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.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140210_The_Gallery_mall_is_ripe_for_rebirth.html#uU7BTOvhCTStsI4z.99

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New Market District Brand Unveiled Iin Downtown York

Elsie Smith has only called York home for a few years. But her short time here has been filled and fulfilled with the energy of downtown York.

Smith’s design was chosen by Downtown Inc as the new brand image of the Market District of downtown York.

After years of driving through York on her motorcycle, Smith was attracted to retire here by the architecture, industrial art focus and growing energy, she said.

Smith wanted to be in the middle of it all, so she bought a home on Market Street.

Read more:  http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_22882156/new-market-district-brand-unveiled-downtown-york

Allentown’s Seventh Street Is Experiencing A Quiet Rebirth

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winston Barnes sits at a table overlooking Seventh Street, the harmonious smell of cinnamon, scallions and allspice enveloping his Jamaican restaurant.

On this winter night, when other city restaurants are deserted, customers will go to Winston’s for its signature hot jerk chicken, curry goat and other savory Caribbean favorites — a sign of the subtle renaissance that is taking place on what was once one of Allentown‘s most problematic streets.

A cold blast of air floods the store as two customers emerge from the night, bundled in jackets.

“Hey! How you doing, man?” Barnes says loudly, his tired eyes coming to life as he recognizes the federal workers who stand before him.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-seventh-street-evolution-20130316,0,326378,full.story

Allentown’s Arena Document Forecasts Expansive Development Downtown

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown‘s hockey arena will not open until 2014, but when it does it will help spur almost runaway development in a downtown that has been ravaged by three decades of decay, according to bond documents filed Friday.

The 354-page statement for investors interesting in buying $234 million paints a rosy future in which the next 12 years will bring not only the 8,500-seat hockey arena, but more than 1 million square feet of office space, two hotels, retail shops, a convention center, a 12-screen cinema and hundreds of apartments.

All told, the study by CSL International forecasts that Allentown’s unique 127-acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone will create 7,500 new jobs and $44 million in annual state and local taxes.

At least that’s the pitch being made to investors who in the coming weeks will be able to buy $235 million worth of revenue bonds to get the complex at Seventh and Hamilton streets started.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-pa-arena-bonds-20120907,0,5416510.story

Downtown Pittsburgh Stretch Of Penn Avenue Flourishes

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A two-block Downtown stretch of Penn Avenue is undergoing a mini-renaissance.

New stores are opening, at least three developers have plans to build more residential units, and one school just moved in and another is expanding — all in 800 and 900 blocks of Penn.

“It seems like all the little gaps are starting to get filled in now,” said John Valentine, executive director of the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corp.

The two blocks near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center weren’t shabby by any stretch, not with a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, the Penn Garrison and several bars and restaurants anchoring the area.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/new-tenants-fill-gaps-on-penn-avenue-645419/#ixzz21Avqtakl

The Three Statistics That Every Downtown Should Live By

Editor’s note:  This is phenomenal advice for all downtown shopping districts and their umbrella organizations.

Lancaster and its James Street Improvement District are prime examples of living by these three simple rules!  I suggest a field trip for any struggling downtown merchants or downtown organizations who want to see what is possible!

I call this the 7-8-7 rule because of the three most important statistics that make a downtown a successful and vibrant destination. Think of your favorite destination downtowns. Are they beautiful? Do they feel safe? Are there things to do after 6:00 pm?

Read more: http://www.rogerbrooks.org/2012/04/30/the-three-downtown-statistics/

Kutztown’s Main Street Continues Retail Renaissance

View of Kutztown heading East (towards Allento...

View of Kutztown heading East (towards Allentown) on W Main Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: Two Roy’s Rants thumbs to Kutztown‘s leadership!

It’s been awhile since Retail Watch ventured to Kutztown, so let’s go there today.

The Berks County borough has been a day-cation spot for some in the Lehigh Valley, and with recent retail additions and storefront facade improvements, may become even more popular.

First, Breinigsville vintner Vynecrest recently opened a retail shop at the former Made Shop storefront at 227 W. Main St. This marks the first owned retail space for Vynecrest, which, of course, offers samples and sells vino at its Breinigsville vineyard.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/retailwatch/mc-kutztown-main-street-20120414,0,2061702.column