East Chestnut’s Revival Could Get Huge Boost From Big Project

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The way John Columbo saw it, East Chestnut Street in Center City was a ghetto. From 8th to 13th, the once-beautiful and bustling street brimmed with empty storefronts with graffitied windows and bottom-feeder businesses like dollar stores and check-cashing joints. Drug dealers jockeyed with street hustlers for sidewalk space.

It was the perfect place, he and his business partner Mike Lewis decided six years ago, for their gourmet cupcake bakery, Philly Cupcake. “You look at what everybody else is doing and do the opposite – place luxury right in the center of the ghetto,” Columbo said of their business philosophy.

While a few other brave merchants followed their lead, the changes weren’t always positive and a rebirth remained elusive, Columbo said. A sex shop moved in a few doors away and filled its storefront windows with space-age vibrators and near-naked mannequins to tempt passers-by. Farther east, some cheered the closure of the old Funk-o-Mart electronics store, only to see another dollar store move in.

“They want this to be Woolworth’s, and we’re trying to be more Chanel,” Columbo said of the battle to revitalize Chestnut Street.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131020_East_Chestnut_s_revival_could_get_huge_boost_from_big_project.html#V6VUDBO8eBGus08i.99


Shady Maple Complex – Regional Destination And Economic Powerhouse

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Image via Wikipedia

Rural East Earl Township in Lancaster County is home to Shady Maple Smorgasbord, Shady Maple Farm Market, Good’s Store, Country Home Furniture and Martin’s Trailside Express.  This cluster of businesses provides a huge economic boost to East Earl Township while preserving the character of it surroundings, which adds to the appeal/experience.

Shady Maple Smorgasbord seats 1200, Shady Maple Farm Market is 124,000 square feet and Good’s Store just added a 20,000-square-foot addition.  This complex features some very large stores/restaurants, however, it “fits into the rural surrounding” and has become a regional destination.  You could literally spend the day eating and shopping there.

Read this very interesting article from the Central Penn Business Journal: http://www.centralpennbusiness.com/article/20110826/CPBJ01/110829896/Hometown-draw

ShopRite To Anchor Bakers Square Shopping Center In Nicetown-Tioga Section Of Philadelphia

Good news for residents of Philadelphia’s Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood.  A full-service grocery store is coming soon!

Bakers Square Shopping Center is being built at the former site of the Tasty Baking Company.  The 220,000 square foot shopping center will be anchored by a 71,000 square foot ShopRite Supermarket.  At this time, the neighborhood has no supermarket.  Residents are forced to travel great distances to get fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and reasonably priced grocery items.  Prices are considerably lower at a grocery store as opposed to a convenience store.

Construction of the new ShopRite begins this Friday, March 25th, with a projected opening date in the third quarter of 2012.  According to Brown Super Stores public relations department, it has been 25 years since this neighborhood has had a full-service grocery store!  This is a major health issue for children because things like fresh meat and fruit and hard to come by at local convenience stores.  Another benefit is the new ShopRite will create 250 jobs.  ShopRite tends to hire workers from the neighborhood their stores are located in.

ShopRite opened up a store at 52nd and Parkside in West Philadelphia which is doing well. Hopefully the new store will also do well.  We give two Progress Pennsylvania thumbs up to ShopRite for investing in struggling Philadelphia neighborhoods.  Everyone needs access to wholesome and reasonably priced food.