Revitalizing Land Trust in Pottstown

Nice coverage of MOSAIC Community Land Trust by a Philadelphia blogger!

Click here to read the article:

http://www.philadelinquency.com/2012/09/28/revitalizing-land-trust-in-pottstown/

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Blight Poses Challenges For Distressed Cities

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scranton is a city of 76,000 people with a housing stock largely built before 1940 for a population almost twice that number.

It has the blight to prove it.

As the financially strapped city struggles to combat blight and the host of ills it fosters, Scranton finds itself in a position common among many Rust Belt communities: many old buildings, too few people willing or able to keep them up and limited resources to press aggressively for a comprehensive solution.

The region’s other two major cities, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, are dealing with similar issues, though their circumstances don’t precisely mirror Scranton’s.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/blight-poses-challenges-for-distressed-cities-1.1744585

State College Borough Council OKs Neighborhood Plan

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

— Council unanimously voted Monday to approve the borough’s neighborhood plan, bringing almost two years of work and planning to a successful conclusion.

The plan was presented to the board by borough planner Meagan Tuttle. Tuttle had previously presented the plan to the board during the July 14 work session.

She explained that following board feedback, the planning staff looked into the borough’s role in realizing several of the goals presented. Some changes were made from the version presented on July 14 that moved the borough to a leadership position, and the council would see those changes on the final draft.

Stability Spurs More Growth In Pittsburgh

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)

Slow and steady wins the race: It works for the tortoise, and it seems to be working for Pittsburgh.

The latest annual “Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow” report by PittsburghTODAY found that Pittsburgh continues to make modest economic progress after years of decline.

PittsburghTODAY is a nonprofit part of the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social & Urban Research that tracks the region’s progress compared with 15 other areas of similar size, geographic and demographic makeups.

Doug Hueck, program director for PittsburghTODAY, highlighted data regarding population growth, unemployment levels and housing appreciation rates as examples of the city’s revival.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/22/Stability-spurs-more-growth-here/stories/201402220041#ixzz2u57osImH

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Town By Town: Abington Homes Offer Good Value

Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, P...

Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region’s communities.

If Abington can come up with more houses to sell next year, its reputation for affordability – combined with lower Federal Housing Administration mortgage limits – might result in a sales boom.

That’s the opinion of some real estate agents, including Cheryl Miller of Long & Foster’s Blue Bell office, who sells in this Montgomery County township known for its older houses, its hospitals, its 16 neighborhoods (or parts of neighborhoods), Willow Grove Park mall, and traffic that moves at a snail’s pace along Route 611.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/town-by-town/20131229_Town_By_Town__Abington_homes_offer_good_value.html#lgiIt7UHFKYC4zXt.99

Investors Are Becoming Pittsburgh’s Biggest Home Buyers, Sellers

Locator map with the Mount Washington neighbor...

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

Joe Calloway has bought 39 homes this year in the city of Pittsburgh, mostly in south Pittsburgh communities such as South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Arlington, Allentown, Beltzhoover and Mount Washington.

His Allentown company, RE 360, finds properties selling for below-market value, either by word of mouth, industry sources or courthouse auctions. He renovates about 20 percent of them for resale and rents the other 80 percent to city residents.

“The city of Pittsburgh is attractive to me because I grew up here,” he said. “I know the area, and it’s important to invest in what you know.”

While Mr. Calloway — who has purchased more than $1 million in single-family homes this year — is the largest buyer of investment real estate in the city, he is hardly alone. According to RealStats, a South Side-based real estate information service, real estate investors have bought 1,111 homes within the city limits so far this year for a total of $85.4 million.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/investors-are-becoming-pittsburghs-biggest-home-buyers-sellers-708060/#ixzz2i5m9hqt6

Philadelphia’s Queen Village, A Neighborhood Of Reinvention

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighti...

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighting planning districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Way back when, Queen Village was the place to buy a house if you couldn’t afford Society Hill.

Joseph P. Fanelli Jr., who moved from the suburbs in 1985, readily acknowledges that Queen Village was his second choice.

“But looking at it today,” says Fanelli, president and CEO of Quaker City Manufacturing Co., the new townhouse in the 100 block of Catharine Street he bought 28 years ago for $175,000 “was a great buy.”

It was a lot of money in 1985, especially when you could buy what veteran real estate agent and Queen Village native Kathy Conway calls “a grandmom house” for $50,000.

Twenty years later, Fanelli sold the townhouse and its two secure parking spaces for $575,000. (He moved to a house on Bainbridge Street that his new wife, Katie, an IBM executive, bought when she transferred to Philadelphia.)

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/town-by-town/20130421_Town_By_Town___Queen_Village__By_the_Numbers.html

Activist Invites Pottstown Council To See Poor Living Conditions In Permitted Rental

 

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  We can not stress enough the importance of Mr. Toroney and his fellow Councilors taking an hour out of their day to see this in person.  This is the tip of the iceberg and we think it is HIGH TIME that Pottstown Borough Council starts walking the talk and demonstrating in a tangible way that they have some inkling of interest in the citizens they respresent!  You all could use some street cred!

Thank you to Katy Jackson for continuing to stand vigilant and taking on a job that nobody else is willing to tackle!

POTTSTOWN — It’s supposed to be a warm Saturday afternoon, how about taking in a nice open house?

Well you might find it interesting, but it seems unlikely anyone would use the word “nice” to describe it.

From 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, activist Katy Jackson is inviting anyone interested — and the members of borough council specifically — to come and see the conditions in which a resident of Pottstown has been living at 501 King St.

“Monday I was invited to see the living conditions that a couple have endured for several months,” Jackson wrote in her invitation to council members, which was copied to The Mercury.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120629/NEWS01/120629312/activist-invites-pottstown-council-to-see-poor-living-conditions-in-permitted-rental

Great Harrisburg Homes Sales Rise In 3rd Quarter

Some good news from Central Pennsylvania regarding homes sales for the third quarter of 2011.  The Greater Harrisburg area (Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry Counties) saw a 17.1 percent increase in the number of homes sold during the third quarter.  The increase is measured against home sales for the third quarter of 2010.

The median sale price was 4.1 percent lower than the same period last year.  It also took an average of 5 days longer for those homes to sell over last year.

Nationally home sales rose 18.6 percent when compared to August of 2010.  The median sale price was down 5.1 percent nationally.

West Reading, An Economic Success Story

Read this inspirational article about how West Reading transformed their stagnant downtown into a destination shopping area with 144 stores, restaurants and art galleries.

http://www.newpa.com/strengthen-your-community/success-stories/the-making-of-main-street/index.aspx