Development Could Soon Be Booming In West End

Pittsburgh’s building boom, centered for years on Downtown and East End neighborhoods, is spreading into the West End.

Developers are focusing on Banksville Road where nearly $3 million is being spent to build a hotel, an office building and an expansion of offices for an engineering firm.

“The city of Pittsburgh overall is doing well in terms of development,” said City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, who represents West End communities. “Banksville has good access to Downtown, the Parkway (West), the airport and suburbs.”

A Comfort Inn and Suites is going up near a Days Inn along lower Banksville Road. The $2.7 million project includes a four-story hotel building with 69 rooms and 64 parking spaces, according to Pittsburgh Planning Commission records.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8187310-74/banksville-building-west#ixzz3XfbnKxm8
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Plan Calls For 175 Luxury Apartments In Downtown Kennett Square

KENNETT SQUARE, PA – Borough officials are considering a plan that would bring 175 luxury apartments and a pub restaurant to the western section of town.

Called The Lofts, it will be located very close to Victory Brewing Co. on Cypress Street that will open sometime this month. Specifically it will be bordered by State Street to the north, Washington Street to the east, South Mill to the west, and Bernard Alley to the south.

Developer, StanAb Real Estate Development Co. of West Chester, purchased the entire 600 block of State Street recently, which had been the site of Kennett Motors and Kennett Transmissions.

“Except for Magnolia Place, there are few other choices (for rental housing),” said Tony Stancato, an executive with StanAb. “The lure of Kennett Square is that is has walkable amenities, and there are many businesses wanting to come to Kennett. Demand for rental has been increasing with those ages 20 to 34 holding off buying decisions for many reasons. Kennett Square is an underserved marking for rental housing.”

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150412/plan-calls-for-175-luxury-apartments-in-downtown-kennett-square

Pottsgrove Manor To Host Tape Loom Weaving Workshop Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pottstown, PA – On Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Pottsgrove Manor will host a workshop on the basics of weaving linen tape on a box loom.

The class will be taught by Eleanor Bittle, who has been active in preserving local history for many years and continues to participate in the Goschenhoppen Folk Festival each year.  She has researched colonial-era tape making for nearly four decades, earning her the nickname of “The Tape Lady.”  In this hands-on workshop, Ms. Bittle will explain the history and uses of woven tape and teach the fundamentals of the tape loom: pattern design, warping the loom, and weaving.

This workshop is open to adults and children ages 12 and up.  There is a materials fee of $30 per person for the workshop that includes threads, instructions, and lunch.  Participants may bring their own (unwarped) tape loom or purchase a cardboard loom for an additional $15 per person.  Class size is limited to 10 to ensure individual instruction.  Registration and payment are required by March 27, 2015.  Please note: Cancellations given before March 27, 2015 will receive a full refund. Cancellations given after March 27, 2015 will not be refunded.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department.  Regular museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Tours begin on the hour.  The last tour of the day begins at 3:00 p.m. For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at http://www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor.

Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor

Authority: Lancaster Will Need More Parking In Several Years

The Lancaster Parking Authority is about maxed-out on parking offerings, according to its executive director.

And the authority will need to add parking in several years to meet higher anticipated demand, according to Larry Cohen. So now’s the time to start planning.

The demand will come — in part — from a 96-room hotel planned next to the Lancaster County Convention Center, more and larger conventions that are anticipated at the center and other economic development, according to a report Cohen put together.

Cohen said he thinks there’s a misperception that there’s an abundance of parking because of the number of parking garages in the city.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/authority-lancaster-will-need-more-parking-in-several-years/article_12cfee22-c1b0-11e4-861e-f757a23a870a.html

Moving Joe Palooka Monument To Wilkes-Barre Will Punch Up Downtown, Former Councilman Says

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Former city councilman Tony Thomas wants to bring Joe Palooka back to the downtown.

Thomas has started a campaign to move the Joe Palooka monument on Route 309 in Hanover Township to Wilkes-Barre at a site yet to be determined.

Thomas will sponsor a fall wine festival Oct, 9-11 in Kirby Park to raise funds to move the monument dedicated to the famous comic strip and its creator.

But there are several questions and issues that must be resolved.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/home_top-local-news/152127259/

Philly’s On A Roll

Kat Clark, 25, has chosen to make a home in West Philadelphia after graduating in 2012 from Swarthmore College.

“It’s just a great place to live,” she said as she sipped coffee at La Colombe in the shadow of City Hall. Though the Chicago-area native considered relocating to New York City after school, the lure of Philadelphia’s cultural offerings, combined with the city’s comparative affordability, proved too tempting.

“There are a lot of artistic people around and this great academic scene,” she said, ticking off a laundry list of attributes that drew her to move here. “It’s not too large, but you can still do everything else you would do in a big city.

“In Philly, there’s still a lot going on, but you have space to grow,” echoed her friend, 24-year-old Tayarisha Poe.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Philly_is_on_a_national_roll.html

Hotels, Money, David Cohen Helped Philly Snag 2016 Democratic National Convention

WASHINGTON – Hotels, money, Comcast executive David L. Cohen, and maybe some special treatment at the Liberty Bell all helped Philadelphia get over the top to win the right to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, city and party leaders said Thursday afternoon.

“The role of Philadelphia in shaping our nation’s history is unmatched,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee. “But what’s also unmatched is the comprehensive proposal” the city put together.

The three finalists to host the convention — Philadelphia, New York and Columbus, Ohio — were judged on logistics, security and resources to host the gathering that Democrats hope will serve as an energizing springboard to the 2016 presidential race, Wasserman Schultz said on an afternoon conference call with reporters.

Philadelphia presented the best combination of all three – though the proximity of thousands of hotel rooms to the Wells Fargo Center and sports complex were among its biggest draws, she said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/capitolinq/Hotels-money-David-Cohen-boosted-Philly-convention-bid.html#BvsKUxkxJvvgDLfi.99

Plan To Relocate Pittsburgh Playhouse Downtown Approved; Millcraft Proposes Condos For Saks Site

The stage is set for the relocation of the Pittsburgh Playhouse to Downtown. City planning commission members unanimously approved plans for construction of new playhouse complex on Forbes Avenue Downtown today, clearing the way for its move from Oakland.

Approval came over the objections of preservationists who urged the commission to no avail to save three Forbes Avenue facades that will be relocated and integrated into the new complex under the plans advanced by Point Park University.

With today’s decision, Point Park intends to start construction in March with the demolition of three Forbes Avenue buildings and hopes to have the new complex ready for audiences in July 2017.

The $53 million project will feature a 550-seat main theater, a 200-seat adaptive theater with doors that will open to a plaza for outdoor performances, a 100-seat black box theater and supporting facilities.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2015/02/10/Millcraft-proposes-to-build-condos-garage-at-former-Saks-site-Downtown-Pittsburgh/stories/201502100184

Downtown Lancaster Marriott’s Owner Proposes 96-Room, $23M Expansion

Lancaster MarriottThe math is simple.

If the Lancaster County Convention Center wants to attract bigger numbers of large conventions, it needs bigger numbers of nearby, convention-quality hotel rooms.

And right now, despite 299 rooms in the adjoining Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, plus 134 more at The Hotel Lancaster two blocks away, research studies show that downtown is coming up short.

But a new proposal by the Marriott’s owner would make the convention center more appealing to the organizers of these big events.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/downtown-marriott-s-owner-proposes–room-m-expansion/article_b1b39a1e-a8da-11e4-b47b-3bbb05f76f38.html

Top 15 Reasons To Visit Philadelphia In 2015

With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, only-in-Philly projects, exhibitions, anniversaries and celebrations will give first-time visitors incentives to make that return trip and return visitors reasons to come back yet again.

So what’s on the calendar? The Tall Ships Challenge Philadelphia Camden 2015, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River Waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring more than 80 works by a who’s who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and a special exhibition at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.

Of course, all eyes will be on Philadelphia when thousands of Catholic families from around the globe — and Pope Francis — gather for the eighth World Meeting of Families.

Here are some of the major happenings taking place throughout Philadelphia in 2015:

Read more: http://www.visitphilly.com/articles/philadelphia/top-15-reasons-to-visit-philadelphia-in-2015/?utm_campaign=WinterSummer2015&utm_source=Philly.com

Montco Town Hopes Carousel And Train Will Revive Economy

Picture 040The wooden animals, sanded and painted to resemble the 109-year-old originals they replaced, are waiting for visitors at the end of a restored railroad line in Pottstown.

The horses, giraffes, and reindeer on the Derek Scott Saylor Memorial Carousel are part of a merry-go-round meant to be more than an amusement.

The attraction – and the similarly restored old train that will drop visitors at its doorstep – are the centerpieces of a downtown revitalization effort for a slumping Montgomery County borough taking steps toward a comeback.

The carousel and train are scheduled to officially begin operations next fall.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20141213_Montco_town_hopes_carousel_and_train_will_revive_economy.html#rzbZLGpexQxRw0vQ.99

Colebrookdale Railroad Unofficially Opens With First Public Ride

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

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

Boyertown, PA – Stepping through a rock-strewn railyard in Boyertown, families lined up to board the historic train that made its unofficial debut on the Colebrookdale line Saturday.

Beginning with a 10:30 a.m. departure for the first train, hayrides on the “Secret Valley Line” offered by the Colebrookdale Railroad drew in patrons of all kinds.

They were treated to a two-hour ride in a train used in 1869 through a valley of scenic fall foliage and other natural and historic attractions, travelling from Boyertown to Pottstown through Colebrookdale and Douglass (Berks) townships. Throughout the ride, historical narration was provided by train workers to give context to the sights along the way.

The line follows the Ironstone and Manatawny creeks and passes by the village of Pine Forge.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141018/colebrookdale-railroad-unofficially-opens-with-first-public-ride

Tourism District Proposed For Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA – Officials are hoping that as the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, a collective effort of the borough’s revitalization efforts will result in greater sums of grant money and tourist dollars.

Steve Bamford, executive director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. outlined a plan to borough council Tuesday that would see the many attractions clustered near Pottstown’s western gateway joining together in pursuit of funding and marketing.

The joint undertaking as part of a “tourism and recreation district” includes: Pottsgrove Manor, the Carousel at Pottstown, theColebrookdale Railroad, Manatawny Green miniature golf, Memorial Park with the splash park and Trilogy Park BMX track, Montgomery County Community College’s art gallery, the Schuylkill River Trail,Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill Heritage Area’s River of Revolutions interpretive center.

“There are some in place, some underway and some nearly ready,” Bamford told The Mercury Friday, referring to the state of the various sites.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141014/tourism-district-proposed-for-pottstown

Pittsburgh Region’s Political Leaders Again Consider Hotel Next To Convention Center

DSC01828It’s becoming the Lazarus of Downtown projects.

Left for dead a year ago, and several times before that, a plan to build a 500-room hotel attached to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is being resurrected by top political leaders.

Mayor Bill Peduto said Thursday that he and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald have asked the Sports & Exhibition Authority to gauge the interest in and to study the feasibility of the proposed hotel, which would be built in a parking lot next to the convention center.

The full-service hotel, Mr. Peduto said, always was meant to be “the final part” of the convention center and to serve as its front entrance. “The building’s never been completed,” he said. “The hotel was supposed to be done.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/10/03/Political-leaders-revive-plan-for-hotel-attached-to-convention-center/stories/201410030099

Castor Praises Pottstown Carousel Project, Plans

Picture 011POTTSTOWN — Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. recently visited the Carousel at Pottstown and he likes what he sees.

Castor was given a tour of the former Pottstown Metal Weld building across from Memorial Park and had the particulars of the historic wooden carousel laid out for him.

Days later, Castor expressed his enthusiasm for the project to his fellow commissioners.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140911/castor-praises-pottstown-carousel-project-plans

Tourism Touted As Means To Rejuvenate Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — “Tourism” might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you say “Pottstown,” but as far as Bill Fitzgerald is concerned, that won’t be true for long.

Fitzgerald is the president of the newly reconstituted Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board and he was in town last week to talk to Pottstown Borough Council about how his organization can help promote what Pottstown has to offer.

Tourism is on the upswing in Montgomery County, Fitzgerald said, and Pottstown is well-positioned to benefit from that trend, Fitzgerald said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140908/tourism-touted-as-means-to-rejuvenate-pottstown

Casino Closings Wipe $2 Billion From Atlantic City Property-Tax Values

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boa...

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boardwalk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The closure of three Atlantic City casinos by mid-September will wipe $2 billion from the city’s property-tax values next year, exacerbating the already cash-strapped city’s financial plight, Mayor Don Guardian warned Tuesday.

By 2017, Guardian said on a conference call to discuss Atlantic City’s way forward as a tourism center following the rout of its casino industry, property values are expected to have fallen to as little as $7.5 billion from $20 billion five years ago.

In the short term, Guardian said the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has made money “available for some bridge loans to make sure that the city continues functioning with this year’s budget because of any concern that we might have that a casino’s closing, going bankrupt might hold off payments.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140827_Casino_closings_wipe__2B_from_Atlantic_City_property-tax_values.html#9bAf73M2kyMlu0jB.99

Downtown First Awards – York PA

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

Editor’s note:  We like how they roll in York.  Their Downtown Inc. organization has been doing some awesome things and downtown York is becoming a destination again.   Color us impressed.

The Downtown First Awards recognize businesses, organizations, and individuals who put downtown York first through their commitments of time, advocacy and resources.

See the list of  nominees: http://downtownyorkpa.com/downtownfirstawards/