“Malls Have Been A Dying Thing For Us”: Who’ll Replace RadioShack?

Radio Shack has been trying to close more than 1,000 of its 5,000 stores for the past year; its lenders are resisting; bankruptcy threatens.

Meantime other retailers are weighing whether Radio Shack sites — 29 in Philadelphia and its nearby suburbs, a total of 130 from Wilmington to Princeton, each about 2,000-2,700 sq ft — would make good lunch spots, phone stores, massage salons.

“We have a lease” to take over a Philadelphia-area Radio Shack — he won’t say which, it’s still open — and are negotiating for others in Boston, Atlanta, Miami, and Austin, Tex., Todd Leff, CEO of Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spas, a 200-store franchise chain based in Hamilton Township, N.J., told me.  Hand and Stone says it has 35 locations in the Philadelphia area and South Jersey, and plans up to 15 more. Each store employs 30, including therapists and aestheticians for massage and skin care. Hour-long treatments cost $49-99.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Malls-have-been-a-dying-thing-for-us-Wholl-replace-RadioShack.html#i6EFp5ErOlAswsiP.99

Sidewalks Necessary To Grow Transit, Improve Walkability In Lehigh Valley, Study Says

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wm-license-information-description-missing wm-license-information-description-missing-request LANTA logo.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Installing sidewalks and crosswalks along Hamilton Boulevard near Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in South Whitehall Township would encourage more people to use transit in the area.

It would also make the area, which was the site of a fatal pedestrian crash in 2012, safer and more attractive to walkers, according to a Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority study.

The area is one of five highlighted in the study, which outlines how land development in the Lehigh Valley can help promote transit use in the region.

The authority wants to grow ridership, and most municipal officials are committed to improving walkability in their communities, so LANTA has been spreading the message about how best to accomplish both goals, planning director Owen O’Neil said.

Read more:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/01/lanta_study_sidewalks_necessar.html

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Borders Bookstores File For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Borders' current flagship store in Downtown An...

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Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York on Wednesday.

Borders is hemorrhaging cash at the rate of $2 million dollars a day from underperforming stores.  Borders intends to close 200 of its 642 stores nationwide.  The closures will come in the next few weeks.  Clearance sales could start as early as this weekend.

Borders will receive $505 million in debtor-in-possession financing from GE Capital Partners and others to help with the reorganization.  Borders owes over $100 million to various publishers.  Book sales nationwide fell 5 percent in 2010.  Borders controls 14.3 percent of the book selling market.  Barnes & Noble, on the other hand, controls 29.8 percent of the market which is helping them survive the economic downturn.

Borders has been in business since 1971, when it started out with one used bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Borders was owned by Kmart Corp. from 1992 until 2006.  Borders committed a fatal error when it opted out of their e-commerce contract with Amazon.com in 2001.  This decision made it possible for Barnes & Noble to eventually double Borders market share.

Another Downtown Pottstown Business Leaves For Greener Pastures!

For 20 years, East Penn AAA has been downtown Pottstown in the renovated freight depot.  Now, they are running off to Limerick Square Shopping Center on December 6th!  PeopleShare and Domino’s already moved out, leaving this beautiful renovated building empty as of December 6th!  PeopleShare moved to Lower Pottsgrove Township (just over the border).  Domino’s remained in Pottstown Borough and relocated to Pottstown Plaza.

Ummmmm….hello borough officials.  Did anyone try to relocate East Penn AAA within our borders?  We have shopping center space a-plenty at Pottstown Center and Pottstown Plaza, along with other areas of the borough!  After 20 years they up and move!

Update:  Councilor Rhoads responded to my question above:

“I previously talked with a lady at AAA about why they were moving and she said it was not due to any situation in Pottstown. She said Douglasville was their area boundary at this end and that they wanted to be more centralized. She said Lansdale is the nearest office that way.”

Many thanks to Councilor Rhoads for speaking with AAA and for taking the time to let us know that a community leader spoke with this business regarding their decision to leave Pottstown!

See Joe Zlomek’s informative article on the Pottstown Post:


Pottstown Metropolitan Regional Planning Commission. Oh Really?

Rant alert!

I am increasingly frustrated by the attitude of the other members of this group toward Pottstown.  Mr. Kirkland, Mr. Weand, Mr. Rhoads and Mr. Toroney are right to be concerned that Pottstown will garner what it needs from this group with the present attitude towards to borough.

As goes Pottstown, so goes Greater Pottstown.  As goes Philadelphia, so goes the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area that we are all a part of.  People’s “who cares attitude” towards Pottstown and Philadelphia are myopic.  If the center decays the people on the “outside” will be left scrambling for many services they take for granted or do not want in “their neighborhood”.  You will ultimately pay for it in increased taxes!  Failure is expensive folks!

If the Pottstown School District becomes unsustainable, do not think a merger will not happen.  Take the Woodland Hills School District in Allegheny County.  It was a federally mandated merger of districts.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodland_Hills_School_District

If Pottstown borough becomes unsustainable it would be an economic disaster for the entire area.  Pottstown is still the hub.

Case in point, Reading, PA.  Reading is now under Act 47 and is officially a distressed city.  The city of Reading is a huge drain on the Berks County budget.  Scroll down and check out the Rebuilding Reading: Why It’s Vital To The Region comments here http://www.berksprogress.org/berkssummit.html  It could happen here too folks!

Limerick and West Pottsgrove Townships are both struggling to handle their recent development because they lack the infrastructure to manage massive development projects.  Pottstown has the necessary systems in place. 

It reminds me of the Aesop’s fable about the boy and the filberts. 

A boy put his hand into a jar of filberts and grasped as many as his fist could possibly hold. But when he tried to pull it out again, he found he couldn’t do so, for the neck of the jar was too small to allow of the passage of so large a handful. Unwilling to lose his nuts but unable to withdraw his hand, he burst into tears.

A bystander, who saw where the trouble lay, said to him, “Come, my boy, don’t be so greedy. Be content with half the amount, and you’ll be able to get your hand out without difficulty.”  

All we see are dollar $ign$ and do not think about the ramifications until after the fact.  Then we cry “We don’t have enough police.” whaaaaaaaaaaaa

Adding a Sonic in West Pottsgrove Township is just silly.  They are struggling to handle the increased need for police because of Upland Square.  Limerick is the same way.  They can not handle all the calls from the Philadelphia Premium Outlets but they want to add another huge shopping center right next to the outlets.  Ummmm okay, in the words of Dr. Phil “And how’s that workin’ for ya?”  Nobody anticipated the strain on resources and staff from these huge mega shopping centers in these bedroom communities?  Get real!

It is time to wise up.  Thinking that none of this will effect me because I do not live in Pottstown Borough or Pottstown School District will come back to bite a lot of people in the wallet!  Mark my words!