2015 MONTCO HOUSING FAIR

Saturday, April 18

The Montgomery County Partners for Home Ownership, in conjunction with the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Development, invites you to join our annual HOUSING FAIR. The Housing Fair is free to the public and will include an exhibitor area for non-profits, banks, mortgage companies, realtors & insurance companies, home inspectors, credit companies and other housing-related organizations. Workshops will be running throughout the day!

Date: April 18, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Location: Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
Address: 201 E. Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Contact: 610-278-3540

Changing Skyline: Is ‘Over-Success’ In Development Hurting Philadelphia?

English: 1616 Walnut Street Building in Philad...

English: 1616 Walnut Street Building in Philadelphia. On NRHP since October 17, 1983 1616 Walnut Street in Rittenhouse Square East neighborhood of Center City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It wasn’t long ago that Philadelphia’s movers and shakers were lamenting that the city was being ignored by international retailers. Those chains finally discovered the city, and now they’re colonizing the shopping districts around Rittenhouse Square and the West Philadelphia universities at a stunning pace. Sometimes, the only way to be sure you’re not at the King of Prussia Mall is to look up at the sky.

Having gotten what it wished for, the city is starting to feel the first side effects of what New York urbanist Kent Barwick, former head of the Municipal Arts Society, identified as “the over-successful city.”

This may sound like an odd worry in a town that looks over its shoulder and still sees Detroit. It’s certainly great that the chains help draw throngs to Walnut and Chestnut Streets again. They’ve brought their stylish displays and uncovered the dormant charms of many old commercial buildings. Yet, there is a numbing sameness to much of the retail. You’ve seen identical mannequins in identical outfits perched in windows on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Boston’s Newbury Street, and Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/inga_saffron/20140711_Is__over-success__in_development_hurting_Phila__.html#OwFqlzCPsHwibjmA.99

Philadelphia’s Luxury Rental Market Is Booming

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

The city’s for-sale housing market is experiencing fits and starts on a seemingly unending road to recovery. The luxury rental market, on the other hand, remains hot.

Yet another illustration of that comes Wednesday with the official opening of Dranoff Properties’ Southstar Lofts, an 85-unit, mid-rise rental project at Broad and South Streets that is heavier on one-bedrooms than the company’s fully leased 777 South Broad a few blocks away.

Developer Carl Dranoff considers the buildings complementary, and tenants at Southstar will get to use the roof deck at 777 and will share other amenities.

Rents will range from $1,595 to $3,395 a month, he said. About 63 percent of those leasing are singles in their 20s, and 35 percent list their occupation as medicine. Most earn $50,000 to $150,000, and 48 percent are moving from within six blocks.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140427_Phila__luxury_rental_market_is_booming.html#jYw0YTP7lsBDLXES.99

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The Heartbleed Bug: Here’s What You Need To Know

How does local cybersecurity expert James Koons describe the Heartbleed bug?

MASSIVE.

“That’s the theme here,” said Koons, who has worked on IT security for the U.S. military and Amazon.com.

Currently he is chief security officer for Listrak, a Lancaster provider of online marketing services, and a board member of the Online Trust Alliance.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/the-heartbleed-bug-here-s-what-you-need-to-know/article_186a3f04-c0cb-11e3-a09f-001a4bcf6878.html

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Developers: West Manchester Mall Construction Could Begin By March

Map of York County, Pennsylvania, United State...

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

The new year will bring a new West Manchester Mall, and developers said work could begin before winter ends.

“We’re trying to get started as early as we can. March is not an unreasonable target,” said Tony Ruggeri, co-founder of Dallas-based M&R Investors, which owns the mall.

The 32-year-old shopping hub at 1800 Loucks Road is set for a $47 million redevelopment that will change it from an enclosed mall to an outdoor plaza similar to Hunt Valley Towne Center in Maryland.

The York County commissioners and the West York school board recently approved a tax incentive financing (TIF) plan that will allow the mall to be revamped while receiving a limited tax break on the improved property.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_24764314/developers-west-manchester-mall-construction-could-begin-by

Reading Officials Form Plan To Find Foreclosed-Property Owners

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

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A two-alarm fire in September 2011 gutted a vacant row home at 1422 Muhlenberg St., damaged two neighboring properties, and started the city on yet another frustrating journey to find an owner and order that a building be properly boarded up.

The Muhlenberg Street problem was just one skirmish in the city’s ongoing battle to find elusive property owners for such things as fire cleanup, unpaid taxes, quality-of-life tickets or blight.

But the battle may soon be over.

The city has a plan to get banks to register their foreclosures and may hire an outside firm to help monitor and enforce the rules.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=515575

Kenhorst Borough Council To Address Blighted Properties

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

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

Officials are set to address blighted properties in Kenhorst after a unanimous vote authorizing Solicitor Jill Nagy to draft a supplemental ordinance to help recover money used maintaining derelict houses and bank-owned properties.

Borough Council President David Roche told council that the supplement would be more of a backbone to the municipal building code, and that a newly formed blight steering committee met Wednesday to figure out how to better attack problem areas.

The panel consists of Roche, Richard Fritz, Mayor Nick Hatzas, Borough Manager Jeri Diesinger, Nagy and two residents who have not yet been chosen.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=498578

Cherry Hill Proposes New Regulations On Abandoned Houses

Census Bureau map of Cherry Hill Township, New...

Census Bureau map of Cherry Hill Township, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whenever John Aponik cuts the grass, bits of blue tarp get caught in the blades of his lawn mower.

Around Christmas, “it gets in all the wreaths,” Aponik said of the tarp that has been shredding off the house next door to his on Glen Lane in Cherry Hill, where a renovation project was abandoned four years ago.

No one has lived in the house since then, Aponik said, although it isn’t exactly vacant. “Raccoons, possums – cats were breeding out there,” Aponik said, who has set traps lent to him by a neighbor.

He’s also written letters to the mayor’s office and repeatedly called a contractor employed by mortgage companies, but the problems remain: The township doesn’t own the property.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20130422_Cherry_Hill_proposes_new_regulations_on_abandoned_houses.html

Developers Of Planned Lower Macungie Shopping Center ‘Trying To Bridge Financial Gap’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

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

Developers of a proposed shopping center that would bring a Costco Warehouse and Target to Lower Macungie Township pitched their project to the East Penn School Board Monday night in anticipation of a future request for Tax Increment Financing.

Staten Island developer Timothy Harrison presented his vision for Hamilton Crossings – a $120 million, 580,000 square-foot shopping center proposed on 62 acres on both sides of Krocks Road between the Route 222 Bypass and Hamilton Boulevard. He told the school board he would be returning to ask the district to participate on a TIF committee.

Harrison and his partner Jeremy Fogel, executive director of The Goldenberg Group in Blue Bell, discussed financial hurdles involved with the site that are caused by geotechnical issues resulting from more than 70 years of use as an iron-ore mine. They told directors that much of the site consists of mine wash, a pancake batter-like substance that has to be removed and mixed with concrete or rock before it is returned to the ground. Harrison said the ground could not support buildings or a parking lot without remediation.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/eastpenn/mc-east-penn-lower-mac-tif-20120814,0,2514578.story

Costco To Anchor The Gateway At Sanatoga Shopping Center

This is a logo for Costco.

Image via Wikipedia

Costco is coming to Limerick Township!  The new store will be an anchor in the Gateway at Sanatoga Shopping Center, which is now under construction, next to the Philadelphia Premium Outlets.

According to the website, the center will be 412,000 square feet and feature a Costco, 170,000 square feet of in-line retail space, 6 restaurants, 1 cinema, 2 banks and a hotel.  When combined with the Philadelphia Premium Outlets there will 1,000,000 square feet of retail space, upon completion, at this location.

http://www.oneillproperties.com/pdf/51149-Sanatoga-Fly-Sheet-050709_proof.pdf