Case Study — East Goshen Park

East Goshen Park

Paoli Pike, East Goshen Township

168 acres adjacent to 159 acre golf club under easement

East Goshen Township

Sports fields, playgrounds, paved trails, community programming

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East Goshen Park is comprised of two distinct sections divided by Paoli Pike. The road divides the more passive Applebrook section to the south, which is centered on a tributary of Ridley Creek, from the active area to the north, which includes parking, play fields, a stage, tot lot, and sand volleyball. An extensive paved trail system connects both parks together.

East Goshen has made an extraordinary commitment to programming, which has made this site into the "Central Park" for East Goshen, receiving nearly 225,000 annual visits from daily users, program participants, and sports leagues. The Park's "Fit and Fun in the Park" initiative was recognized by PA Governor Tom Wolf with a "Local Government Excellence Award" as the best municipal health and wellness program in the state in 2016, and East Goshen Park was named the "2017 Best Park" by Main Line Today. It is a busy and well-run amenity in the community.

Property Values

Homes close to protected open space usually show an increase in value compared to similar homes elsewhere. In the case of East Goshen Park, homes within a half mile were found to have nearly 35 percent increase in value due to that proximity. This added property value results in about $320,000 in property tax revenue for the municipality.

It is worth noting that, despite some residual popular misconceptions, the presence of pedestrian trails connecting the park to abutting neighborhoods has enhanced, rather than diminished the value of these abutting properties.

Spotlight — Park Creation via Public/Private Partnership

The original section of the park north of Paoli Pike was purchased at a reduced price in the 1970s from the drug company that ultimately became Pfizer. The Applebrook section of the park was created during the development of the much larger, southern property once owned and managed by Pfizer as a research facility. As can be seen on the park map, that site was redeveloped into townhouses, a golf course, and the new park. This was a result of a proactive effort by the Township, which, upon learning it was to be sold, instigated a three-way investment partnership between itself, the golf course/townhouse developer, and a real estate investment trust interested in developing a portion for townhouses. East Goshen took on debt and purchased the portion of the property that became the park in 2000, with some financial assistance from Chester County.