Designation paves way for tech hub at Lincoln U.

Proposed R&D park approved as Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone

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The proposed Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone is located on a section of Lincoln University-owned property off Baltimore Pike between Elkdale and University Roads, opposite the main campus.

Lincoln University may soon be the new home for technology companies in southern Chester County, the Chester County Economic Development Council announced on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

A proposed research and development park on university land has received approval as a Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone (KOEZ) by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), a news release said.  This designation provides significant incentives for businesses to locate in the zone.

Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell, a member of the Lincoln Board of Trustees, said, “This R&D park is something that has been on the drawing board for at least 10 years. It’s great to see it move so much closer to reality. This is the kind of result that we looked for to help advance the Route 1 Initiative.”

State Rep. John Lawrence said he was also pleased to learn of the KOEZ designation.  “This KOEZ designation represents a tremendous opportunity both for the university and the entire community. In addition to providing unparalleled research and internship opportunities for students, dozens or even hundreds of new R&D jobs could provide a real boost to the local economy,” he said.

Gary Smith, president of the Chester County Economic Development Council, said the council was pleased to play a role in making the designation happen.  “We are excited at the possibilities that this new KOEZ creates for Lincoln University and the Route 1 corridor,” he said.

The proposed KOEZ is located on a section of university-owned property off Baltimore Pike between Elkdale and University Roads, opposite the main campus.  The KOEZ designation offers new businesses a 10-year tax abatement of local real estate taxes, state income taxes, and other tax abatements.  The abatements will run from Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2023, the release said.

Lincoln University and the CCEDC will now begin working on a process to identify a developer for the R&D Park and companies that will locate there, the release said.

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