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Swarthmore Borough Awarded $2 Million from State to Pursue Inn Project with College

Swarthmore Borough Awarded $2 Million in    
State Funding to Pursue New Inn Project with College

by Nancy Nicely

proposed inn site
The site of a proposed inn near the South Entrance to campus.

The Borough of Swarthmore was recently awarded $2 million through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to pursue the Swarthmore Town Center West project with Swarthmore College. The project fulfills both Swarthmore Borough and Swarthmore College aspirations to create an inn as well as the potential for an affiliated restaurant and the relocation of the College bookstore to a site adjacent to the town's business center. The state grant was awarded by Governor Edward G. Rendell's office in late April and enjoys bi-partisan support, with assistance from both State Representative Bryan R. Lentz (D) and State Senator Ted Erickson (R).

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

The Swarthmore Town Center West project has been under discussion since 1999 and in August 2009, the Borough and College reaffirmed their commitment to the project in a letter they submitted to the Governor's office. The inn would be located on a tract owned by the College near its athletics facilities as well as the SEPTA Swarthmore train station.

"Swarthmore College has long dreamed of the day when its parents, alumni, and guests could visit and stay right on our campus," said Swarthmore College President Rebecca Chopp. "The inn project creates that possibility and further strengthens the growing partnership between the Borough and the College."

With the state funding secured, the College will now pursue the development of the project.

"In addition to enhancing the quality of life in the area, the strength of this proposal is that it creates significant new tax revenues for the Commonwealth, the school district, and the community," said State Representative Bryan Lentz.                  

 "The Swarthmore Town Center West project will create as many as 80 jobs at the site and many more indirect jobs," said State Senator Ted Erickson. "These jobs will provide the area with a sustainable economic development project that will benefit the Borough, the College, and many visitors to our area."