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!

7-Eleven Stores Pass 40,000 Locations – More Stores Than McDonald’s!

7-Eleven grows at the rate of a new store opening every three and a half hours.  Really…is that even necessary?  According to 7-Eleven brass, they will add another 2,000 to 2,500 more stores worldwide in 2011.  Five hundred of those will be in the U.S. and Canada.

7-Eleven said they have significant room to grow.  Amazingly, 7-Eleven only operates in 30 U.S. states.  7-Eleven is a subsidiary of Seven-Eleven Japan.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The chain started in Dallas, Texas in 1927.  7-Eleven is now looking to buy existing convenience stores and convert them to 7-Eleven’s.  They are the Borg of the convenience store world.  Resistance is futile.

Another head-scratching factoid is that with a gazillion stores, 7-Eleven stores make up only 5% of the total number of convenience stores in our great nation.  Again, you read that correctly.  Cigarettes are 7-Eleven’s biggest selling item; however, customers can expect to see more hot food and bakery items down the road. 

The chain also has a large private-label program thereby allowing them, sometimes, to only sell the 7-Eleven brand of a particular product.  Less than half of 7-Eleven’s stores sell gasoline, which helps the company open stores faster and in smaller spaces.  On the other hand, 80% of U.S. convenience stores sell fuel.

Oh thank heaven for 7-Eleven…evidently.

Company Relocating National Headquarters To Chester Riverfront

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

Image via Wikipedia

This is great news for Chester!  Power Home Remodeling Group, the nations fourth-largest home-remodeling company, is relocating their corporate headquarters to Chester’s riverfront.  (Sounds like a ULI recommendation to me) 

The Wharf at Rivertown is a mixed-use office and retail project along the Chester riverfront.  Governor Rendell, when he’s not busy yelling at Leslie Stahl, said “This project will continue the impressive development of the city’s waterfront area and build upon its growing reputation as a great location for businesses looking to relocate or expand.”

The Governor’s Action Team (GAT) coordinated the project.  GAT is made up of economic development professionals who work with businesses that are interested in expanding in or relocating to Pennsylvania.

A $300,000 grant was obtained with the help of the Delaware County Commerce Center.  The entire Power Home Remodeling Group project will cost $1 million dollars.  It will create 270 new jobs within three years and keep the 278 jobs already in Chester.

Sounds like Chester, PA is open for business!