Keystone Innovation Zone Designated in Coatesville

Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development have approved the request to modify the Keystone Innovation Zone to include the nth Innovation Center at 190 W. Lincoln Highway, Coatesville, PA. The property is home to the nth Innovation Center. Its lead tenant, nth Solutions LLC, a vertically integrated product development, manufacturing and business incubation company, will provide the support structure for this new concept-to-commercialization ecosystem.

The KIZ designation offers technology businesses in operation fewer than eight years the opportunity to qualify for tax credits based on increased year-over-year revenue. nth Innovation Center is also the first Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) real estate project in Chester County.

Built in 1902, the original 9000 sq. ft. building previously housed offices for Lukens Steel and has been vacant for 15 years. QOZ investor Proudfoot Capital Advisors purchased the property in December 2019. The building has since been restored, preserving its historic features. The original building will house administrative, marketing and sales offices, a podcast studio, video and photography studio, meeting spaces and kitchen, according to Susan Springsteen, who is spearheading the project. Springsteen is President and CEO of H2O Connected, LLC, a KIZ-eligible company relocating to the center, and the first QOZ business that opened its doors in Chester County. In addition, a two-story, 20,000 sq. ft. expansion building will house an engineering lab, testing facility, light manufacturing and office space, with room for emerging companies to occupy space on the second floor.

“The KIZ designation, coupled with benefits from the Qualified Opportunity Zone initiative, provides yet another reason to locate a start-up or early-stage tech company in Coatesville,” says Springsteen. “Because the benefits of these designations last many years, they promote a long-term commitment to the City, encouraging these businesses to become part of the fabric of the community. When we open our doors in March, we will have seven emerging businesses on site and 7500 sq. ft. still available to accommodate additional companies.” According to Springsteen, more than a dozen products will be manufactured from the site, and 45 construction jobs were created. Currently nth Solutions employs 10 full-time and 15 part-time positions, with 25 additional jobs projected in the first 18 months of operation.

The Chester County Economic Development Council has been working with the City of Coatesville and its businesses for many years, from financing to site selection to workforce training, and we are delighted to now see innovation and entrepreneurship become other aspects of that partnership,” says Patrick Hayakawa, VP at CCEDC, who oversees the Ideas x Innovation Network (i2n), a CCEDC initiative charged with advancing innovation and tech-based entrepreneurship in Chester and Delaware counties.

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Susan Springsteen 190 W Topping Out Ceremony (photo by Alphonso Newsuan)

190 W Lincoln Highway – nth Solutions Innovation Center Jan 2020 (courtesy Valley Creek Productions)

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