Why East Whiteland, not Tredyffrin or Chadds Ford?

As my colleague David Sell notes in today's Inquirer, Shire Pharmaceuticals is planning a 600,000 sq ft headquarters complex in national landlord Trammel Crow Corp.'s new Atwater office development next to Liberty Property Trust's Great Valley Corporate Center in East Whiteland Township, Chester County, and will leave Pitcairn Corp.'s Chesterbrook Corporate Center.

Similarly, Endo Pharmaceuticals is leaving its Chadd Ford offices, also for Atwater, which among its other advantages is close to a new EasyPass-only exit from the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The move puts pressure on Tredyffrin to update its planning to make its aging and increasingly vacant US 202 Corridor office centers competitive for redevelopers. (Vanguard Group is also consolidating some of its Tredyffrin offices into East Whiteland.)

-- Wage Tax: East Whiteland, formerly an industrial center (White Autocar, National Rolling Mills, Wyeth) built around the blue-collar village of Fraser (whose amenities include an old-style bowling alley and trailer park), imposes an earned-income tax on both workers and residents.

Tredyffrin and Chadds Ford, famous as historic high-end residential real estate centers, do not.

So the wage tax (at least at East Whiteland's one-half percent) doesn't seem to scare off big corporate employers.