Armand Hammer Boulevard Bridge Over Route 422 Opens, More Work Coming

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

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

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA— Long-suffering Route 422 drivers may take heart in knowing that one phase of the work at the Armand Hammer Boulevard interchange is completed with the opening today of the bridge over Route 422, providing improved access into the former Firestone complex.

But more work is on the way, including the closure of the on-ramps and off-ramps on the eastbound portion of the highway.

As anyone who drives the highway regularly knows, for the past 16 months, PennDOT contractors have been working to replace the Route 422 bridge over the Schuylkill River between Lower Pottsgrove and North Coventry.

At the same time, they have been working on reconfiguring the Route 422 interchange with Armand Hammer Boulevard, located on the east side of the bridge replacement project.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140731/armand-hammer-blvd-bridge-over-rt-422-opens-more-work-coming

McCandless OKs Land Development Plan For Potential Wal-Mart

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

McCandless gave an assist to Wal-Mart in its plan to build a store by speeding through the approval process, two attorneys said during a contentious council meeting Monday night.

“I wouldn’t be standing here if this wasn’t the most egregious consideration of a big box in my more than 32 years of experience,” said William Sittig, an attorney representing O’Hara-based Giant Eagle Inc.

The town council voted 5-2, with Cynthia Potter and Gerard Aufman Jr. against, to approve Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s subdivision application for a store in a Blazier Drive shopping center between Blazier’s intersections with Ingomar and McKnight roads. The council also voted 4-3, with Potter, Aufman and William McKim against, to approve a land development plan.

Wal-Mart plans to demolish two commercial buildings on Blazier Drive and replace them with a 150,000-square-foot supercenter that will include a grocery store, auto center and drive-through pharmacy.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6462288-74/mart-wal-council#ixzz38ruqXvcW
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Housing Development Planned In Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — In a few months, the vacant building on Dana Street that formerly housed First Hospital will be gone. A housing development is planned in its place.

The Wyoming Valley Health and Education Foundation is demolishing properties on Dana, Grove and McCarragher streets in the Rolling Mill Hill neighborhood with plans to donate the land to a Lancaster-based development company.

Housing Development Corporation MidAtlantic plans to build 56 units of affordable rental housing in the area.

The properties include 133 and 149 Dana St., 66-68 Grove St. and 112 McCarragher St., according to Gerard T. O’Donnell, a consultant working with the Wyoming Valley Health and Education Foundation, which plans to demolish the structures.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/housing-development-planned-in-w-b-1.1724520

Downtown Residents, Developers Enjoy Romance With Rooftops

Downtown Pittsburgh as seen from PNC Park across the Allegheny River

Downtown Pittsburgh as seen from PNC Park across the Allegheny River

From atop the Lando Building at Penn Avenue and Ninth Street, Todd Palacic can see PNC Park, kayaks on the Allegheny River, construction work on The Tower at PNC Plaza and glimpses of the shimmering glass of PPG Place.

Palacic, who is developing the seven-story structure into 27 apartments and building a deck on its roof, foresees tenants throwing parties, watching fireworks and lounging amid Pittsburgh’s skyline.

“People who live Downtown want to show off, and a deck allows them to show off,” Palacic, a developer at Penn Avenue Renaissance, said as he leaned over the deck railing to look out over the river. “A lot of first kisses will happen up here on this deck. I guarantee it.”

As more people move Downtown — the population jumped 10.5 percent in the past three years, reaching more than 7,500, according to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership — residents are claiming rooftops as social spaces to dine, drink, relax and take in sights. Restaurants have opened rooftop bars and seating areas. Nearly 10 apartment complexes boast roof patios and lounges, and new developments almost all have rooftop plans.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/editorspicks/6451106-74/downtown-pittsburgh-tower#ixzz37vYrS6MJ
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Lower Macungie Approves 3 Million Square Feet Of Warehouses

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

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

Lower Macungie Township officials signed off tonight on plans to construct just under 3 million square feet of warehouses.

The plans by developer Liberty Property Trust call for the buildings to be developed on 225 acres in the western part of the township, near Spring Creek and Mertztown roads.

The project includes three warehouses which are 1.2 million, 1.1 million and 650,000 square feet in size, as well as a 10,000-square-foot office building, township planning director Sara Pandl said.

Township commissioners voted 5-0 tonight to approve the project. Construction is expected to begin as early as this year and could conclude by 2015, according to Bill Bumber, Liberty Property Trust’s vice president of development.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/lehigh-county/index.ssf/2014/07/lower_macungie_approves_3_mill.html

‘Celebrate Downtown’ Shines Light On Pittsburgh Revitalization

Downtown Pittsburgh as seen from PNC Park across the Allegheny River

Downtown Pittsburgh as seen from PNC Park across the Allegheny River

Downtown should be an exciting place to go or live. It remains an important indicator of any city’s health.

For the past 20 years, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has worked to revitalize Downtown and will call attention to its progress with eight days of activities called “Celebrate Downtown” from July 14 to 21.

New this year to the annual Celebrate Downtown attractions are Dining Around, sampling food and drink at some of the city’s most highly regarded restaurants; All Access Pittsburgh, a series of tours; and Open Streets, which will create space for people to enjoy part of Downtown free of cars, buses and trucks.

The creation of the Cultural District and revitalization of Market Square are only part of the changes Downtown. More than 12,000 people live Downtown now, with more than 2,000 new apartments coming.

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/moreaande/6418404-74/downtown-july-market#ixzz37GwwnvK9
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Pittsburgh-Allegheny County SEA Moves Ahead On Redevelopment Of Civic Arena Site

Mellon Arena in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mellon Arena in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority board has taken another step in preparing the former Civic Arena site for redevelopment.

Board members authorized a $555,685 contract with Michael Baker Jr. today to do final design work for four roads — Centre Avenue, Washington Place, Bedford Avenue, and Crawford Street — that border the 28-acre site in the lower Hill District.

Plans call for those existing roads to be repaved, with upgraded signals, intersections and sidewalks at an estimated cost of $12 million.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/07/10/Pittsburgh-Allegheny-County-SEA-moves-ahead-on-redevelopment-of-Civic-Arena-site/stories/201407100268#ixzz375Nwumqr

Lancaster Mayor: Advantages Of College Use Of Former Armory Site Outweigh Price

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

When Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology officials came to City Hall and asked the city to sell them the former National Guard armory site, Mayor Rick Gray’s answer was “no.”

The armory was an unexpected windfall for the city, but the city needed it badly.

The buildings which had been used to service military vehicles would become a new maintenance garage to replace the city’s crumbling facility.

But, eventually, college officials persuaded Gray an expansion of the technical school was in the best interests of the college and the surrounding neighborhood.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/lancaster/news/mayor-advantages-of-college-use-of-former-armory-site-outweigh/article_1b928054-0646-11e4-b8d3-0017a43b2370.html

Tiny Houses Offer Big Potential In Neighborhoods Like Garfield

Locator map with the Garfield neighborhood in ...

Locator map with the Garfield neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tiny houses could play a big role in rebuilding Garfield by filling some of the neighborhood’s hundreds of vacant lots and boosting homeownership in a more affordable way, officials say.

Downtown nonprofit cityLAB intends to build a 210-square-foot home on a small parcel between two-story homes on North Atlantic Avenue, a couple of blocks from bustling Penn Avenue. Leaders of the group hope more will follow.

“There’s no such thing as a small building project,” said Chad Chalmers, an architect with Sewickley-based Wildman Chalmers Design LLC who is working on the Garfield project, noting that construction of a tiny house must go through the same steps as a traditional one — in some cases, more requirements.

An added step for Garfield’s tiny house could be to seek a variance to a section of Pittsburgh’s building code that requires any newly constructed home to have an off-street parking space. In this case, the 180-square-foot space would be nearly as large as the home and eat up one-fifth of the property.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6376279-74/tiny-garfield-square#ixzz36oAU7ATO
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Workers, Officials Mark Placement Of Last Steel Beam Atop Tower At PNC Plaza

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)

Downtown’s newest skyscraper has reached a milestone.

Scores of construction workers, with their hard hats on and cell phones recording the moment, watched from the ground today as the last steel beam for PNC Financial Services Group’s 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza was put into place.

The beam featured the signatures of many of the iron workers, carpenters and other tradesmen who have been working on the $400 million building, billed as the world’s greenest skyrise. Others signing the beam included officials with PNC, which intends to make the glass high-rise its new global headquarters.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/06/24/Workers-officials-mark-placement-of-last-steel-beam-atop-Tower-at-PNC-Plaza/stories/201406240197#ixzz35b8WsYv1

A Tale Of Two Improvement Zones

ALLENTOWN, PA — In the center of this city’s downtown is a Civil War monument complete with a sailor, artilleryman, infantryman and a cavalry soldier.

It is very similar to the one in Lancaster’s Penn Square, but larger.

That’s fitting for a city with twice the population and twice the land area as Lancaster.

And for a city that has experienced proportionally larger swings of fortune.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/a-tale-of-two-improvement-zones/article_f8de6fa0-f277-11e3-8f19-0017a43b2370.html

Nearby Businesses Can’t Escape Effects As PNC Tower Goes Up In Downtown Pittsburgh

Locator map with the Central Business District...

Locator map with the Central Business District neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a $400 million project to build PNC Financial Services Group’s new corporate headquarters nears the midpoint, surrounding business owners are anxiously awaiting completion of Downtown’s biggest skyscraper in more than a quarter-century.

Some look forward to an anticipated boost in business. Others long for their misery to end.

“It’s tough to complain about progress, but this project has definitely been a struggle for us,” said Rob Kania, owner of Metropolitan Preschool & Nursery, which runs a Fifth Avenue facility in the shadow of the project.

Most agree The Tower at PNC Plaza will become a jewel in the city’s skyline. PNC hopes it will be the world’s most environmentally friendly office building.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6233934-74/pnc-project-tower#ixzz34AFlxv00
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Lancaster City Alliance Moves Toward New Phase Of Revitalization

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Stadium: Check.

Arts district: Check.

Convention Center: Check.

Tourism: Check.

Sixteen years after business leaders tried to revive Lancaster city with an economic development plan, many of the plan’s major components have come to pass.

Lancaster is a very different city than it was in 1998.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lancaster-city-alliance-moves-toward-new-phase-of-revitalization/article_0c4d62e2-ecee-11e3-a77e-001a4bcf6878.html

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Downtown Pittsburgh Enjoys Growth In Population, Building Boom

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The ...

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The Point” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join to form the Ohio here. The West End Bridge crosses the Ohio in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fred and Christine Thieman migrated from the suburbs to Downtown when their youngest child went to college about three years ago.

That year, for the first time in more than 90 years, the nation’s biggest cities, including Pittsburgh, grew faster than their suburbs, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington policy group.

The trend continued in each of the past two years, though growth rates for cities and suburbs hover around 1 percent and the gap between them is narrowing, Brookings reported in May.

But the population living Downtown has soared. Census data show the area was home to 12,343 people last year, up 10.5 percent from 2010.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6202435-74/downtown-units-percent#ixzz33UyDfZnb
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Hoping For Recovery In Marcus Hook

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

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

Marie Horn’s front porch offers a panoramic view of the Delaware River and riverfront park in Marcus Hook.

Her back deck overlooks a different scene: empty lots, with curb cuts and street lights prepared for 11 more houses.

The land has long sat vacant, as a nonprofit group struggles to find interested builders or buyers to complete a neighborhood of brightly colored colonials along the river, bookended by a refinery and a former refinery property. Horn’s house is just one of three built in the last few years.

It is unclear when more will join them.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140526_Hoping_for_recovery_in_Marcus_Hook.html#ADvJFZstAFQIY6QD.99

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Eight-Story Holiday Inn Proposed For Downtown Pittsburgh Site

There are Hol­i­day Inns all over the land but not a one in Down­town. A Brid­geville de­vel­oper is hop­ing to change that.

The Forza Group will brief the city plan­ning com­mis­sion Tues­day on a pro­posal to build an eight-story, 99-room Hol­i­day Inn at 435 Fort Pitt Blvd. near Smith­field Street. The plan also in­cludes a bar and restau­rant and lim­ited park­ing, nine spaces in all.

In doc­u­ments filed with the plan­ning com­mis­sion, Forza said it hopes to have the $9 mil­lion proj­ect com­pleted by June 2015.

“There’s re­ally no [Hol­i­day Inn] pres­ence in the Down­town Pitts­burgh area,” said Brock Hunt, Forza’s di­rec­tor of fran­chise re­la­tions. The clos­est is a Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press and Suites on South 10th Street, South Side.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/05/23/A-Holiday-Inn-could-be-headed-Downtown/stories/201405230173#ixzz32e8nZnAc

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New Economic Study Points To Rapid Growth In Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to economic and residential growth, the Golden Triangle has had the golden touch in recent years, with almost $800 million in development under construction and about twice that much planned.

A study released on Thursday predicts that trend will continue with explosive development of apartments, hotels and retail and high-end office space in Pittsburgh’s Greater Downtown, including the Triangle, North Shore, South Shore, Uptown, the Bluff and near Strip District as far northeast as 31st Street.

“We’re only experiencing the beginning of Downtown’s transformation,” said Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Downtown Partnership.

The partnership produced the study, which looked at economic indicators in several key areas to evaluate Downtown’s vitality. It gave the results in a presentation at Union Trust Building — itself a symbol of Downtown’s revitalization.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6115943-74/downtown-percent-partnership#ixzz31tEGYvVi
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Plans For $100 Million Allentown Building Move Forward

English: City of Allentown from east side

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

One of the newest major office buildings planned by developer J.B. Reilly moved forward another step tonight.

The $100 million Five City Center received conditional approval, one of several steps in the early stages of the City Center Lehigh Valley project. Plans for the building were announced in March.

No tenant has yet been identified for the 250,000-square-foot building, but construction could begin as early as mid-2015, City Center spokesman Jeff Vaughansaid. The building could be as many as seven floors tall.

Planned for Walnut Street between Seventh and Eighth streets, the building could serve up to 1,000 workers and will include a 1,078-space parking deck, which will include some underground parking.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/05/plans_for_100_million_allentow.html

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Downtown Phillipsburg Homes And Businesses Starting To See Improvements From Tax Credit Program

Map of New Jersey highlighting Warren County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Warren County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PHILLIPSBURG, NJ – A $1 million investment has started trickling into the heart of downtown Phillipsburg.

The area from the black bridge on South Main Street to Stockton Street, between the Delaware River and Sitgreaves Street, is the target of the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program.

John Korp, associate director of the Northwest New Jersey Community Action Program, said people from more than 20 businesses and 30 owner-occupied homes have shown interest or submitted paperwork to enroll. Business owners need to identify what needs they have and may be eligible for reimbursement for curb-appeal, lighting and security upgrades.

Phillipsburg Downtown Association President Joe Little called it a “fantastic” opportunity for the businesses in the area. Many of the shop owners have a to-do list of improvements they had to back burner because of the economy, he said in an email last week.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/phillipsburg/index.ssf/2014/05/downtown_phillipsburg_homes_an.html

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