Page 5

Letter

from the

Editor

Dan Mathers shares some personal insight into this month’s theme

There’s nothing more likely to upset a public hearing than a question pertaining to development. As gun and reproductive rights are to federal elections, new construction permits are to West Chester borough council meetings. You’re either with us, or you’re against us. So, it should be no surprise that we’ve avoided this particular topic for quite some time now. However, considering the myriad projects coming to town in 2019, we just couldn’t hold off any longer. It was time to discuss how this town is changing. At a G-20 meeting back in 2013, then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon dropped a quote that I think sums up our intentions with this issue: “Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.” I think that every aspect he touches on is exemplified by a story in this issue... We talk to a local real estate developer who also happens to run a successful retail business. Dr Leonard Giunta comes from a family of West Chester business people, and he talks about the importance of this town offering everything residents need, so they can spend their money here and help build the community. Scott Zukin answered our questions about the downtown hotel he hopes to get approved this month, but he also spoke extensively about how the entire town has benefited from better buildings, ones that still remember our roots. The story even touches on instances in which Zukin Realty has helped struggling clients get back on their feet again. We also linked up with Chester County Hospital who have a massive, 250,000sqft expansion project underway. Not only do they hope to be able to better serve the community’s medical needs with this facility, but they’re also thinking about the planet. The new design is incorporating green spaces, including a verdant roof, focusing on connecting the building to its surroundings. Finally, to put all this expansion in historical context, Malcolm Johnstone tells the tale of West Chester’s development. Turns out, this town was literally born for better governance when the state assembly voted to move the county seat here from Chester. I’ve never used this space to promote a political issue; as a whole, The WC Press will never choose a side or push an agenda. Still, I’ll undoubtedly receive exasperating emails about our chosen theme this month, so I’ll say in advance that if it seems like we’re “pro development,” well, that’s just because this is the development issue, and — as a rule — we do not write anything negative. There’s enough of that in the media without us adding to it. My point is: we’re not picking sides; it’s just a fact that West Chester is growing. Rather than continue to keep our heads in the sand about it, this month we decided to share exactly what’s going on so your opinion on the subject can be better informed. We hope you’re with us. —dan@thewcpress.com

JANUARY 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM

5

The WC Press Development Issue - January 2019  

Voice of the Borough

The WC Press Development Issue - January 2019  

Voice of the Borough