Philadelphia’s Gallery Mall Is Ripe For Rebirth

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighti...

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighting Center City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Has the Gallery’s time finally come – again?

Thirty-seven years after the Center City mall broke new ground in urban retailing, the Market East shopping center is anything but cutting-edge. It is tired, mismatched to its surroundings, and a drag on the wider Center City boom.

Its owner, publicly traded Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, has promised to reverse that. Just how and when, however, has been a bit hazy.

Now, there is increasing evidence that a critical mass is building and that perhaps, as promised by PREIT chief executive officer Joseph Coradino, a transformative project is near.


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Williamsport Airport Set For $13 Million Expansion Needed Due To Gas Boom

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lycoming County

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

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) – Transportation officials say an airport serving north-central Pennsylvania will undergo a $13 million expansion.

Officials say passenger traffic the Williamsport Regional Airport has grown 19 percent over the past two years, due in part to the gas drilling boom.

Airport executive director Tom Hart said in a statement Thursday that plans include a new control tower and new passenger terminal.

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Duncannon, PA Norfolk Southern Corporation employees will be donating their time as part of the company’s spring volunteer day starting at 9:00am on Saturday, May 12th improving river access points in the Borough of Duncannon, a town whose heritage has long been tied to region’s greater transportation network as a hub community for canals, ferries, rails and trails.  Volunteers from the company’s Enola Diesel Shop will be pitching in with assistance from Borough workers and local Fire Department to help improve a pedestrian and recreational pathway to the river under the railroad arches in advance of a town-wide event with a theme of getting out-of-doors. 

“The river arches represent the physical connection between our historic downtown, the Appalachian Trail footpath and the Susquehanna River Water Trail”, said Borough Councilman, Jack Conrad, “The Borough is pleased to collaborate with the Norfolk Southern volunteers on this important project that further positions Duncannon as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts.”

“Many of our employees live in Perry County and recognize this rail line for the beautiful scenery of the Susquehanna Water Gaps,” said NSCorp. Enola Diesel Shop Senior General Foreman, Archie Glace.  “We’re happy to help improve local access to the river under our tracks and strengthen ties with the communities where our people live and work.”

Employees participating will be using railroad equipment and sweat equity to scrape sediment and resurface the floor of two river arches near the Borough’s business district.  The arch-ways receive heavy use from recreational paddlers and pedestrians accessing scenic views of the broad river and surrounding forested ridges.  In times where local governments are feeling the squeeze of funding cuts to state and federal programs, the Norfolk Southern group’s collaborative efforts with the local community will maximize resources towards improving public safety for pedestrian access following damage from last year’s flooding, helping prevent future erosion, and enhancing the appearance of the river access points.

This upcoming downtown beautification and recreation-based volunteer effort was coordinated with assistance from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Duncannon’s Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee in preparation for Duncannon’s upcoming Appalachian Trail CommunityTM designation celebration being held downtown on Saturday, June 2nd.   The river access improvement suits the intent of the Appalachian Trail Community TM program in bringing greater awareness of the area’s outdoor recreation opportunities to residents and visitors and in highlighting the connection between the health and abundance of the region’s natural assets and the economic vitality of local communities.

About Duncannon Appalachian Trail CommunityTM Advisory Committee
The Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee (DATC), comprised of local officials, Trail Angels, Trail to Every Classroom teachers, business owners, and representatives of non-profit organizations , Trail clubs and the Susquehanna Rovers Volksmarch Club, represents a collaborative effort with the mission of supporting projects and programs that bring the historical, cultural and environmental richness of the Appalachian Trail and surrounding landscapes to the lives and livelihood of the residents of the greater Duncannon area.  For more information on the upcoming A.T. Community designation celebration, visit

About Norfolk Southern Corporation
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.

Kim McKee                                                                                             
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel. 717.258.5771 x208
Fax. 717.258.1442

Allentown Hockey Arena Development Grows With $200-Million Office, Hotel Plan

City of Allentown

City of Allentown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Downtown Allentown is in line for an unprecedented $200 million in new development, and as much as $500 million if a 10-year master plan pans out, all made possible by its one-of-a-kind Neighborhood Improvement Zone.

And that doesn’t include the planned $158 million hockey arena.

Developer City Center Investment Corp. won approval Tuesday from the Allentown Commercial Industrial Development Authority for $135 million in Neighborhood Improvement Zone financing, subsidized by the state and local tax revenues of its future tenants.

City Center will supplement that with $45 million in additional private financing and private capital to construct four new buildings arrayed around Allentown’s Center Square, including three new office complexes and a 200-room hotel valued at more than $200 million, said J.B. Reilly, City Center co-owner.

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Lancaster City Council Approves Rezoning Of Former YMCA Site

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Lancaster City Council members Tuesday approved the rezoning of the former Lancaster Family YMCA site to allow for the construction of a new medical office building and parking garage.

Council members also began consideration of a bill that would take a portion of a parking lot by eminent domain as part of plans to expand City Hall.

The rezoning changes the former YMCA site at North Queen, East Frederick and North Prince streets from a residential designation to “hospital campus.”

Lancaster General Health, whose parking garage lies just across North Queen Street from the site, plans to construct a five-story, 175,000-square-foot administrative office building. Some 550 employees now working in rented space in Burle Business Park on New Holland Avenue would be shifted to the new building, hospital officials said.

A six-level, 632-space parking garage would be built adjacent to the office building, at Prince and Frederick streets, to serve the employees.

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“We still make things here”

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Washington County

Image via Wikipedia

It was a quote about the area’s manufacturing’s legacy that would resonate throughout the year across Washington County.

When French-based Alstom Grid officially opened its new 25,000-square-foot disconnect switch manufacturing plant in Speers Industrial Park in early March, Dennis Yablonsky, chief executive officer of Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, succinctly summed up the company’s decision to add another operation to its high-voltage circuit-breaker plant here.

“We still make things here,” Yablonsky said, noting that within the Pittsburgh region there are 188 companies employing more than 10,000 people working in power management and distribution.

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Bradford County Epicenter Of Pennsylvania Gas Boom

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Image via Wikipedia

Towanda, Pa. — If New York residents want to know what happens when the gas industry rolls into town, they don’t have to look farther than Bradford County, Pa.

Once a quiet expanse of sleepy boroughs pocketed amid sprawling tracts of farmland, Bradford has skyrocketed to the forefront of the Marcellus Shale natural gas rush.

The drilling industry has added thousands of new jobs and millions in royalty payments to the county over the few short years it took to become the most actively drilled place in Pennsylvania.

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