Two Projects On Tap For Pottstown’s Southern Gateway

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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There are two projects being proposed that would have a significant impact on Pottstown‘s southern gateway, aka Hanover Street.

The first proposed project is the construction of a LEED certified building on a vacant lot that once housed a gas station.  The lot is in the flood plain and needs further remediation but the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation is looking to build a 5,000-square-foot building on the lot as their permanent home in downtown Pottstown.  The Health and Wellness Foundation currently rents space in the former First Fidelity Building at the corner of High and Hanover Streets. 

The Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation was created when Pottstown Memorial Medical Center was sold to Community Health Systems (CHS) of Brentwood, Tennessee.  The foundation has given various borough and greater Pottstown organizations millions of dollars in grant money since its inception. Pottstown Memorial Medical Center is Pottstown’s largest employer.  Since the sale to CHS, the seven-story hospital has been remodeled and services have been expanded.

The second project is the conversion of the former home of AAA into administrative offices and classrooms for Montgomery County Community College.  The West Campus of Montgomery County Community College has been a great asset to Pottstown.  It provides affordable education for Tri-County residents and has already expanded to High Street.  When the original building was outgrown, a second site on High Street was created from an adaptive reuse project using an old warehouse.  Now the college is looking for more space as it continues to grow. 

The building being eyes for redevelopment is on S. Hanover Street and formerly housed AAA, Domino’s Pizza and an employment agency.  It has been vacant since AAA moved their headquarters to Limerick Township.

Education and medicine are being used successfully by many communities as vehicles for economic development and revitalization.  These two projects would leverage existing entities within Pottstown Borough and strengthen their ties to our community.

I am unaware that Pottstown has any LEED certified buildings within its borders.  The construction of this new facility could be the beginning of more LEED certified buildings in our community.

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Lansdale Resident Name First Executive Director Of Reorganized Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc.

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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POTTSTOWN, PA, NOVEMBER 2, 2011: Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. (PAID) has announced the appointment of Steven Bamford as its new Executive Director. Bamford’s first day will be November 10, 2011.

A resident of Lansdale, Bamford has over 20 years of economic development experience in local government as well as the private sector – since February 2010, he has been Co-Owner/Vice President of TCB Marketing, a results-oriented marketing, media and management consulting firm.

Additionally, Bamford served as a Manager, then Senior Manager, at Ernst and Young from 2002 to 2010. At Ernst and Young, Bamford was responsible for assisting Fortune 1000 and middle market clients making investment and location decisions in the US and abroad by identifying, negotiating and securing incentives from federal, state and local governments.

Prior to his private sector experience, Bamford worked in various positions in the public sector. From 1997 to 2002, Bamford held dual roles as the Vice President of Operations with the Allentown Economic Development Corporation and served as the Executive Director of the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority. In this capacity, Bamford managed the day-to-day operations of these organizations and their real estate redevelopment projects serving as “developer of last resort” for the most challenging, underutilized and functionally obsolete properties. Bamford also assisted businesses and developers in determining feasibility, site selection, and obtaining funding for projects. Some of these projects included the Bridgeworks, Portland Place, Plaza at PPL Center and Lehigh Landing.

From 1993 to 1996, Bamford served as the Vice President for Special Projects with the New Castle County (DE) Economic Development Corporation where he assisted with site selection and provided support for companies seeking incentives, zoning or development plan approval for projects. Also, Bamford served as the Economic Development Specialist for the City of Reading from 1991-1993 where he performed financial analysis, evaluated development and operating budgets and made funding recommendations to City Council on requests from businesses and developers for assistance through the City’s revolving loan fund.

“Steve’s experience, energy and mix of public sector and private sector experience will be a positive impact to the Borough of Pottstown” said Jason Bobst, President of the Board of Directors.

“We were especially impressed with Steve’s research into the Economic Development Strategic Plan and the most recent Urban Land Institute Advisory Panel Service Plan of 2009. He presented a possible entry plan into this new position from the priorities listed in these documents” added Reed Lindley, Superintendent of the Pottstown School District.

Bamford becomes the first Executive Director of PAID, Inc. since its re-birth as part of the Urban Land Institute Advisory Panel Service Plan recommendation for a single-source entity for economic development in the Borough of Pottstown.

Bamford received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Business Administration from Ursinus College and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Delaware.

PAID, Inc. selected Bamford from a field of 37 applicants.

Allentown’s $100 Million Hockey Arena Complex

Scan of 1974 slide of Hamilton Mall, Allentown...

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When Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski looks down Hamilton Street, he envisions thousands of hockey fans pouring out of a $100 million arena and into a downtown entertainment district of sports bars, restaurants and retail shops.

While it may take imagination to visualize such a scene in Allentown’s struggling downtown now, Pawlowski on Tuesday brought some clarity to how the city plans to get there when he released the first designs for the arena, which alone is projected to draw 500,000 people downtown each year.

The first architectural renderings oshow a glass and steel, two-story entrance at Hamilton and Seventh streets, transitioning into a row of new places to eat, drink and shop extending down the 700 block of Hamilton Street. For Pawlowski, the shiny new arena, on track to open in 2013, is a first step toward a much larger development he’s counting on to create a new Allentown.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-pa-arena-plans-20111101,0,2659391.story?page=1