Google To Expand Pittsburgh Operations

The Internet search giant Google Inc. said Monday it will become an anchor tenant in a six-story office building planned in the East End’s Bakery Square 2.0 development.

“Google has signed a lease for an additional 66,000 square feet at Bakery Square 2.0 to accommodate for natural growth in our Pittsburgh office,” the company said in a statement.

It said local hiring will continue, but declined to offer specifics.

Bakery Square developer Walnut Capital Partners, based in Shadyside, hopes to begin construction on the office building in March. Google will occupy about a third of the building. Work is expected to take 18 to 24 months and cost at least $40 million.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5529819-74/square-bakery-google#ixzz2sOi8VvgS
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South Hills Village Mall To Get Major Makeover

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

South Hills Village mall will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation as part of its owner’s plan to spruce up some of its shopping centers — to the tune of $3 billion — through 2016, an official said.

“We’re very focused on making our malls completely up-to-date and with the latest customer amenities, and giving our customers the best experience in which to shop and dine and be entertained,” Les Morris, spokesman for Simon Property Group Inc., said on Thursday.

The recession hurt shopping centers nationwide, so retail property owners have been upgrading malls rather than building more of them, said Jesse Tron, spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers in New York.

“I think 2014 will remain more about redevelopment, as opposed to new development,” he said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5505569-74/mall-renovation-hills#ixzz2rzxz0IyU
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Dollar General, Like Its Shoppers, Weathers Tough Times

Four years ago, Jacqueline Horne lost her job as a business agent for a union and became a regular shopper at the Dollar General store in Pennsauken.

On a recent visit, the 46-year-old mother of two, who now works part time at a Wal-Mart store, bought cleanser for 50 cents, candy for $1, press-on nails for $1 (she said she can’t afford to get her nails done), and spices for $2.25, the most expensive item in her cart.

“Actually, it turns out to be cheaper,” Horne said of items at the Dollar General at 3400 Haddonfield Rd., on the border of Pennsauken and Cherry Hill. “When you’re on a budget in this economy, you watch everything.

“They really do have everything you need.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/mc-dollar-general-stores-tough-times-20130926,0,3690723.story

LVH-Cedar Crest Undergoing $21 Million Expansion

English: Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA...

English: Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lehigh Valley’s biggest hospital is getting bigger.

Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest has begun a $21.4 million expansion of its Kasych Family Pavilion in response to patient demand.  When it is done, the hospital will have added 24 patient rooms and three floors to the south tower.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-lehigh-valley-hospital-expansion-20130821,0,6465139.story#ixzz2cetZgxiB
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Wiring For Pottstown Schools Renovation Could Cost $375,000

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — You can add new data system wiring to the things not included in the $14 million price tag for renovation and expansion of three elementary schools in the borough.

Thursday night, school board Vice President Robert Hartman Jr., who is also the chairman of the board’s facilities committee, reported that his committee is recommending the additional spending of as much as $375,000 “for data wiring devices installation at Franklin, Lincoln and Rupert elementary schools” according to the agenda of Thursday’s meeting.

There was no discussion among the full board, or questions asked by any of the board members, so it was not immediately clear why this was not included in the budget for the broader expansion/renovation project.

Work began this summer on the renovations and expansion at the three schools, while work is now being completed at Barth Elementary School, where work began a year earlier.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130816/NEWS01/130819430/wiring-for-pottstown-schools-renovation-could-cost-375-000#full_story

Expansion Prescribed For Reading Hospital

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading Health System plans to build a $354 million clinical building on its West Reading campus, a move hospital officials say could keep more Berks County patients in the area for their medical care.

“What we’re really doing is upgrading what we currently have and bringing some of our facilities into the 21st century,” said Mark McNash, vice president of support services for the Reading Health System.  “We’re excited to offer state-of-the-art surgical facilities for the community.”

Construction of the eight-story building on Seventh Avenue and Parkside Drive will begin in September.  It will take three years to complete, McNash said.

Health system officials say they are undertaking the ambitious and expensive project because the hospital building is outdated in some respects.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=500297

Dick’s Sporting Goods To Expand Findlay Headquarters

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six weeks ago, one of the region’s newest corporate players — Chevron — announced agreements to acquire land for a potential regional headquarters. Now one of the more established local players — Dick’s Sporting Goods — is gearing up to expand its own corporate footprint.

Dick’s has reached an agreement with the Allegheny County Airport Authority to lease about 73 acres at the Northfield Commerce Park near Pittsburgh International Airport “for possible expansion of our corporate campus.”

The Findlay-based retailer’s deal is the latest example of an upsurge of interest in the Parkway West office market, which is benefiting from the need for space by energy companies involved in Marcellus Shale drilling.

But the Dick’s deal shows there are other factors at work as well.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/dicks-sporting-goods-to-expand-findlay-headquarters-691353/#ixzz2WCGzzLWy

Radnor Panel Rejects Villanova Expansion

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

The Radnor Township Planning Commission has rejected Villanova University‘s request for a zoning change that would allow a major expansion of the Lancaster Avenue campus with new dormitories, a parking garage, a performing arts center, and stores.

The $200 million plan has upset residents, who say it would transform a quiet neighborhood into a noisy extension of the 10,600-student Wildcat campus.

The university was seeking a conditional use to allow denser development than allowed, Planning Commission Chairwoman Julia Hurle said.

The commission was concerned was that the zoning change would not be restricted to the university, she said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/suburban_pa/20130509_Radnor_panel_rejects_Villanova_expansion.html#ocW7DQUa1jGWuMYC.99

Chevron Acquires Kmart Property In Moon Township For Possible Regional Headquarters

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

A discount superstore and a large vacant tract of land on a bluff overlooking the Parkway West could become the latest symbols of the region’s growing energy identity.

Global energy giant Chevron has reached agreements to acquire 61 acres of land in Moon, including a Kmart targeted for closing in July, as a potential site for a regional headquarters.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based company made the announcement Wednesday, only days after Sears Holdings Corp. confirmed it would be closing the Kmart. It made no mention at the time that the store was closing to make room for the first major global driller to build a regional campus.

In its statement, Chevron said it expects to close on the acquisitions in the next few months. No terms were disclosed. It said a decision on the use of the properties would be made later this year.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/chevron-acquires-kmart-property-in-moon-for-possible-regional-headquarters-685784/#ixzz2S9hTaqc3

Einstein Medical Center Montgomery Expanding

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgome...

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

EAST NORRITON – It’s been barely six months since the shiny new Einstein Medical Center Montgomery debuted on the site of the old “Woody’s” golf course, and already the hospital is growing.

Expansion to the latest addition of the Einstein Healthcare Network – essentially a conversion of the west wing of the medical center’s fourth floor – came a bit sooner than anticipated, noted Beth Duffy, Chief Operating Officer of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.

“We really thought it would happen a year or two down the road, but the early success of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery has created the need for additional patient care areas.”

Luckily, expansion opportunities were built in during the original construction, Duffy explained.

Read more:  http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-times-herald/story/einstein-medical-center-montgomery-expanding-2/1

Alvernia University On The Rise

English: Alvernia University Category:Alvernia...

English: Alvernia University Category:Alvernia University Category:University logos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Dr. Thomas F. Flynn took over the presidency at Alvernia University in 2005, the future looked bright.

The university was growing rapidly, and officials were putting together an aggressive plan to expand the campus in the next decade.

Then the recession hit in 2008, just as the university began not only its strategic plan, but its first comprehensive capital campaign.

Despite the challenges of the past five years, Alvernia flourished and moved forward faster with its plans than anyone expected.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=446239

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center East End Expansion Leads To Controversy

English: UPMC Logo

English: UPMC Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When UPMC paid $10 million in 2006 for the old Ford Motor Co. building on Baum Boulevard in Bloomfield, jaws dropped at what some considered an exorbitant price, even for a local landmark.

The sale “sort of stopped purchasing for a while because a lot of people thought they could get rich, too,” Pittsburgh Councilman Bill Peduto said. “They thought that if they held out, UPMC would knock with a check with a couple of extra zeroes.”

People did indeed get rich following the sale of the 1915 building that once served as a Ford assembly plant and showroom, but not by holding out as a way to take advantage of the $10 billion health care giant.

They simply owned the right property at the right time when UPMC, with its deep pockets, made a strategic decision to establish a larger East End footprint.

King Of Prussia Mall Announces New Retailers

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG), the world’s leading retail real estate company, announced the addition of six new merchants, along with three retailer expansions, to King of Prussia Mall.

The center continues to add stores to its more than 400 retail and dining options.

Tommy Bahama opened its first stand-alone store in Pennsylvania in July.

Athleta is set open by the end of the summer. Designed and tested by women athletes, Athleta offers women’s swimwear and athletic clothing for yoga, running, golf and tennis. Both stores will be located on the upper level of the Plaza.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/king-prussia-mall-announces-new-retailers/1

J.C. Penney Outlet In Fairgrounds Square Mall In Transition To Broader Based Store

JC Penney is one of the three department store...

JC Penney is one of the three department stores at the mall. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The J.C. Penney Outlet, one the three anchor stores at the Fairgrounds Square Mall, is experiencing growing pains.

The store is transitioning to a new outlet store with a new name, JC’s 5 Star Outlet, and an expanded inventory of closeouts from various manufacturers.

For now, store manager Bob Williams wants to focus on one thing: letting customers know that the store is open for business with no plans to close.

“Last year, when J.C. Penney decided to get out of the outlet business, customers were led to believe that we would be leaving,” Williams said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=390171

Pottstown Walmart Supercenter Taking Shape

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA  - By the end of summer, the Pottstown Walmart store is going to be a whole lot bigger.

In fact, it’s going to be super.

For the past four months, construction crews have been working on the expansion of the Walmart store in the Pottstown Center, Route 100 and Shoemaker Road, into a Supercenter. In addition to work being done inside and outside the store to grow the Walmart by 55,000 square feet into a SuperCenter - basically a Walmart that includes a full grocery store – the shopping center’s parking lot is also under construction.

That will mean 55,000 square feet of new construction will be added to Pottstown’s tax rolls after the property is reassessed when the construction is complete.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-times-herald/story/pottstown-walmart-supercenter-taking-shape-3/1

Easton-Based Crayola Launches New Exhibits

The sixteen Crayola "Metallic FX" sp...

The sixteen Crayola "Metallic FX" special effect crayons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Crayola Experience celebrated the opening of an 18,000 square-foot expansion with build-your-own space suits, a glow-in-the-dark doodle room, and a special green, odoriferous crayon called Alien Armpit.

Though their crayons might have been spiked with galactic body odor, dozens of kids rushed the new tables and activity areas in the Activity Studio, one of several new exhibits in the space Crayola moved into earlier this year as the National Canal Museum moved out.

Children grabbed glue sticks, tissue paper, a rainbow of crayons, fat markers, stencils, colored sand and brown paper bags – everything you need to make a spacesuit.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/easton/mc-crayola-experience-grand-opening-20120405,0,4160945.story

Carpenter Buys Former Dana Site

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

Image via Wikipedia

Carpenter Technology Corp. announced Friday that it has purchased the former Dana Corp. industrial site for about $6 million.

The Spring Township-specialty steel and alloy maker bought the 50-acre industrial property where General Motors vehicle frames were once produced from Reading Industrial Investments Corp., Ambler, Montgomery County.

What Carpenter got in the deal is about 40 acres of land and an additional area where four buildings are located, at West Robeson and Weiser streets, adjacent to Carpenter’s East Shore property.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=367183

Is There Life After Borders? In Pennsylvania, YES!

By now most people know Borders is going, going, gone in the very near future.  The departure of Borders from many malls has book lovers everywhere scrambling for a new place to buy books.

Books-A-Million is looking to fill that void, at least in some Pennsylvania locations.  Recently Books-A-Million opened a new store in a former Borders Express at Coventry Mall, Pottstown.  I also noticed in my last trip to Park City Center, Lancaster that Books-A-Million had opened a store there too.

Now Books-A-Million, a Birmingham, Alabama based bookseller, is trying to acquire eight more locations in Pennsylvania (there are currently five PA stores).  One site under consideration is the soon to be vacant Viewmont Mall Borders store in Dickson City.  According to the Times Tribune, the Dickson City Borders is Lackawanna County‘s only general-interest bookstore.

You can imagine that the Viewmont Mall management and Lackawanna County book lovers are waiting with bated breath to see if this deal goes through.

To check out Books-A-Million’s complete list of locations from their website, click here: http://www.booksamillion.com/storefinder?id=5114383831772

With the demise of Borders, Books-A-Million will become the nation’s second largest book retailer.

Reading Based Carpenter Technology Poised To Buy Second Company This Year

Berks County’s fifth-largest employer (2009), Carpenter Technology Corp., announced their $558 million agreement to buy Latrobe Specialty Steel Company.  Latrobe Specialty Steel Company manufactures and distributes high-performance materials for aerospace, defense, energy, and other significant applications with manufacturing operations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, the United Kingdom and seven distribution centers throughout the United States.  In January, Carpenter purchased Amega West Services, LLC, a Houston-based directional drilling component manufacturer and service provider for $54 million.

Latrobe Specialty Steel is headquartered in Latrobe, PA.  Latrobe is 47 miles east of downtown Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County.  The company has been in business since 1913 (Latrobe Electric Steel Company) and employs about 800 people at its various locations.  Latrobe was formerly home to the Latrobe Brewing Company (Rolling Rock beer), golf legend Arnold Palmer and Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fame (Won’t You Be My Neighbor).  Latrobe’s airport is named after Arnold Palmer, who was a pilot.

Carpenter Technology produces and distributes conventional and powder metal specialty alloys, including stainless steels, titanium alloys, tool steels and superalloys.  The company is strengthening its place in the specialty steel market and expanding their services into other compatible manufacturing areas.  Carpenter Technology, headquartered in Spring Township just outside Reading, PA, is an important player in the economy of Berks County.

Carpenter Technology Corp. is traded on the NYSE as CRS and the company website is http://www.cartech.com/

Harrisburg Brew Pub To Open Collegeville Location

The Appalachian Brewing Company will be opening up a fourth location in Collegeville at 50 Third Avenue.  The space was formerly Hemingway’s.  The new pub will be opening in April or May.

Appalachian Brewing Company is doing some remodeling before opening which will include a new bar, renovated kitchen and cooler.  They will employ 30 full-time and part-time people. 

According to a company spokesperson, Appalachian Brewing Company beer is already in our market and should be familiar to Collegeville-area residents.  The company opened its original Harrisburg location in 1997.  Two other locations are in Camp Hill and Gettysburg.

Watch the short video below to learn more!