CHESTER — Now that construction has begun on the Rock Springs Business Park, the city of Chester is getting some outside help with what to do with the rest of the riverfront.
About a dozen Chester officials, residents and business owners met Thursday with a team from the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Riverlife to brainstorm about the riverfront’s future.
But first they came up with a list of words to describe the riverfront as it appears today — “sloppy,” “uninviting,” “inaccessible,” “underutilized,” “underappreciated,” “wild,” “green,” “beautiful,” “overgrown,” “steep” and “priceless.”
Then they answered two more questions: “How would you describe your ideal riverfront? What are the biggest impediments to riverfront development?” — and posted the words on a board.
“I’m really encouraged that half this board is positive. It speaks to what could happen in the future,” said Nina Chase, Riverlife senior project manager.
Chase and Riverlife Vice President Jay Sukernek said their goal was to leave Chester on Thursday with a list of next steps toward the implementation of a riverfront project.
“Trying to find out what works for the community is really important,” Sukernek said. “There’s a big difference between downtown Pittsburgh and downtown Chester.”
Some of the groundwork for such a project already has been laid, starting with the 2011 acquisition of the old Taylor, Smith & Taylor pottery site by the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle.