Source, The Times Herald, Gary Puleo
UPPER MERION — More than a typical annual report, King of Prussia District’s 2020 Report to the Community carries the meaningful subtitle, A Defining Decade.
The report touches on King of Prussia’s many development in 2019, and also pays tribute to King of Prussia District’s 10th anniversary, while summarizing King of Prussia’s resurgence in the commercial, residential, retail and hospitality industries over the past decade.
Fortunately, the eleventh-hour timing of the coronavirus did not need to play a role on the positive outcome.
“While we know that next year’s report will show the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19, this solid foundation should help us weather the storm and emerge stronger than ever,” noted King of Prussia District executive director Eric Goldstein.
“It was all written and prepared prior to everything going crazy with the current health crisis. So we didn’t think the report was the right place to address that, since it was really a retrospective of the past 10 years,” he said. “There will be plenty of time for people to speculate about the impact of COVID-19. It’s designed to be reflective of the past 10 years, the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2020. The report is a little bit more special in that all of the sections have (features) that go back and look over the progress over 10 years.”
The organization’s grand gala celebrating it’s 10th anniversary originally scheduled for May has been postponed until December.
“What stands out for me in the evolution of King of Prussia are the reduction of office vacancy and the subsequent growth in employment in the township,” Goldstein said. “So in that 10 years employment grew by about 17 percent and commercial office vacancy was cut considerably. The other big thing was the growth of the dining and entertainment scene in King of Prussia. It was pretty explosive, with the number of high quality restaurants that were added. There was the casino opening in 2012 and all the nightlife and entertainment that came with that. Plus, other entertainment things like iFLY and things like that.”
The expansion of retail in King of Prussia during a time when many people were proclaiming the death of brick and mortar shopping was especially significant, Goldstein pointed out.
“King of Prussia added over 700,000 square feet of new retail, and some very high performing retail, like the King of Prussia Town Center, the King of Prussia Mall expansion, and the redevelopment of the Valley Forge Shopping Center. It was a very positive decade for retail growth,” he said.
Housing also claimed a rebirth in the last decade.
“For 20 years prior there was no new housing in the township, and in the past five or six years we added over 3,000 new housing units.,” Goldstein said. “All of the growth in the past 10 years has been in the multi-family segment, with multi-family apartments, multi-family townhouses and condominiums. There hasn’t been a lot of single family construction.”
Most of the construction occurred at the Village at Valley Forge , with such projects as Ave., Indigo 301, Canvas, Omnia at Town Center, Hanover Town Center, Hanover King of Prussia, the Brownstones, 575 South, the Smith Valley Forge, but 700 of the 3,000 new units were built in Moore Park.
“There was very high demand for the high quality housing of Park Square and Skye 750 in Moore Park, and it’s something the township really needed,” Goldstein said.