‘Sociable City’ Plan Rolled Out To Coordinate Pittsburgh’s Nightlife

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Responsible hospitality. The night-time economy. A “sociable city” plan.

They’re buzzwords for a basic concept.

Nightlife, and the neighborhoods in which it happens, are resources that need to be planned and managed, from transportation and parking to permitting and policing. And that involves comprehensive coordination between community business owners, an array of city agencies and institutions like universities.

“Like our transit planning, like how we manage special events, these economies will benefit from planning and management,” said Maya Henry, the city’s new night-time economy manager, a $65,249-a-year position created by Mayor Bill Peduto to coordinate those efforts. “My job is to bring the lens of the night-time economy to all of those places that already exist in city planning.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/10/27/Sociable-City-plan-rolled-out-to-coordinate-Pittsburgh-s-nightlife/stories/201410240211

Dan DeLuca: Forbes Under 30 Fest A Big Sign Philly Is World-Class Cool

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Way back in the 1990s, I started going to the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

Every March, I’d go back to find not only that the festival had gotten bigger and bigger – too big, it became clear this year, when four people were killed by a runaway drunken driver – but also that the city was mushrooming along with it.

In Austin, the livability factor is high – warm temperatures, live music, BBQ – and the stream of transplants so steady it doesn’t take long for new residents to start moaning about how everything was better before people who arrived after them came to town.

Which brings me to the latest indicator that everybody has figured out Philadelphia is a cool place to live. It’s the modeled-after-SXSW Forbes Under 30 Summit, the money magazine’s inaugural gathering of boldface billionaires and tech titans (and upstart entrepreneurs who wish to emulate them) that will take place in its planned-to-be permanent home from today until Wednesday.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20141019_Dan_DeLuca__Forbes_Under_30_fest_a_big_sign_Philly_is_world-class_cool.html#L2smIJJ3RURuueoT.99

Sears At Pittsburgh Mills Mall In Frazer Closing In January

Pittsburgh Mills

Pittsburgh Mills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  First Century III, now Pittsburgh Mills

The Sears store and Auto Center at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills mall will close in mid-January, a spokesman for Sears Holdings confirmed this morning.

The closing is part of the company’s strategy to reduce expenses and speed up the transformation of their business model, said company spokesman Howard Riefs.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourallekiskivalley/yourallekiskivalleymore/6975322-74/sears-store-mills#ixzz3GLaaXyie
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Lancaster Is Google’s 2014 eCity For Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Just another reason to love Lancaster :)

Lancaster is known for its local foods and crafts, and in recent years, those traditional products have begun to be offered in a new way: online.

The Lancaster community on Thursday was recognized for taking business into the digital world.

It was named the “digital capital” of Pennsylvania and recipient of Google’s eCity designation.

For the second year, the internet search giant has recognized a community in each of the 50 states. Last year, Exton, in neighboring Chester County received the award.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/google-names-lancaster-its-ecity-for-pennsylvania/article_32d60764-555a-11e4-8ea5-0017a43b2370.html

Pottstown Zoning Board Approves Variance For iCreate Cafe

iCreate Zoning Supporters

Front row: Left, Peter Dolan, Esquire, Right, Ashraf Khalil

POTTSTOWN, PA – Wednesday evening the Pottstown Zoning Board heard testimony from iCreate Cafe owner, Ashraf Khalil, regarding his request for a zoning variance to operate a cafe and computer training center at 130 King Street, Pottstown. The neighborhood is zoned TTN or Traditional Town Neighborhood.  After receiving a violation notice from the Pottstown Codes Department in August, a hearing was originally scheduled for September 17th.  However, Mr. Khalil’s attorney, Peter Dolan, requested a continuance to adequately prepare his case. The hearing was rescheduled for October 15th.

A large group of supporters gathered in the 3rd floor council chambers to hear the evidence be presented. After Mr. Khalil’s sworn testimony and some clarification questions from the board, the meeting was opened to public comment. More than a dozen people were allowed to speak in favor of iCreate Cafe and Mr. Khalil.

After the public testimony, the board met in Executive Session.  After a short recess, the board returned to the council chamber and rendered their verdict for Mr. Khalil and iCreate Cafe by allowing the variance.

First of all, we thank the Pottstown Zoning Board for being open-minded and seeing the value of this niche market small business that draws customers from all over the Delaware Valley and beyond.   Based on the passionate testimony made during the public comments, it’s obvious this is a very special place.

Secondly, we feel now that Pottstown is getting serious about economic development and tourism (by developing a Tourism District and leveraging all the attractions that surround Memorial Park and the Western Gateway) having a highly rated locally owned restaurant within walking distance is a win-win.  If you want people to come to Pottstown and “spend the day” they will need to eat.  They are not going to want fast food or chain restaurants.  They are going to want something they cannot get at home.  iCreate Cafe is the total package when it comes to something you cannot get just anywhere.  From the unique decor to the vegan/vegetarian food with a Middle Eastern flair, it’s far from ordinary.  Add a chef/owner with the gift of hospitality and you have a winning trifecta.

This was a great victory for small business and for Pottstown.  If Pottstown could attract more unique restaurants like iCreate and some funky boutiques so people could do some shopping while they are visiting, you would have yourself a destination.

Congratulations to Ashraf Khalil and iCreate Cafe.  We wish you much success.

Website: http://www.icreatecafe.org/

Tourism District Proposed For Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA – Officials are hoping that as the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, a collective effort of the borough’s revitalization efforts will result in greater sums of grant money and tourist dollars.

Steve Bamford, executive director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. outlined a plan to borough council Tuesday that would see the many attractions clustered near Pottstown’s western gateway joining together in pursuit of funding and marketing.

The joint undertaking as part of a “tourism and recreation district” includes: Pottsgrove Manor, the Carousel at Pottstown, theColebrookdale Railroad, Manatawny Green miniature golf, Memorial Park with the splash park and Trilogy Park BMX track, Montgomery County Community College’s art gallery, the Schuylkill River Trail,Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill Heritage Area’s River of Revolutions interpretive center.

“There are some in place, some underway and some nearly ready,” Bamford told The Mercury Friday, referring to the state of the various sites.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141014/tourism-district-proposed-for-pottstown

Bon-Ton To Close Two Of Its Stores

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Butler County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Butler County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. is shuttering two of its stores, citing low sales, the company said in a news release.

The Bon-Ton store in the Clearview Mall in Butler, Pennsylvania and the Elder-Beerman store in the Raleigh Mall in Beckley, West Virginia will close before January 31, 2015, when their respective leases end. Approximately 38 employees at the Clearview Mall Bon-Ton and 39 at the Raleigh Mall Elder-Beerman will lose their jobs, the press release said.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_26679132/bon-ton-shuttering-two-stores

Columbus Provides Blueprint For How To Develop Mellon Arena Site

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  We love it when folks use existing successful business models for a blueprint. Why reinvent the wheel when a tweak will due :)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — About $1 billion in development around an arena primarily for hockey transformed a dreary section of downtown Columbus that used to be an industrial area and home to a run-down prison.

“People didn’t come downtown very often, and they certainly didn’t live here. Things are different now. This is a place to be,” said Sherri Lyle, 44, of suburban Powell, who works in Columbus’ 14-year-old Arena District.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are paying attention. The team is preparing to develop a 28-acre site where the Civic Arena stood, across Centre Avenue from the $321 million Consol Energy Center that opened in 2010.

“We’ve sat down and talked with them several times about what they have done relative to development,” said Penguins Chief Operating Officer Travis Williams, noting the team studied similar projects in Cincinnati, Dallas, Philadelphia, San Jose, Washington and Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6881016-74/arena-district-area#ixzz3FOBkt9TK
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Grocery Prices Keeping Climbing; Up 7 Percent In Last Year

Mary Bouras never expected to get sticker shock from a pound of butter.

But when the grocery staple reached more than $5 a pound at most stores, the 66-year-old Dover resident said it was hard not to.

Last week, she paid $5.79 for butter at Weis, and three other grocery chains in the area had similar prices.

“I know it’s just life and prices go up, but $6 for butter is a lot for me,” Bouras said.

Six months ago, she would have paid $1 less for the same item at the same store. A year ago, it would have been $1.20 cheaper, and five years ago it would have been $1.80 less.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26672787/grocery-prices-keeping-climbing-up-7-percent-last

Bethlehem Looking To Spice Up South Side With New Mexican Restaurant And Microbrewery

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A vacant parking lot on South Side Bethlehem could see new life under a $6.7 million plan for a Mexican restaurant and brewpub under one roof.

Ashley Development Corp., based in the city, proposes transforming the 0.38-acre plot at 404 E. Third St. from a former Bethlehem Steel Corp. parking lot into a multi-restaurant space owned by Bethlehem 21st Century, according to Alicia Miller Karner, director of community and economic development for Bethlehem.

Ashley Development Corp. President Lou Pektor says the project would complement and be within walking distance of the entertainment venues that have been developing in that area of the city.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2014/10/bethlehem_looking_to_spice_up.html

Pittsburgh Region’s Political Leaders Again Consider Hotel Next To Convention Center

DSC01828It’s becoming the Lazarus of Downtown projects.

Left for dead a year ago, and several times before that, a plan to build a 500-room hotel attached to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is being resurrected by top political leaders.

Mayor Bill Peduto said Thursday that he and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald have asked the Sports & Exhibition Authority to gauge the interest in and to study the feasibility of the proposed hotel, which would be built in a parking lot next to the convention center.

The full-service hotel, Mr. Peduto said, always was meant to be “the final part” of the convention center and to serve as its front entrance. “The building’s never been completed,” he said. “The hotel was supposed to be done.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/10/03/Political-leaders-revive-plan-for-hotel-attached-to-convention-center/stories/201410030099

Business Owner Stays True To Roots Of Skippack Days

Location of Skippack Township in Montgomery County

Location of Skippack Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SKIPPACK TOWNSHIP, PA – When it comes to Skippack Days, Butch Kaelin is a purist.

Visitors strolling through Skippack Village during the two-day festival — set for Oct. 4 and 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — a time the town welcomes vendors from all over the country, will find only true craftsmen setting up shop outdoors on the Victorian Carriage Shops property, 4039 Skippack Pike, which is owned by Kaelin.

If you’re looking for all things artisanal, authentic and guaranteed to be fully twenty-four carat, genuinely, unequivocally handmade, this is where you’ll find them.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20141003/business-owner-stays-true-to-roots-of-skippack-days

New Website Allows Customers To Shop Downtown Lancaster Businesses 24/7

Editor’s note:  We think this is a great concept and we like the fact that so many merchants are already on board.

About 30 businesses in downtown Lancaster have banded together and created a way for customers to have more access to their products.

The new website https://shoplancaster.net/ gives anyone unfettered access.  Save on gas, parking and time.  If you are busy, don’t live in the area or don’t have access to transportation, but enjoy shopping online, then this site is for you!

The website is easy to use, you can shop by vendor or type of product etc…

Just create an account and start spending!

iCreate Cafe Offering Discounts To MCCC West Campus And Hill School Students

mccc student discount

MCCC WEST CAMPUS

 

 

 

hill school student discount

THE HILL SCHOOL

 

York’s Farm To City Features Food, Wine And Music

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With so many farms just a short drive from downtown York, organizers of this year’s Farm to City Dinner say there’s no excuse for not eating locally grown food.

For the second year in a row, three local nonprofits are teaming up to show how easy and affordable it can be to support local agriculture.

At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the Horn Farm Center is joining York County Buy Fresh Buy Local and the Healthy World Café in closing off North Beaver Street in York for an afternoon feast, complete with wine and music, showcasing area farms through a sampling of their meat and produce.

At $65 a plate, organizers said it’s cheaper than similar dinners held in other cities; and they noted that purchasing produce and other food from local farms doesn’t have to break the bank.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26649508/yorks-farm-city-features-food-wine-and-music

Allentown Developer Announces New Project, Possible Rooftop Restaurant

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The developer already behind $500 million of development in downtown Allentown has something new up his sleeve.

J.B. Reilly announced plans Wednesday to renovate a blighted vacant building at Eighth and Linden streets, turning the ground level floor into 4,000-square-feet of retail space.

The upper floors of the three-story building will become either apartments or office space, and a rooftop restaurant could be established there as well, Reilly said.

“We think this is a really important project because it’s sort of the gateway into the residential neighborhood,” said Reilly, president of

City Center Lehigh Valley. “We think it’ll have a pretty big impact on the neighborhood outside the NIZ.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/10/allentown_developer_announces.html

Airmall At Pittsburgh International Celebrates New Stores, Renovation

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The place known for jet ways featured a runway Sept. 29.

The Airmall at Pittsburgh International Airport teamed with the Allegheny County Airport Authority for a special fashion event to mark the 15th anniversary of the airport authority and celebrate the completion of a $10 million renovation that created a new retail core in the center of the airport’s air-side terminal.

“Fly 2014: An Invitation to Fashion & Flair With Altitude” showcased the latest styles from the Airmall shops. The fashion show was the first event of this kind for the airport since it opened in 1992.

The show helped introduce new retail stores at the Airmall, including several international luxury brands. Italian-based Pinko recently opened its first U.S. store in the Airmall. Other stores include Furla, Lacoste, Armani Jeans, Hugo Boss, Tumi, Desigual, Collezioni — the Beauty Gallery and Bottega dei Sapori, an Italian specialty foods store.

Read more: http://triblive.com/lifestyles/fashion/6785773-74/airmall-airport-stores#ixzz3EprxD0v5
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RadioShack Decline Belies Its Longevity

By Fort Worth Star-telegram

Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

FORT WORTH, TX — During nearly a century in retailing, RadioShack has reinvented itself time and again as the American consumer moved from primitive radio kits to ever-sophisticated audio equipment, CB radios, and computers and wireless phones.

But now the Fort Worth-based consumer electronics pioneer finds itself tethered to a bygone era, with its 4,000 company-owned stores as much a burden as a benefit, its website delivering only modest returns in this cyber age and competitors — from behemoths such as Amazon.com and Wal-Mart to wireless providers — attacking on all fronts. The company warned recently that bankruptcy could be near if it can’t secure financing.

Just nine years ago, RadioShack enthusiastically opened its new $200 million headquarters, a complex of 900,000 square feet situated majestically on 38 acres on the banks of the Trinity River. With a 500-seat cafe, an open floor plan and a fitness center, it was supposed to help propel the chain to greater entrepreneurial heights.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/6848703-74/radioshack-stores-company#ixzz3Ej79tvLU
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Turning Up The Lights On Gray Market St. East

English: Lit Brothers Department Store, 701-39...

English: Lit Brothers Department Store, 701-39 Market Street (block bounded by Market, 7th, Filbert, 8th Streets) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (33 buildings built between 1859 and 1918, unified by a brick & iron facade). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Times Square-ification of Market Street East in central Philadelphia is underway, and it is starting at one of the most treasured buildings on one of the most stubbornly seedy thoroughfares in Center City.

Construction scaffolding has begun its crawl up the cake-frosting-white facade of the former Lit Bros. department store, a century-old architectural wonder that will be home to the city’s first flashy, high-tech video billboard screens.

Over the next three months, crews will work to install stadiumlike, wraparound LED signs rising 14 feet above the roofline of both corners of the landmark structure on the 700 block of Market Street.

Officials hope to light up Lits for the first time on New Year’s Eve – the holiday synonymous with Times Square, the Manhattan billboard mecca whose mojo Market Street’s boosters and investors are hoping to mimic.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140928_Video_screens_to_add_some_pop_to_street.html#pR6W1yWRRd3Al006.99