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Plan Unfolds for a Swarthmore Inn Complex

By Carol Brévart-Demm


A long-discussed plan to build a hotel, apartment, and retail complex on College-owned land adjacent to Chester Road seems to be gathering steam. A joint town-gown committee has selected a developer for the project.

At the end of February, Vice President for Facilities and Services Stuart Hain, representing the Steering Committee for the Town Center West Development, presented one of two viable proposals for the development of a Swarthmore inn complex to the Board of Managers at its quarterly meeting.

After weeks studying the proposals and consulting with development advisers, the committee—consisting of four senior staff members, four members of the College’s Board of Managers, two faculty members, two students as well as the mayor of Swarthmore, the borough manager, and a representative from Borough Council—selected the Philadelphia-based Goldenberg Group’s proposal. The Board approved their choice.

The preliminary Goldenberg plan includes a hotel, condominiums, and retail space for a cinema and bookstore. The complex would be located between the train station and the College barn, currently the site of the women’s softball field.

Since the Board meeting, Hain, the College’s consultants and attorneys, and Goldenberg representatives have been discussing the plan in more detail, supported by a bookstore consultant recommended by College Bookstore manager Kathy Grace.

“We hope that by the end of the summer, we’ll have a pretty good idea of what it will look like,” Hain says. “It’s not tied down yet, and there are still more unanswered questions than there are answered ones. But the enthusiasm is still very much there.”

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