West Chester is as charming as a town can be. Located in Chester County, about an hour’s drive from Philadelphia, the borough is beloved by residents and visitors alike. Greek Revival municipal-buildings, Federalist brick-masterpieces, row-houses in the Philadelphia style and single-family mansions make up the borough. Picturesque street-scapes lined with Victorian, single-family homes and 1880’s-era brick sidewalks are juxtaposed by posh boutiques, trendy restaurants and a hipster cafe or two. The not-so-small town is united by an era-spanning eclecticism.
A major driving force behind West Chester’s success as a municipality is West Chester University. In 2008, The Pennsylvania state school began a massive expansion. The university added two new student-housing dormitories and a state-of-the-art fitness center and refreshed a number of its academic buildings. The university continues to expand its campus. Acceptance rates have been forced down by a renewed interest in the expanding university. With a new class of freshman arriving each year, West Chester University fuels the borough’s economy. This consistent influx of youthful residents, if only temporary residents, also contributes to the borough’s reputation of having a healthy nightlife.
In the borough proper, one won’t find major restaurant chains or franchises, with the exception of a Starbucks. Rather, one finds a business district composed of thriving, independently-owned businesses. Shops, restaurants and a diverse mix of other businesses/organizations line West Chester’s main corridors, Market Street and Gay Street. Outdoor dining is extremely popular in the warm months. Late summer evenings can be spent hanging out at many of the restaurants with outdoor, sidewalk seating. The dense, city-like district attracts many residents and visitors.
The borough has much to offer; however, the surrounding countryside outside of West Chester proper cannot be overlooked. Rolling Chester County hills are the backdrop for historic estates, nature preserves and many golf courses. The Brandywine Valley wraps around West Chester to the south and west. An active and environmentally conscientious community helps keep this historic and preserved space clean for future generations. Outside of town, find one-of-a-kind, historic places such as Baldwin’s Book Barn and the Brandywine Battlefield.
Many major employers can be found in and around the borough. Moody’s Analytics, QVC Studio Park, and of course, West Chester University. These world-class employers attract many full-time residents. Also, West Chester is the county seat, so the county courthouse and related legal and municipal activities add to the town’s employment prospects.
West Chester has a competitive and lively real-estate market. The south end of town, where West Chester University is located, attracts investors due to the healthy rental market. Sizable single-family homes on scenic streets are found to the north and west ends of the borough. The median sale price was $345,000 in 2015. Allow our experienced agents to help you navigate this exciting market.