The Media Economic Development Strategy and Implementation Plan was released in October of 2017. Realizing that Media today is not the town that it was 30 or even 20 years ago, the Media Borough Council had the foresight to engage the help of a team of specialists (Econsult Solutions, Inc.) who took a hard look at Media, evaluated the market, surveyed its residents and visitors, researched towns similar to Media and organized a plan of action based on their findings.
Recently we sat down with the team of consultants: Catherine Timko, Founder & CEO of The Riddle Company, Peter Angelides, Ph.D., AICP, Senior Vice President and Principal of Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Brittany Forman,MPA, PMP, Director at Econsult Solutions, Inc., to delve a little deeper into the plan and to get their thoughts on our “Hometown” and how the plan they helped develop will strengthen our community.
The consultants unanimously agree that Media Borough already has many of the qualities that appeal to all generations in suburban and urban markets. Its charming walkable downtown, with its mix of retail, restaurants and an annual calendar of extraordinary events, has established Media as a regional destination. The borough has a strong residential base and a stable daytime population. The town also boasts a strong housing market, a highly rated school district, a great network of parks and well-connected transportation infrastructure. Its population is actively engaged in arts and culture, community issues, and even public policy. Combined, these assets and attributes contribute to the creation of a very appealing environment and a desirable place to live. Media’s appeal even persuaded one of the consultants, Brittany Forman, to move to the borough!
Studies show that walkable towns are preferred over the cul-de-sac suburban neighborhoods from a generation ago. Towns like Media are impossible to build new today. Media was founded before the automobile became the primary mode of transportation and this is one of the key elements that makes our town walkable while still affording several transportation options for travel into Philadelphia. The boom in the housing market in Media is due in part to its location but also its walkability and connectivity.
The retail environment is very compelling with great architecture at a human scale. Places like the Plum Street Mall, the new Veterans Square Park, Manchester Park and benches along State Street provide seating and gathering spaces. However, the study found that while currently there is a good mix of retail and restaurants along the State Street corridor, Baltimore Pike and Providence Road, there is demand for more traditional retail goods and services.
Although Media is already positioned as a great place to live, work or play, the town is not without its challenges. Retail is changing throughout the world with the advent of online shopping and the Borough Council, Administration and the Media Business Authority, guided by the Economic Development Planning team, are working to strategically address the retail challenges the Borough is facing. The Economic Development consultants recommend that retail serve the residents of the borough while enticing visitors as well. To fill vacancies within the borough, the consultants recommended that the borough administration and council along with the Media Business Authority, establish guidelines and a plan that includes proactive searches for new businesses. The market research data included in the Economic Development Plan provides a good analysis of the types of businesses that would be supported in Media Borough.
The Economic Development Strategy and Implementation Plan is a valuable tool that will help guide Borough Council and Administrative decisions. The plan was funded by the borough and by a generous grant from the Transportation and Community Development Initiative of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.
Click Here to view the Economic Development Strategy and Implementation Plan