Coatesville could become the first indoor velodrome on the East Coast, offering cycle track racing for events from local level to Olympic and international-caliber competitions.
Joseph “Zeke” DiSciullo of the Coatesville Redevelopment Authority told Coatesville City Council at its March 22 meeting broadcast on YouTube that an agreement had been reached with developers to convert a 20-acre parcel on Routes 30 and 82 – called The Flats – into an event venue.
If approved by council, the city would sell the property for $750.00 to a developer who intends to build a multi-purpose event facility, called the National Sports and Events Center, centered around a velodrome occupying 20% of the site. The interior space of the velodrome will provide space for a wide range of events ranging from hard surface sports to concerts. There is also potential for a hotel with mid-priced rooms and other amenities on site.
The Council has taken no action, but the matter will be brought before them shortly. If approved, the developers will provide a deposit of $75,000. There would be a 12 month due diligence period before the closing of the sale of the property. Construction would then begin within 120 days, with completion within three years.
Council member Donald Folks, who was at one time on the board of the Redevelopment Authority, questioned whether the developers were serious about the commitment.
“I don’t want you to come in here and start something and not finish it,” Folks told developers Crosby Wood and Josh Burrell, who presented to the board.
In a separate presentation, Kimberly Daye Hardy of the Brandywine Health Foundation said the organization is working on the Coatesville Black Media Renaissance Initiative.
“Local artists and community partners meet twice a month to plan and implement a community-driven strategy to change the media narrative and create a sustainable platform for the continued inclusion of the voice of the community,” reads his presentation.
Ideas for the initiative include an exhibition of black artists, as well as other projects.
“When we come together, we can create amazing things,” said Daye Hardy.
In action points, council voted to announce a potential agreement with Pro-Tech Energy Solutions LLC to lease city-owned property at 120 Pratts Dam Road in West Brandywine Township for the construction of a a solar power plant. The lease would be for 20 years, with two possible five-year extensions.
The rental fee the city would collect in the first three years would be $40,000 per year, with an annual increase of 1% to follow each year thereafter.
Last month, the city entered into a similar agreement with Trina Solar for a city-owned property in Valley Township.
The deal with Pro-Tech will return to the board for action next month.
Acting on the list of recommended candidates provided by the Public Service Commission, City Council approved the hiring of four part-time patrol officers for the Coatesville Police Department, subject to passing a background check and physical and psychological examinations.
The article passed 4 to 1, with council member Nydea Graves opposing it. She said if the city council is involved in the hiring process, members should be given background information about people before they vote.
After the meeting, council members stressed the need for COVID-19 vaccination centers in the city as virus cases and deaths continue to rise. Cases in the city and county of Chester are trending up. The incidence rate in the county for the past week, released March 19, was 93.14 cases per 1,000, while the previous week was 73.