Philly Firm To Develop PNC Building In Downtown Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA —Floors three to 11 are empty.

That’s what is on the board in the lobby of the downtown PNC Bank Building. It lists the only tenant — PNC Bank — which occupies the first and second floor of the 12-story building.

But if plans go forward, those nine floors of the building at Market and Franklin streets will become market-priced condominiums with views of the Susquehanna River and the River Common park. Some office space will also be created, according to the building’s owner.

Ben Oller, of Oller and Associates of Philadelphia, said Monday his real estate investment company owns the building and is partnering with a local developer to renovate the bank building, following the lead of a similar project at the nearby the former Citizens Bank Building, also Market Street. Oller would not disclose the name of the local development company.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1215383/Philly-firm-to-develop-PNC-building

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How A Pittsburgh School, Empty For 30 Years, Became Home To Electronics Firm

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)

Hays School had been empty for 30 years when Bob Dagostino drove by one morning and saw the “For Sale” sign. He copied the number and called for a tour. At the time, his electronics business Downtown was outgrowing its third location.

“At our other place, [employees] sat an arm’s length apart,” said Chuck Roberts, vice president of Dagostino Electronic Services. “Bob brought me in look at the school and I said, ‘Why don’t we get a renovated space?’ and he said, ‘No, no, this is our headquarters.’ He had a vision.”

It often takes vision to remake a century-old school. Pittsburgh has scores of them, some in private hands, some long vacant, several converted into apartments and 19 still to be sold. Pittsburgh Public Schools has contracted with Fourth River Development to sell them.

The former Schenley High School in North Oakland sold last year for $5.2 million and is slated for luxury housing. McCleary School in Upper Lawrenceville sold last year for $410,000 to a residential developer. Morningside School has been approved for sale to the Urban Redevelopment Authority for $275,000, also for housing; negotiations are underway “as we speak,” said Patrick Morosetti, sales and leasing manager for Fourth River Development.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/02/24/How-Pittsburgh-school-empty-for-30-years-became-home-to-electronics-firm/stories/201402240060#ixzz2uGDkAqAk

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Senior Housing Plan Presented In Norristown For Vacant Montgomery Hospital Building

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — The consensus of public opinion Tuesday night about a proposal to build 100 independent-living apartments for seniors and a senior support building at the former Montgomery Hospital site on Powell Street was largely positive.

More than 25 Norristown residents heard the first public presentation of the plans by the Elon Group of Fort Washington at the Montgomery County Human Services Center from Francis Vargas, vice president of the Elon Group, and several executives from Einstein Healthcare Network (EHN), which owns the 365,000-square-foot, seven-story building and 3.7-acre parcel.

“The proposal is not much different from last year as far as the senior housing,” said Norristown Councilwoman Linda Christian. “Last year the proposal was for the overall, same amount of units that was denied by the funders.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140213/senior-housing-plan-presented-in-norristown-for-vacant-montgomery-hospital-building

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Luxury Apartments Planned In Former Wilkes-Barre Bank

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE – Six floors of the historic Citizens Bank building in downtown Wilkes-Barre soon will be converted into 72 luxury apartments.

DxDempsey Architecture in Scranton is designing the apartments in one of the city’s tallest office buildings on West Market Street.

“It’s a very exciting project,” said architect Michelle Dempsey, president of the firm. “It’s in the works and there are still some financial hurdles to leap over, but it’s looking good. Living downtown is great for the downtown. People who live downtown shop downtown and it makes it a safe place. People living downtown is the first step to a successful revitalization.”

The historic bank building was designed by architect Daniel Burnham, who also designed icons like the Flatiron Building in New York City and was a main character in the book, “The Devil in the White City.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/luxury-apartments-planned-in-former-bank-1.1628877

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Wilkes-Barre Looking To Develop Downtown Sites

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The city is shopping its downtown properties cleared during emergency demolition and sweetening the offer with the prospect of tax exemptions associated with a Keystone Opportunity Zone.

The city condemned its vacant structures last October that were in danger of collapse and entered a $194,861 contract to tear them down while leaving stand two other privately owned buildings located in the middle of the cluster.

Earlier this week, the city put out a request for proposals for development of the properties at 69, 71, 73-75 S. Main St. with a March 6 response deadline. The city would like to see multistory, mixed-use development on the site to include ground-floor specialty retail shops and restaurants and office or residential space above, similar to the University Corners property across the street.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1158435/City-looking-to-develop-sites

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Ambler Boiler House, Arborcrest Office Park Among 2013 Montgomery Award Winners

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

The Ambler Boiler House and the Arborcrest office campus are getting some high praise for jobs well done.

The two construction projects were among five recipients of the 2013 Montgomery Awards, sponsored by the Montgomery County Planning Commission Nov. 13.

Accoring to a Montgomery County press release, the awards are given to outstanding projects and their creators for the best planning and design in the county. The award is an acknowledgment of the high quality of work and the commitment of communities, organizations and professionals.

According to a press release, the Boiler House was the recipient of the award for “the successful revitalization and adaptive reuse of an historic industrial structure in a state-of-the-art office building that incorporates sustainable design. This transit-oriented project, once a brownfield site, recognizes Ambler’s industrial heritage while advancing the borough’s revitalization efforts and providing environmental and economic benefits to the community.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131121/ambler-boiler-house-arborcrest-office-park-among-2013-montgomery-award-winners

Two Developers Set Sights On Fayette And Elm, Conshohocken

Location of Conshohocken in Montgomery County

Location of Conshohocken in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CONSHOHOCKEN — The Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority (RDA) has released redacted copies of two proposals to redevelop the Verizon building and a vacant parcel at the intersection of Fayette and Elm streets, reuse the historic Washington Fire Co. building and provide additional parking for Fayette Street merchants and shoppers.

The Times Herald filed a Right to Know request July 26 for the two proposals from Brandywine Realty Trust (BRT) of Radnor, Delaware County, and Keystone Property Group (KPG) of Lower Merion after officials at the RDA refused to provide the proposals without allowing the two realty development companies to redact “confidential and proprietary information.”

Jerry Nugent III, the executive director of the RDA, said in a July 31 letter that the information was “commercial or financial information received by an agency which is privileged or confidential and the disclosure of which would cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the person that submitted the information.”

The redacted version of the BRT proposal included an executive summary and six conceptual drawings illustrating the firm’s plans for replacing the Verizon building at 402 Fayette St., with a 24,000-square-foot building for borough workers and the police department.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130802/NEWS01/130809921/two-developers-set-sights-on-fayette-and-elm-conshohocken-#full_story

Easton Reviewing Bids For Sale Of Alpha Building

English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette ...

English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Easton‘s iconic brick and stone skyscraper is on target to be in new hands by the end of the year.

Mayor Sal Panto Jr. confirmed that the city is talking to a pair of finalists who want to buy the 91/2 -story city-owned Alpha Building, which anchors the southwest corner of Centre Square.  The city agreed earlier this year to list the building for sale and solicit proposals from developers.

Officials declined to name the two finalists, or to say how many proposals were received — although Panto did say it was more than two.

“We are working more with one (developer) because they offered more,” Panto said of the ongoing negotiations.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-easton-alpha-building-sale-close-20130802,0,7783825.story#ixzz2aqcrj1xa
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Genetti Pushes Plan To Restore Historic Wilkes-Barre Train Station

WEST PITTSTON— It was this important to area hotelier Gus Genetti:  He admitted he had donned a suit “for the first time in two weeks” since having open heart surgery.

The cause that spurred him? Saving Wilkes-Barre’s historic New Jersey Central train station.

“This is a gateway to the historic part of Wilkes-Barre,” Genetti told the Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority Board at its meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The authority bought the train station and surrounding land, including a strip mall on Market Street near Wilkes-Barre Boulevard, in 2006 using most of a $6.1 million loan from Luzerne County.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/681056/Genetti-pushes-plan-to-restore-train-station

Norristown Planning Commission To Review Senior Housing Proposal For Former Kennedy-Kenrick High School

Location of Norristown in Montgomery County

Location of Norristown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN ­­— The proposed 208-unit senior housing project at the former Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School will add 69 new vehicle trips during the weekday AM “peak” hour and 93 new vehicle trips during the weekday PM “peak” hour, according to a traffic impact study submitted to the Norristown Planning Commission.

The June 27 study, produced by Traffic Planning and Design (TPD) of Pottstown, and the preliminary site plans by the developer, Hallman Retirement Neighborhoods of Pottstown, will be reviewed by the planning commission at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The proposed $50 million project will include 46 units and a community center in the former high school, two multi-family buildings with a total of 98 units, 28 townhouses and two single-family homes for residential staff on the main school property at Johnson Highway and Arch Street.  The plan also calls for the former convent building to be razed and a 36-unit building and a separate, two-story retail/medical office building to be built in the former parking lot off Arch Street.

Two driveways will be built on Johnson Highway including a full-access driveway and a limited-access (egress only) driveway located 200 feet west of Arch Street.  full-access driveways will be built on Arch Street.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130708/NEWS01/130709735/norristown-planning-commission-to-review-senior-housing-proposal-for-former-kennedy-kenrick-high-school

The Suburbs: Pottstown Is Worried Over Tax Credit Housing Developer Who Answers Few Questions

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  It appears others are closely watching what Pottstown Borough Council decides regarding this low-income tax credit project and we are pleased!

Up in Pottstown (that’s in MontCo for you folks who don’t know what lies beyond the City’s limits) is a blightfighter who runs Golden Cockroach, an activist fighting against substandard rental living conditions in rental apartments, vacancy and urban (yes, urban!) blight up in Pottstown.

A boro of only 22,000 people, Pottstown occupies a small 5 square mile area of the western corner of Montgomery County, bested by Norristown and Conshohocken in urban density.  Most of the town is middle income at the high end and lower end working class.  As an older PA boro with an industrial past, it has its share of rusty buildings and older housing stock.  Ranchers on large plots are few.  Twin porchfront rowhomes with postage stamp front yards, many.

Since the housing bubble burst 5 years ago Pottstown has seen an increase in cash buyer investors seeking to grab deeds and insert renters into properties as has happened in other PA towns like Bensalem where subprime mortgages existed.  Many of those investors are absentee, maintenance is less than spectacular, and residents are worried that if left unchecked, and combined with urban-industrial decay within the town, that could put Pottstown’s viability as a desirable place to live under fire if quality of life worsens.  No one wants to see Pottstown decay into Chester or see its tax base erode or flee.

Read more:  http://www.philadelinquency.com/?p=2866

Town By Town: Why A Lot Of People Want To Live In Lansdale

Location of Lansdale in Montgomery County

Location of Lansdale in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: This is the desired effect of revitalization in case anybody in Pottstown Borough government cares!

One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in this region’s communities.

If you’ve been house-hunting and Lansdale is on your list of possibilities, consider setting aside Saturday to give this Montgomery County borough the once-over.

Don’t expect to be alone, though, because June 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is Lansdale Day, which typically attracts up to 5,000 people downtown, from Green Street to Cannon Avenue, to a fund-raiser for the Rotary of North Penn.

Even without the lure of a day of fun along West Main Street, a lot of people – especially younger ones and first-time buyers in search of affordable housing – have been heading to Lansdale lately.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/town-by-town/20130526_Town_By_Town___Lansdale_is_a_small_town_in_itself_.html#tC7Fk3Og5huI6fhJ.99

Downtown Pittsburgh Building Boom Shows No Signs Of Letting Up

Pittsburgh Downtown at Night

Pittsburgh Downtown at Night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The development boom in the city center is showing no signs of abating.

Whether it’s in urban living, where three-quarters of the residents are relative newcomers, or light-rail transit usage, which saw an increase last year thanks to the new North Shore Connector, or reports of yet another hotel in the works, Downtown’s fortunes continue to be on the rise.

At least that appears to be the case based on a new Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership report measuring economic activity in and around the Golden Triangle last year.  The “State of Downtown Pittsburgh 2013″ details a number of encouraging trends, from the widely reported bump in residential and office space demand to an increase in the number of building permits issued for improvements last year.

Overall, the partnership counted 60 projects totaling more than $2.2 billion that have been announced or are under construction in the city’s core and fringes, including the 33-story, $400 million Tower at PNC Plaza on Wood Street, which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/downtown-pittsburgh-building-boom-shows-no-signs-of-letting-up-687244/#ixzz2TBe3tPvI

Neuweiler Brewery In Allentown To Get New Life

English: City of Allentown from east side

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

Editor’s note:  Allentown is on FIRE with development!

New York City-based Ruckus Brewing would like to put the beer back in the old Neuweiler Brewery in Allentown.

The company announced Wednesday that it had won the right to try to convert the run-down property into a multipurpose development it would call Brewer’s Hill.

The centerpiece of the roughly $25 million project would be a brewery that would produce Ruckus’ line of microbrews and other craft beers on a contract basis, said Josh Wood, a Lehigh University graduate and co-owner of Ruckus.

“It is a big property,” Wood said. “The overall gist of it is about 50 percent — maybe a little less — we plan to use for brewing purposes or something related to that.”

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-neuweiler-butz-brewery-20130102,0,6194957.story

Restaurants, Residences Planned For Former Whistles Pub In Scranton

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

A downtown developer’s plans for a vacant building on Franklin Avenue promises to bring more business and foot traffic to what just a year ago had been a neglected block of downtown.

This week, Art Russo of Scranton purchased the Bittenbender Building, which formerly housed the popular Whistles Pub and Eatery.  His rough plans for the building call for 15 apartments on the third and fourth floors, possibly offices on the second floor, and a restaurant, deli and possibly a third ground-floor tenant.

“The first floor space is too big for one restaurant, and we’d like to create space for two or three different business,” Mr. Russo said.

He’s talked to a potential operator of a deli that sells prepared foods and some groceries as a potential tenant.  The restaurant and kitchen side, which has equipment in place, is a turnkey operation, Mr. Russo said.  The former Whistles had a sizable back room, which could have potential as a third entity.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/restaurants-residences-planned-for-former-whistles-pub-1.1382682

Two Pottstown Fire Companies Moving In Together

Editor’s note:  Hallelujah!  This makes complete sense and will help the borough budget!  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up!

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — One of the four firehouses in the borough is  up for sale and the fire company that has occupied it for 92 years will be moving into another firehouse by December.

Mark Gibson, a longtime member of the Empire Hook and Ladder Co. and its designated spokesman in this matter, confirmed that Empire will move into space at the Goodwill Fire Company on High Street and has put the 7,970-square-foot Empire firehouse at Chestnut and Franklin streets on the market.

The asking price is about $225,000.

Empire members voted overwhelmingly to endorse the move early in the year, he said.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120928/NEWS01/120929441/two-pottstown-fire-companies-moving-in-together