Downingtown’s Future Is Now as Demolition of Abandoned Paper Mill Begins

From left: Neal Fisher, the Hankin Group's Vice President of Development; Sen. Andrew Dinniman; Mike Malloy, the Hankin Group's General Counsel; and Dan Vymazal, Sen. Dinniman's Government Relations Director.

Demolition is now under way at the site of the former Sonoco paper mill plant as the Hankin Group prepares for a development project that will transform Downingtown.

Downingtown Borough Council has approved the Hankin Group’s conditional use request for the development of Brandywine Station, a mixed-use, transit-oriented development at the site of what hopefully will be the new Downingtown AMTRAK/SEPTA Train Station.

“We’ve come a long way already,” said Neal Fisher, Vice President of Development for the Hankin Group. “This project is unique to Downingtown, and together we’ve worked through some challenges. We’re thankful for Senator (Andrew) Dinniman’s support; he has been instrumental in moving this development forward since the beginning. We truly appreciate his ongoing support.”

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The Hankin Group has acquired 68 total acres (40 in Downingtown and 28 in East Caln) located at the intersection of Boot Road and Route 322 (Brandywine Avenue), with plans to build 442 residential units atop 14,200 square feet of retail space – a project that will create a new gateway to Downingtown.

Additionally, the development will feature a pedestrian bridge connecting Downingtown’s Johnsontown Park to the east bank of the Brandywine Creek and a trail system that links to the proposed extension of the Chester-Valley Trail system. It will also include more than 100,000 square feet of commercial office space.

Over the past two years, the Hankin Group has worked extensively with borough and PennDOT officials on the project, including acquiring 21 different parcels that comprise the property.

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