The Proposals – An Analysis

We read over the two proposals this afternoon and below we have outlined the major differences.  They are:

  • Keystone Property Group wants to build a 200 room hotel and conference center in the grass area at the corner of West Elm and Fayette. Brandywine Realty Trust proposes a 226,920 square foot office building in that space.
  • The RFP requires the developer to provide office space for the Borough and a police station at the Verizon Building location.  Keystone proposes to use the existing steel of the Verizon Building to reconstruct a new building.  Brandywine proposes to knock down the Verizon Building and building a new structure for the Borough’s offices and the police station.
  • Both proposals include a public square/park type space.  Keystone does it adjacent to the hotel/old fire house. Brandywine does it at the Verizon Building location.
  • While Brandywine’s main component is an office tower, not related to the RFP, Keystone proposes to knock down its current office tower on West 1st Avenue and build a bigger one.
  • Keystone’s proposal provides street level retail shops and eateries.  Brandywine’s has no retail component.
  • Both proposals place a restaurant in the old fire house.
  • Included, but not in response to the actual RFP, Keystone proposes to tear down the existing parking deck on West 1st Avenue and build an eight story parking deck.  Brandywine includes 400 parking spaces within its proposed office tower and adds 200 additional spots at 101 West Elm, which it also owns.

Without knowing any of the financial terms proposed because they were redacted, the decision is basically one between a hotel and an office tower.  Here are some things we believe should be considered:

  • Putting a restaurant in the old fire house is not a new idea.  It goes back to the initial wave of development in the late 1980’s.  Since then Conshy has developed a very robust restaurant scene.  We do not need another restaurant, at least not at this point.  So how about a live music and/or playhouse in that space on the upper floors?  Lets add another reason to come to Conshy and not have more of the same.
  • In the old fire truck bays at that location, how about a farmers type market that spills into the square?
  • This is specific to the proposal from Keystone, the street level Fayette Street side of the Verizon Building should be retail space.  This will add to the desirability to walk along Fayette and provide much needed retail space as you move into the higher avenues.

What does Conshy think?  Please note our whole commenting functionality has changed, so comment below!