This is a great example of how a community takes advantage of its heritage and surroundings. Pottstown’s leadership needs to look at these success stories and brainstorm about how we can move ourselves forward.
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!
I think this is a great example of urban renewal, blight eradication, working together, finding available money and utilizing elected officials to facilitate change.
The City of Wilkes-Barre has worked with Senator Bob Casey and Congressman Paul Kanjorski to obtain $950,000 in federal funding that will be put toward the $13.7 million dollar renovation of Coal Street Park into the future home of the Wilkes-Barre Penguins Hockey Team. This ice skating rink has been an abandoned and blighted property in the city of Wilkes-Barre for the last seven years. No city general fund revenue has been allocated toward this endeavor but instead the project is being funded by state and federal grants.
Coal Street Park is in a high traffic area and a gateway to downtown Wilkes-Barre. The property spans 31 acres and will receive an extensive renovation. Moving the Penguins into the city will bring 20 full-time and 40 part-time jobs, bring more consumers/money into downtown Wilkes-Barre and add to the quality of life for city residents. Currently the W/B Penguins are located in suburban Plains Township.
There is money out there. This is why a cohesive and unified vision is needed for Pottstown.
Over the past 10 years, the Washington Street Corridor in Pottstown has undergone a drastic transformation, mainly due to the Genesis Housing Corporation. Genesis has rehabilitated more than 60 properties in Pottstown. If you drive through this area, you can see the dramatic results.
Rather than rest on their laurels and call it a day, the Washington Street Neighborhood Action Plan has been expanded to include a 10 block area, which covers 54 acres and includes 984 residential units.
Most recently, 424 Walnut Street has been acquired by this group for redevelopment. The building was severely damaged by fire and never torn down or rehabilitated due to difficulty in locating the owners. This is certainly an example of blight being addressed! Blight in Pottstown has been a ongoing problem for years. It does appear that slowly but surely this is being eradicated which is a huge quality of life issue for current residents and attracting new people to move into Pottstown.
The group is also looking at the recently vacated Dames Chevrolet property, the park at 423 Chestnut Street and the former Levengood Dairy building for redevelopment.
The eight member steering committee includes: Newstell Marable, Alison Hunter, David Garner, Michelle Borzick, Bill Sharon, Ellen Crain, Katrina Belcher and Thomas Hylton.
Keep up the good work! This is exactly the kind of action Pottstown needs as we move forward. Blight eradication is crucial to attracting new residents, business and industry aka the revitalization of Pottstown.