Thursday, November 9, 2023

Phoenixville Emerges as a Rising Star for Apartment Development in Philadelphia Suburbs

 By Brenda Nguyen Costar

Phoenixville, a quaint borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, is making waves in the Philadelphia region's apartment construction scene. As of late 2023, this locality boasts the highest concentration of new apartment units under construction for any borough, township or city in the region, except the City of Philadelphia. Phoenixville has four ongoing multifamily projects totaling 908 units under construction.

Originally settled as Manavon, the borough took its name from the local Phoenix Iron Works to become Phoenixville when it was incorporated in 1849. 

Over the past 12 months, the borough has added 313 units to strengthen its reputation as a fast-growing suburban community. Development has closely followed Phoenixville's recent burgeoning population, which has grown by an impressive 12% between 2019 and 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The most significant development underway in Phoenixville is Steelworks, a mixed-use development that is adding 336 high-end apartments, 40,000 square feet of retail space and a 22,000-square-foot piazza. Developed by The DeMutis Group, Steelworks will replace a formerly abandoned slaughterhouse site on the western side of Bridge Street, extending the downtown area when it is completed in 2024.

Delaware-based developer Capano Management also has two significant projects in the pipeline: The Phoenix and The Reserve at Steelpointe. Once completed, each development will add 240 new apartments to the area for a total of 480. The developer also recently completed the 108-unit Reserve on Forge, which opened to its first tenants in June of this year and is still in lease-up.

Several factors have contributed to Phoenixville's recent surge in investment and real estate development. The suburban area has become a hotspot for young professionals who work in nearby employment centers such as King of Prussia and Malvern, both about a 20-minute drive away.

Moreover, its picturesque setting along the Schuylkill River, coupled with a vibrant and revitalized downtown area, has made it increasingly attractive for renters and investors. A walkable downtown, a full calendar of cultural events, and a burgeoning dining and brewery scene have further contributed to its growing popularity over the years.

While Phoenixville has led the Philadelphia region's suburban apartment growth, other localities have also experienced an apartment construction surge. Wilmington, Delaware, trails closely with the second-highest apartment construction in the region, with 830 units under construction. Langhorne and Downingtown, both Philadelphia suburbs on the Pennsylvania side, also have a notable number of new units under construction.

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