In 2020 the Chester County Planning Commission completed an initial analysis of building square feet added from 2016 through 2019 and has been completing an annual non-residential report for all following years.
When evaluating non-residential data, the Chester County Planning Commission acknowledges that non-residential data can vary between years due to a small data set, and large projects can cause significant changes. Furthermore, meaningful overarching trends will not become clear until additional years are recorded. This report provides an overview of current conditions, and subsequent reports will better portray trends, strengths, and challenges for non-residential development in the county.
New non-residential construction saw highs in 2017 and 2018, with a high of 1,466,203 new square feet in 2018. Non-residential construction slowed slightly in 2019 and 2020 to less than 1,000,000 square feet. New construction in 2021 and 2022 increased to over 1,000,000 square feet. The number of projects followed similar patterns, with a high of 83 projects in 2019 and completed projects ranging from 31 to 43 from 2019 to 2022. The average square feet of projects has been generally increasing, reaching a high of 33,239 in 2022. Institutional and commercial projects had both the highest total number of and square feet and projects from 2016-2022.
In 2022, Penn Township, Honey Brook Township, and East Caln Township had the greatest total new non-residential square feet, New Garden Township, West Goshen Township, and Upper Uwchlan Township had the greatest commercial, Honey Brook Township, East Caln Township, and Sadsbury Township had the highest number of industrial square feet, and Penn Township, Upper Uwchlan Township, and Phoenixville Borough had the highest new institutional construction. Only West Nantmeal had agricultural non-residential development completed in 2022.
West Whiteland Township, West Goshen Township, and Tredyffrin Township have had the highest number of projects completed from 2016-2022 at 26, 25, and 18 projects respectively. These three townships also had the greatest new square feet.
- New non-residential square feet decreased slightly from 2021 to 2022.
- There was a total of 31 non-residential projects, totaling 963,413 square feet in 2022.
- Institutional and industrial uses constituted the majority of new square feet added in 2022, replacing institutional and commercial.
- One new project with over 100,000 square feet was constructed in 2022; the Avon Grove High School in Penn Township.
- West Whiteland, West Goshen, and Tredyffrin townships had the highest cumulative number of non-residential projects and square feet built from 2016-2022.