There was no public gnashing of
teeth, rending of clothes or wails of regret when Endo Pharmaceutical announced
last year that it was pulling out of Chadds Ford. Then, as now, the public
reaction is a muttered, “That stinks,” as one person said.
The commenter was correct. It
stinks for the township, but possibly more for other businesses in the area.
Part of the reason Endo is
leaving is that projections indicate its future work force will be coming from
other areas that make East Whiteland a more central location. However, township
ordinances and the bureaucratic process also come into play. The corporate
decision was to get all employees under one roof, not the three buildings it
now leases in Painters Crossing.
According to Mark Eisenhardt of
The Henderson Group, Endo’s current landlord, it didn’t help that there’s an
ordnance against buildings more than 40 feet tall. He added that the history of
getting the current three buildings approved — how slow the process was — also influenced
Endo’s decision to leave.
This is not like the loss of
the three shops — the deli, the coffee shop and the book and toy store — that
all closed last year. They were retail establishments that had a clientele.
While people liked the shops, business was down and the patrons lost. That’s
not the case with Endo. Endo is still alive and serving its pharmaceutical
What stings for the township is
the loss of an estimated $22,000 per year in tax revenue. That figure came from
Joe Barakat, Chadds Ford Township manager.
Whether one considers that to
be a large sum for a small municipality is debatable, but there’s really no
good way for the township to make up the loss. As Supervisors’ Vice Chair
Deborah Love said, it really can’t. The township can only hope that the
landlord can fill those soon-to-be-vacant buildings.
Does the township need the
money? Don’t we all?
Joking aside, the township does
not supply a lot of services, but it has to pay for those it does supply. It
pays for the salting and plowing of township roads when needed and repairs its
roads through the annual Road Program.
It has also kept taxes low.
This was the first year in many in which taxes rose, but the millage rate is
still less than a mill, 0.787 mills to be exact.
But there is a symbiotic
relationship among businesses. Neighboring retailers will suffer with the loss
of Endo and its employees. It’s the gas stations, restaurants and other small
businesses in Painters Crossing that will suffer the loss of business from the
Endo employees who will no longer be around.
The only thing that will help
is to get new tenants for those three buildings. The township should do what it
can to facilitate that happening.