New PR Efforts Promote New Hanover Town Center

NEW HANOVER TOWNSHIP PA – Developers of the proposed New Hanover Town Center, a 16-year-old mixed-use residential and commercial project to be bordered in part by Swamp Pike, North Charlotte Street, and Township Line Road, are using public relations in an attempt to directly reach township residents with positive messaging about their intentions, despite several concerns over the company’s plans repeatedly voiced by some members of the Board of Supervisors.

Developer Select Properties Inc. distributed a media release Tuesday (April 6, 2021) to news outlets that proclaims its project will provide the township and the Boyertown Area School District “with new revenues and jobs.” It describes a “recently conducted economic impact study” that determined its completed construction would “generate $3.4 million annually” in new school tax revenues, and “create more than 550 new local jobs.”

What the release does not include is any mention of:

Supervisors’ worries about the large size of the more-than-200-acres development;
Concerns stated by board members over a perceived imbalance between residential and commercial use;
Traffic congestion they and Douglass (Montgomery) Township supervisors suggest the project may cause;
Real estate flooding concerns, or the prospect of increased school students’ attendance, both publicly raised by private property owners; or
Improvements New Hanover supervisors hope to see the developer offer to address potential needs.

Those issues and others have been documented over a period of years by reporter Evan Brandt, published in The Mercury newspaper and his Digital Notebook blog.

The media release apparently is just one of the project’s advocacy tools. In late March, New Hanover residents reported to The Post they received direct postal mail pieces that similarly touted the development’s benefits and worth.

The efforts hope to guide recipients to the project website. Once arriving there, it in part asks visitors to call the township to voice their support, to digitally send developers messages of support for the center, to send supervisors automatically created e-mails saying the senders “support new opportunities through the New Hanover Town Center development,” or to write letters to the township board at a supplied postal address.

Benefits of the project listed by the developer, besides its purported school taxes and jobs, include stated claims that it will:

  • Include “a trail along with a community pavilion, playground space, and 68 acres of open space for families to explore for years to come;”
  • Create “315,300 square feet of commercial space for high-quality grocery, retail and dining options;”
  • Include a “residential community comprised of 669 units;”
  • Meet “several township planning goals of protecting open space, creating recreational opportunities and bolstering the local economy;”
  • Have “a beneficial economic ‘ripple effect’ in the local economy,” as “new residents and employees use goods and services in and around” the township;
  • “Provide construction jobs and result in construction-related consumption expenditures in the local and regional economies;”
  • “Achieves many of the goals set forth in the New Hanover Township’s Comprehensive Plan 2040;” and
  • Meets “meets all zoning requirements and is ready to move forward for approval.”

Supervisors in the past have disputed several of those claims.

Photo of New Hanover Town Center’s layout from “New Hanover Town Center, New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Preliminary Subdivision And Land Development Plans