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In with the Inn

By Carol Brévart-Demm


State funding will advance the proposal to build an inn and commercial complex on College land near the train station. A developer is being sought.

In late April, Governor Edward G. Rendell’s office—with bi-partisan backing—awarded the Borough of Swarthmore a $2 million grant through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). The funds will enable the borough and the College to pursue their plan—known as the Swarthmore Town Center West project—to create an inn, with the potential for an affiliated restaurant and a new College bookstore that is closer to the town’s business center.

The inn, to be located on a land tract owned by the College and close to its athletics facilities as well as to the Swarthmore train station, has been under discussion since 1999. The borough and College reaffirmed their commitment to the project in a letter to the Governor’s office in August 2009, and now, with state funding secured, will pursue its development.

“We are thrilled that the project can move forward and deeply grateful to Senator Ted Erickson and Representative Bryan Lentz as well as former Mayor Eck Gerner for their unwavering support of this project,” said Mayor of Swarthmore Rick Lowe. “This project will result in an enhanced vibrancy of our town center and help promote a stronger retail base in the borough.”

President Rebecca Chopp is equally delighted: “Swarthmore College has long dreamed of the day when its parents, alumni, and guests could visit and stay right on our campus,” she said. “The inn project creates that possibility and further strengthens the growing partnership between the borough and the College.”

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