The Freedom Valley Chronicles: Impact of The Schuylkill Expressway

The Schuylkill Expressway connected to Conshohocken 65 years ago this past week. We are asking local officials about the impact of the Schuylkill Expressway. Below is the response from the President of the Montgomery County Association of Realtors:

It is amazing to see the impact that public improvements have on real estate prices. Earlier this year, the Montgomery County Association of Realtors hosted a joint program with the head of data research for our Multiple List Service in conjunction with the Montgomery County Planning Commission. The goal of the program was to study the impact on residential real estate prices before, during, and after large scale public improvements. While, we didn’t go back to the ’50’s, we did go back to the late ’90’s and early 2000’s. One piece that I found amazing was that  the fastest growing area of our county over the past 10 years have been the homes located within walking distance of the relatively newly established Perkiomen Trail. The trail was formerly established in 2004 and since then prices within 1/2 mile or so of the trail have been up 28% – higher than any other area in our county. Interestingly enough, the 2nd fastest growing area has been Conshohocken, up 22%. I have no doubt that if we looked back into the ’50’s or the decades when the Blue Route was expanded, we would see similar growth to the Conshohocken area.

This is a direct link to the overall positive impact of the expressway. It is really neat to hear the original plan was to link public parks together. It shows the true impact and benefit of strategic planning. So yes, the Schuylkill has given us all many headaches over the years, but without it, Montgomery County would not be the keystone county that it is throughout the entire Commonwealth. Public improvements should be debated and discussed, but their overall positive impact on our real estate, quality of life, and economics cannot be overlooked.

Eric Rehling
Montgomery County Association of Realtors

(Photo is courtesy of Google, 2016)

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