Zoning Code Changes Would Help Guide Redevelopment Of Former Industrial Sites In Philadelphia

Two members of City Council are proposing changes to a new zoning classification that’s meant to encourage the redevelopment of former industrial sites into mixed-use residential projects.

The category, Industrial Residential Mixed-use (IRMX), was created during the overhaul of the zoning code that culminated when a new code was enacted in 2012. Because it’s a new category, it has yet to be mapped into many neighborhoods.

But Councilmen Mark Squilla and Kenyatta Johnson are co-sponsoring a bill that would make a number of changes to the category. The changes would require IRMX projects to include non-residential uses, incentivize artisan or light-industrial uses, reduce the maximum lot coverage, and ease parking and loading regulations.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/Zoning_code_changes_would_help_guide_redevelopment_of_former_industrial_sites.html#tBqxSQKwwjLgiCLY.99

Coming This Week: A Special Report On Columbia’s Public Schools

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Editor’s note:  I hope folks from the Pottstown School District follow this story.  It’s a smaller version of Pottstown with many of the same issues!

Columbia’s public schools will reopen in late August, reverberating again with the clamor of children.

But overshadowing the back-to-school routine will be difficult questions.

Columbia is a tiny, high-poverty school district struggling to prepare kids for our fast-changing, technology-driven world.

The single-municipality district has the weakest tax base in Lancaster County and the second-highest proportion of needy children. Its taxes are the county’s highest and salaries the lowest. It has too many dropouts. Test scores are abysmal.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/coming-this-week-a-special-report-on-columbia-s-public/article_a2e62f5a-faf3-11e3-83c4-001a4bcf6878.html

POTTSTOWN AREA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT, INC. ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HIRE

POTTSTOWN, PA, NOVEMBER 2, 2011: Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. (PAID) has announced the appointment of Steven Bamford as its new Executive Director. Bamford’s first day will be November 10, 2011.

A resident of Lansdale, Bamford has over 20 years of economic development experience in local government as well as the private sector – since February 2010, he has been Co-Owner/Vice President of TCB Marketing, a results-oriented marketing, media and management consulting firm.

Additionally, Bamford served as a Manager, then Senior Manager, at Ernst and Young from 2002 to 2010. At Ernst and Young, Bamford was responsible for assisting Fortune 1000 and middle market clients making investment and location decisions in the US and abroad by identifying, negotiating and securing incentives from federal, state and local governments.

Prior to his private sector experience, Bamford worked in various positions in the public sector. From 1997 to 2002, Bamford held dual roles as the Vice President of Operations with the Allentown Economic Development Corporation and served as the Executive Director of the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority. In this capacity, Bamford managed the day-to-day operations of these organizations and their real estate redevelopment projects serving as “developer of last resort” for the most challenging, underutilized and functionally obsolete properties. Bamford also assisted businesses and developers in determining feasibility, site selection, and obtaining funding for projects. Some of these projects included the Bridgeworks, Portland Place, Plaza at PPL Center and Lehigh Landing.

From 1993 to 1996, Bamford served as the Vice President for Special Projects with the New Castle County (DE) Economic Development Corporation where he assisted with site selection and provided support for companies seeking incentives, zoning or development plan approval for projects. Also, Bamford served as the Economic Development Specialist for the City of Reading from 1991-1993 where he performed financial analysis, evaluated development and operating budgets and made funding recommendations to City Council on requests from businesses and developers for assistance through the City’s revolving loan fund.

“Steve’s experience, energy and mix of public sector and private sector experience will be a positive impact to the Borough of Pottstown” said Jason Bobst, President of the Board of Directors.

“We were especially impressed with Steve’s research into the Economic Development Strategic Plan and the most recent Urban Land Institute Advisory Panel Service Plan of 2009. He presented a possible entry plan into this new position from the priorities listed in these documents” added Reed Lindley, Superintendent of the Pottstown School District.

Bamford becomes the first Executive Director of PAID, Inc. since its re-birth as part of the Urban Land Institute Advisory Panel Service Plan recommendation for a single-source entity for economic development in the Borough of Pottstown.

Bamford received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Business Administration from Ursinus College and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Delaware.

PAID, Inc. selected Bamford from a field of 37 applicants.

Editor’s comments:  We thank Jason Bobst and the rest of the PAID Board for their hard work in selecting a qualified candidate to help move Pottstown forward.  We are impressed with Mr. Bamford’s credentials.  Mr. Bamford appears to have the skill sets and leadership qualities that will be needed for the Herculean task of leading Pottstown to greener economic pastures.

We welcome Mr. Bamford to Pottstown and wish him much success.  We hope a new era of cooperation and collaboration will unfold in Pottstown that will enable Mr. Bamford to be all he can be in this position.  He CANNOT do it alone!  This means Mr. Bamford needs our full cooperation and support.

Massive Brownfield Reclamation Project In York City

The City of York is undertaking the largest economic development project in that city’s history.  The Northwest Triangle project will span 29 acres and cost $50 million dollars.  The project will be paid for by a $7 million dollar state grant, $12 million dollars in public funds and $14 million dollars in private funds.  Enterprise Homes will contribute $18 million dollars.

The project is varied and includes a residential component, commercial space and a charter school.  84,000 square feet of new and rehabilitated space will be available for professional, office, entertainment, restaurants, retail, townhouses and condominiums.  The project will create 300-500 jobs and add 250 new city residents.

The York Academy Regional Charter School is being created and will be part of this massive project.  The building is being renovated and will be completed in July 2011.  Phase one will be kindergarten through second grade.  Within five years the school will be K – 12.  York Academy Charter will be York’s fifth charter school and will feature an International Baccalaureate curriculum.

Enterprise Homes is the residential part of the project.  85 to 125 homes will be built based on a market study to be conducted.

Four existing buildings are part of the redevelopment project which will also include extending the York County Heritage Rail Trail through the city to the Northwest Triangle.  A streetscape project is also expected to be approved and will be paid for by an $890,980.00 federal grant.

To recap, we have a state grant and a federal grant being combined with money from public and private developers to reclaim 29 acres of blight!

Another Example Of Brownfield Reclamation!

This is another great example of what could happen here in Pottstown.  I am hopeful that the new economic development coalition will consider projects like this!

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