Bethlehem To Reverse Back-In Angled Parking On Main Street

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Editor’s note:  Come on Pottstown, follow suit!

The back-in angled parking on Bethlehem‘s Main Street is going to be reversed.

Mayor Bob Donchez said merchants on that end of Main Street have long been asking for the parking to be switched to head-in and he’s complying with their requests.

“It was clear the back-in angle parking was a negative to bringing people to lower Main Street,” Donchez said. “It’s the right thing to do to help the merchants.”

Donchez is hopeful the switch could occur in time for the Celtic Classic Highland Games & Festival scheduled Sept. 26-28 or shortly thereafter.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/08/bethlehem_to_reverse_back-in_a.html

New Jersey-To-Philly Commuters Face Rough Summer

A PATCO Speedline train pulls into Woodcrest s...

A PATCO Speedline train pulls into Woodcrest station, heading towards Philadelphia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) – Commuters between southern New Jersey and Philadelphia are in for a rough summer.

Work on the tracks and electrical systems on the PATCO Speedline will mean a less frequent schedule for the train line used by 40,000 per day and closed car lanes on the Ben Franklin Bridge, which carries trains – and 100,000 cars daily – over the Delaware River,

“I have no choice but to catch the train because the parking is horrible and expensive over there,” Juanita King, who works as a scheduler at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Hospital, said before she hopped on her train recently at Camden’s Ferry Avenue Station, a popular place for park-and-ride customers from Camden and Gloucester counties.

A round-trip ride from there is $4.50 a day and most of the parking is free.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140525_ap_f585186901dd4e639c628853a7f38cd5.html#hVeJsZcKJYLOL6tO.99

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Five Years After Opening, Crime From Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem Isn’t The Factor Some Feared

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Bethlehem police Chief Mark DiLuzio remembers the critics.

Debates raged about whether Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem would be a benefit or detriment to the city and its surrounding communities. DiLuzio, then a police lieutenant, gave in to his detective spirit and researched the subject.

Much of what he found indicated casinos were not a hotbed of criminal activity.

Five years later, DiLuzio is now chief of police — and he’s happy to report that he was right.

Read more:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/05/crime_not_a_major_factor_five.html

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Northampton County Grant Will Buy Trolley For Downtown Easton

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

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

Easton officials hope to ease the city’s rising parking problems by introducing a trolley to the Downtown area purchased through a Northampton County grant.

Mayor Sal Panto Jr. said today that the city plans to buy a used trolley sometime this month and have it up and running through the Downtown area this summer. With the city’s new parking garage not due for completion until autumn, the city will rely on the trolley to connect distant parking lots to popular tourist spots, Panto said.

“We can’t invent parking, so I think it’s the next best idea,” Panto said.

County Executive John Brown said the $42,000 grant from the Northampton County Gaming and Economic Redevelopment Authority is part of the county’s outreach to regional partners. The county will also allow the city to use the Northampton County Courthouse’s parking lots for the Easton Farmers’ Market and other large events, he said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2014/05/northampton_county_grant_will.html

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Fulton Bank Starting Temporary Fill-In Of East King Expansion Site

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Fulton Bank is facing another delay to its East King Street expansion project and temporary fill-in of the site.

This time, Mother Nature is the culprit.

“We’re behind due to the extreme weather” this winter, said bank spokesman Laura Wakeley on Tuesday.

In its previous timetable, Fulton planned to start filling in the 23 E. King St. site in January.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/fulton-bank-starting-temporary-fill-in-of-east-king-expansion/article_ca61c3f4-b9db-11e3-80de-0017a43b2370.html

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Bethlehem Developer Gets First Approval For South Side Complex

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

A developer looking to build stores, offices and apartments across from the former Bethlehem Steel Corp. site got its first green light from Bethlehem officials today.

BethWorks Renovations needed the Bethlehem Planning Commission’s permission to build its proposed 111 apartments in two buildings, instead of three as originally proposed.

All three buildings were originally slated to host a mix of retail, offices and apartments, but company officials have since decided it would make more sense to separate the offices and apartments, said BethWorks’ Rob de Beer. All three buildings will still have retail space on the first floor.

BethWorks, which is co-owned by lawyer Michael Perrucci, is permitted to build up to 115 apartments on the three lots but needed variance approval to have them only in two buildings, de Beer said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/03/bethlehem_developer_gets_first.html

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Allentown Planners Warm To Cottage Houses Proposed At Former Montex Plant

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

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

A developer proposing a community of cottage-style houses at the former Montex Textiles plant in Allentown hopes to start working on the homes by the summer.

The 52-home complex, first proposed last year, emphasizes shared community green spaces and pedestrian-friendly streets to encourage a “front-porch culture” among neighbors.

The Allentown Planning Commission reviewed the sketch plan for the Sixth and Cumberland streets project today, and although a final vote will be held in the future, the early feedback was generally favorable.

“I think it’s a refreshing approach,” commission Chairman Oldrich Foucek said of the project, which is called Trout Creek Cottages.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/03/allentown_planners_warm_to_cot.html

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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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York Restaurants Recover From Winter Weather, Parking Woes

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

Severe weather, parking problems and a prime rib shortage made for a not-so-sweet Valentine’s Day at Coomb’s Tavern, said owner Teresa Marquette.

Since the restaurant is on the outskirts of York City, all the snow has nowhere to go, she said. Its parking garages and street spaces are either overwhelmed by mounds of snow or buried cars, she said.

“It’s a mess right now,” Marquette said. “It’s a total mess.”

The weather — the worst she’s seen in 18 years of owning Coomb’s — has even drowned out the restaurant’s recognition, she said, as York City named it February’s Merchant of the Month.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25187285/york-restaurants-recover-from-winter-weather-parking-woes

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Parking In Downtown Pottstown – Snow Rules Reminder

PLEASE REMEMBER SNOW RULES IF YOU ARE PARKING ON HIGH STREET IN THE NEXT TWO DAYS.

Parking areas should be left free of cars along High Street WHEN THE STORM ENDS – we do all we can to clear those areas, quickly and efficiently.

Any questions, feel free to contact Sheila Dugan at 484-948-6061. PLEASE USE THE LOTS AVAILABLE. Thank you in advance!

PS. Don’t forget to warm up this Saturday at The Soup Bowl Fund Raiser – www.ARTFusion19464.0rg

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Latest Phase Of Wilkes-Barre Streetscape Project Completed

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — State and federal funds paid for the latest phase of the city’s latest streetscape project, and Mayor Tom Leighton on Thursday said more money will be sought to complete the improvements downtown.

Sheltered from the rain under the overhang of an office building on Public Square, Leighton and more than a dozen state, city and local economic development officials stood on a section of concrete sidewalk poured in the summer and marked the completion of Phase 5 of the project with a ribbon cutting.

The mayor thanked the downtown businesses for their patience during construction that brought new walks, trees and curbing on a quarter of the Square from South Main Street to North Main Street and along East Market Street to Washington Street.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/950645/Latest-phase-of-W-B-streetscape-project-completed

Sovereign Center To Receive Larger Share Of Parking Funds

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

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

The Sovereign Center will get an extra $45,000 a year, thanks to the Reading Parking Authority’s agreement Wednesday to change the split of parking revenue coming from civic center events.

Since 2006, the authority has taken 75 percent of the revenue after expenses, giving the civic center 25 percent.

However, P. Michael Ehlerman, chairman of the Berks County Convention Center Authority that oversees the civic center, has asked that the parking board go back to the original split – the two sides each get 50 percent of the revenue after expenses.

The request came during a meeting of the authorities requested by Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer, said parking board member Lawrence P. Murin, who also is a special assistant to Spencer.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=505048

Reputed Wilkes-Barre Drug Trafficking Hub To Become Deli

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE – The Master Barber Shop on Hazle Street has been shuttered for more than a month, ever since prosecutors called it the “hub” of a multimillion-dollar drug trafficking operation.

But on Friday, the shop was abuzz.  Workers swept the floors, cleaned the shop and put a fresh coat of paint out front.

A sign on the front window tells the neighborhood a “Mexican deli” is on its way.

City resident Fernando Ortega, 45, said he hopes to open the shop in about a month.  He plans to install a small grill to cook food, he said, and will sell soft drinks, coffee, sandwiches and tacos.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/reputed-drug-trafficking-hub-to-become-deli-1.1534029

Harrisburg Parking Deal Would Preserve Local Control Through CREDC And Increase City Revenue, Sources Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

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

Control of Harrisburg‘s parking garages will remain local, and annual revenues into the city’s coffers will increase millions over current figures under the terms of the long-term lease of parking assets being negotiated by the city’s state-appointed receiver, according to multiple sources close to the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak on the record.

Leasing the assets directly to an outside for-profit operation, as had originally been planned, raised concerns within the city that parking rates could increase out-of-control to boost profits while the assets themselves could languish and degrade in the hands of a company with no long-term interest in the welfare of the city.

What’s more, according to multiple sources, the on-going financial plight of Harrisburg and fluctuations in the bond market made private bond financing less attractive to the companies originally interested in such a deal.

Although the basic structure of the parking deal has been previously reported, new details are emerging.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/08/harrisburg_parking_deal_would.html#incart_m-rpt-2

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

Hotel Sterling Demo Could Change More Than Just The Landscape

English: Hotel Sterling, Wilkes-Barre

English: Hotel Sterling, Wilkes-Barre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Ali Kazimi’s arrival at work was memorable Tuesday because the seven-story Hotel Sterling next door was almost entirely demolished.

“It was strange. You can see the eagles on the Market Street Bridge from our property.  We have a riverfront view,” said Kazimi, the third-generation owner of M. Abraham Importer on West Market, which opened by the once bustling Sterling in 1927.

Kazimi looks forward to losing that view to new development on the 4-acre Sterling parcel.  City officials condemned and demolished the former hotel and plan to seize the cleared lot from its nonprofit owner, CityVest, so the site can be marketed and sold to a private developer.

Read more:   http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/715688/View-from-River-and-Market-is-optimistic

Changing Skyline: Apartment Towers Growing Toward Philadelphia’s West

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

High-rise construction in Philadelphia comes in waves. The last big crest a decade ago brought in a handful of pricey condo towers, mainly clustered in established neighborhoods around Rittenhouse and Washington Squares.  This time, the tide is rolling westward, from Center City out toward the universities, and it’s looking like a tsunami.

Five apartment towers are or will be going up along Market and Chestnut Streets, between 20th and 38th, one glassy slab after another.  The total grows to seven if you count two clever retrofits where developers have piled extra floors on top of existing buildings, turning height-challenged mid-rises into full-fledged high-rises.

This stretch – from the tattered western edge of Center City to the University City Science Center – has long been an ill-defined territory, not uniformly academic, commercial, or residential.  The arrival of a couple thousand residents can’t help but make these blocks feel more lived-in, and the bustle should advance the goal of knitting together the two sides of the Schuylkill.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/home/20130621_Changing_Skyline__Apartment_towers_growing_toward_Phila__s_west.html

BOSS 2020 Seeks Boost For Sinking Spring

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

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

Sinking Spring‘s BOSS 2020 organization is getting ready to ask the state Department of Community and Economic Development for a $300,000 grant for its bold plan to remake the 100-year-old borough.

According to officials, $250,000 would supplement a $346,860 PennDOT grant for sidewalk improvement on the downtown’s west side.

The two-part project would consist of putting a sidewalk on Penn Avenue between Park and Wynnewood avenues, and widening the sidewalk on Penn Avenue from Columbia Avenue to Hull Street to six feet.

Right now, according to Sam Loth, consulting coordinator for BOSS 2020, the sidewalk is only 21/2 to 3 feet wide in some portions, which sometimes forces pedestrians to walk on the road.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=486342

Collegeville Farmers Market Moves To “New And Improved” Spot

COLLEGEVILLE — Collegeville Farmers’ Market is on a real “power” trip this year.

As it opens for its third market season on May 4, one of the local shopper’s favorite haunts for engaging in homegrown commerce is relocating across the street to the grounds of Davinci’s Pub, where it will be empowered by plenty of parking at the adjoining Power House Antique and Flea Market lot.

The market simply outgrew its original space behind the AmeriGreen Gas Station, noted Cathy Kernen, co-chair of the Collegeville Farmers’ Market committee and president of the Collegeville Economic Development Corp.

“We needed more space in order to attract more vendors and grow our market. We were maxed out at 23 vendors at the previous site,” she explained. “We needed more space for customer parking. Lou’s Too, a popular Trappe Restaurant, moved their restaurant adjacent to our market site, and although we had limited parking for handicapped patrons and parents with small children before, we were afraid that operating our market on the same parking lot as that of a popular restaurant would not provide enough parking for both of us.”

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130502/FINANCE01/130509950/collegeville-farmers-market-moves-to-new-and-improved-spot#full_story

Spencer Unveils Bold Plan For Reading

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with ...

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with Berks County courthouse on left; July 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer on Thursday outlined an ambitious agenda of more than a dozen initiatives, some already begun, to improve the finances and conditions of the city and its neighborhoods.

Speaking to several dozen people attending the Pennsylvania Economy League’s Issues Forum at the Berkshire Country Club in Bern Township, Spencer recounted his campaign themes and said: “Those are the promises; what people expect is performance.”

He then led the audience through a rapid-fire explanation of where the city is and where it’s planning to go in several key areas.

He said the city has set goals for each area and is requiring any department initiatives to match those goals, with their results to be measured.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=472999