller shops & restaurants to Town Center locations rather than big-box regional retail centers.

The retail component of a mixed-use town center is the most visible component, often defining the character and pedigree of a place.  Dyer asserts that there is a better balance of stakeholder benefits when retail is located in a mixed-use town center:

  • Municipalities – reinforce existing infrastructure
  • Developers – create an enduring asset/rent premiums
  • Neighbors – convenient amenities and vibrant public space

While Big-box and larger format retailers have their benefits and are convenient in their own way, when smaller shops and restaurants are needlessly sucked out of the historic town centers and into sprawling auto-oriented regional centers, everybody loses.

100 Park at Wyomissing Square

100 North Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

100 Park at Wyomissing Square is a 248-unit luxury apartment building owned and operated Bozzuto Management Comapany.  The new housing option offers one-, two-, and three-bedoom apartment homes and stacked town homes in a hotel-style building.  With chef caliber kitchens, over-sized tubs, and expansive windows 100 Park provides luxury in an urban chic environment.

100 Park at Wyomissing Square - 248 Luxury Rental Apartments

100 Park at Wyomissing Square – 248 Luxury Rental Apartments

Community amenities include a clubhouse, state-of-the-art fitness center, an e-lounge, a pub style billiards room, and a swimming pool with sun deck.  Free WiFi is available on the pool deck and other common areas.  In addition (more…)

Wyomissing Square Mixed-Use Center

North Park Road & Hill Avenue – Wyomissing, Berks County, PA 19610 

Wyomissing Square is an award-winning $80 million mixed-use brownfield redevelopment project in the heart of Wyomissing Borough–an affluent suburb of Reading, PA.  This adaptive reuse project has transformed a formerly underutilized 13-acre brownfield infill site into a thriving mixed-use community with apartments, retail, office space, and a hotel:

Wyomissing Square Photo Collage

Assorted Photos of the various components of Wyomissing Square Mixed-Use Center

Wyomissing Square Mixed-Use Center Aerial

Aerial photo of the Wyomissing Square Mixed-Use Center

Wyomissing Square Mixed-Use Center was designed to be a 24-hour Live-Work-Stay-Play community. Its high density, compact urban style building form has allowed us to accommodate a variety of uses on this small infill site. This once vacant brownfield has now become pulse node of activity that has enhanced an already vibrant community with a mixed-use center that offers the kind of walkable urban lifestyle that has become increasingly popular among today’s renters & workers both you young and old.  Wyomissing Square boasts a WalkScore of 80 indicating that the neighborhood is “very walkable and most errands can be carried out on foot” – a rarity in the suburbs. (click here to view interactive walkscore flyer)

PROJECT STAKEHOLDERS

John Connors of Brickstone Realty – a commercial real estate company based in Center City Philadelphia—created the template for this master planned community and recruited the “best in class” development partners to execute each component of the plan.

  • JMH Management—is the original entity that brought an unmatched location to the table and provided the project with instant credibility with the existing three-time Best of Berks restaurant veteran Viva Euro Fusion Bistro anchoring The Promenade
  • The Bozzuto Group—developed and manages  the residential component bringing first-rate luxury living development, construction and management to the project which will be integral in attracting a fresh, thriving, professional, mixed use environment.
  • Rock Creek Hospitality—is the owner/developer of the Courtyard by Marriott Reading-Wyomissing, the first Marriott Hotel in Berks County, PA
  • Promenade Square, LLC—an affiliate of Brickstone Realty is the owning/managing entity of The Promenade and has is currently crafting the ideal retail mix for this 33,000 SF specialty retail component alone along Hill Ave

SMART GROWTH DEVELOPMENT

The project has been recognized as a textbook model of “smart growth” development by the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance and has received $2.5 million in grants from the State of Pennsylvania for its contribution to the economic development and urban revitalization of the community. (Click for DVSGA award page) The development replaced an abandoned industrial building and has been a significant component in the transformation of the neighborhood from its industrial roots into a banking, services, and medical base economy.

DelawareValleySmartGrowthAward - WyomissingSquare

Wyomissing Square is on the cutting edge of the next wave of real estate investment and development that will largely be directed towards creating or recreating “walkable urban places” (Read article by LOCUS President Christopher Leinberger)  The recession has shown us that the post WWII development model of low-density auto-centric suburban sprawl is unsustainable. Cities and towns have recognized this face and many are actively working to direct growth back towards the center by offering incentives to encourage the development of urban infill projects that can make use of existing infrastructure and add to the vitality of traditional town centers.

LOCATION

Wyomissing Square is located at the intersection of Penn Ave & Park Rd in the Borough of Wyomissing, PA – an affluent residential enclave in Berks County with average household income of $115,000.

Click the picture above for more information the Wyomissing Square MXD

Click the picture above for more information the Wyomissing Square MXD

VF Outlet Village

It is located right heart of the Wyomissing Borough’s historic core on an urban infill site that was once a part of the Berkshire Knitting Mills. Just across the street is the 450,000 SF, 70-store VF Outlet Village one of Greater Reading’s major tourist destinations.

VF Outlet Village Aerial

450,000 SF VF Outlet Village in Wyomissing, PA

Penn Corridor

It serves as the Western anchor of the Penn Corridor—the 2-mile stretch of Penn Avenue that has become Greater Readings Hub for arts, dining, shopping, & culture.  It is a short walk away from the one-of-a-kind boutiques, bistros, and galleries that line Penn Avenue in Downtown West Reading.

Penn Corridor District Map

Map showing the chain five distinct districts that make up the Penn Corridor

Reading Hospital

Reading Hospital & Medical Center is located on a 22-building, 36-acre site less than half a mile down Park Rd on the other side of Penn Ave. With more than 6,900 employees including some 600+ staff physicians, it is Berks County’s largest employer. 

Reading Hospital & Medical Center Aerial

Reading Hospital – Berks County’s largest employer – just 0.5 miles down the road

PROJECT OVERVIEW

The Wyomissing Square Mixed-Use Center has been a tremendously successful endeavor thus far.  The 100 Park apartments are over 95% leased and have its residents have an average annual income of some $92,000. The Courtyard Hotel has a 70% nightly occupancy rate and has become a favorite of the local business community, who often use it to conduct meetings and events.  Viva bistro & Tapas Lounge continues its streak of Best of Berks honors and consistently draws more than 3,500 patrons through its doors every week. The Berkshire Professional Center office building is nearly fully occupied with administrative offices for the Reading Hospital & Medical Center.

The final component of the project is the 33,000 SF specialty retail center that will be known as The Promenade.  We are hard at work crafting an ideal tenant mix that will compliment the projects other components as well as the surrounding neighborhood.  We are currently in the pre-leasing phase and expect construction to begin early this summer with a grand opening by Fall 2013.

Click the flyer for more information about leasing retail space at the The Promenade

Click the flyer for more information about leasing retail space at the The Promenade