Downtown Marketing and Development

Insights and observations on the redevelopment and revitalization of post-industrial towns on the Route 422 Corridor in Southeastern Pennsylvania.


Change and Loops in Time

As I finish up with my career I am being a little more selective concerning what I work on and try to stay closer to home. Personal circumstances have dictated that I work in Pittsburgh. My father was ill and being “himself” I was drafted to look after his final days. Living in Pittsburgh part time was a little bit different and I remembered why I left every morning when I awoke. So, I decided it would be good to center most of my work back in the Philadelphia area after he passed away and I settled the estate.

Change and Cultural Positioning

Since the onset of civilization, there has been the practice of religion. Belief in God. I say belief because there is no proof one way or the other that there is a god. That is why people talk about their faith, as they have faith that god exists.  I am not here to debate the existence of god, but in the changing political and social climate, the practice of religion has come under attack. 

Change in the Small Town

As we are moving to the ¼ mark of the new century, some of the downtown real estate has taken on a new dimension.  In many cases, the return to the small town has been an “in” thing to do. Some towns have embraced the efforts to become the renewed center of commerce, while some towns have not been able to make that transition. The difference in towns affects the real estate values in the political subdivision, and in turn the income from taxes.

Opinion — Globalization and Change

There has been an effort on behalf of some to initiate a global agenda in the United States. After all, we are part of the world, and we are all brothers and sisters. Global barriers are breaking down, and there is an effort for people to consider themselves citizens of the world, rather than a particular nation.  

Change is in your Mind

I always try to broaden my horizons. I did not care too much for school when I was young. I also did not do well. Most of my attention was not geared toward academic achievement.  Most of the kids in my New Jersey High School were hovering around 97 – 99 percent on whatever that test was that measured our intelligence, while others like me did not score as well.

Changes in Health Insurance

Yet another change in Health Insurance is on the horizon. I was looking at the proposed plans, and there seemed to be one common thread — the 40 percent excise tax is coming my way. People like me are looking at a one-year total of about $342 billion in increased taxes. As before, there is no help for me on the horizon. I am part of the old system and my kind of plan is now scorned.

Change the Elector Process

I realized the other day that I am on a vast array of mailing lists from far left to far right, and pretty much everything in the middle. I did receive something about a month ago that made me wonder about the entire process of selection.

Hoops of Change

I have been given the liberty to change my column to write about CHANGE. I believe that I am the only officially recognized agent of change in Pennsylvania. I have the necessary skill set to write about change. Elements of change are everywhere around us, as we interact with media, institutions and individuals. I hope to be able to comment intelligently about changes that happen to and around us. Some of what I write is going to make people uncomfortable, but that is what change is all about.

Sanctuary Cities Downtown II

Two months ago I wrote an article about wage slavery in the downtown, and just recently there has been a nationwide “Day Without Immigrants” protest illustrating my point. 

I wrote:

Being the grandson of an illegal Italian immigrant who had trouble with the law, I have sympathy for the plight of the illegal immigrant. I also realize that in the cities, the economy, to a certain extent, relies on the ability to cheat the illegal immigrant on matters of wage, hours and conditions of employment because they have no redress in those matters.

Practical Application of Amenity as an Enhancement of Value

The revitalization of Phoenixville has led to the increase in value of the commercial properties, as well as some of the surrounding residential properties. When the streetscape amenities were installed, people looked differently at the town and the price of real estate. Between the years of 2003 and 2010, assessed property value in Phoenixville increased by approximately $150,000,000 and grew at a rate of 25 percent. Now Phoenixville is about to take another giant leap in value.

Ramps to Nowhere

Last Saturday morning my wife and I were going out to breakfast and she pointed at the Wendy’s on Route 30 in Thorndale and remarked about the fact that they used such big stones that people waiting for the bus had to stand on the road to wait for the bus. There was not a lot of room between the cart way and the curb, making it a dangerous bus stop. 

Change in Economic Policy

I was reading that in order to get a minister held in Turkey back there were economic sanctions (steel tariffs) imposed upon Turkey. Drastic change for the country of Turkey, and their currency took a tumble losing 14 percent of its value. People are panicking, and we are only talking about steel tariffs.

As the previous scenario is unfolding in the news, you have to start to wonder just how fragile are some of these economies in some of these countries? 

Changes in Phoenixville

I had left Phoenixville in 2012 after working for two years for Manny DeMutis and returned this past February and found that there had been a lot of changes that had taken place in my absence. I had been in Pittsburgh for a couple of years, working on a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project, and coming home on weekends did not afford me a whole lot of time to do anything. Plus, I have been spending a lot of time in Europe, as I expanded my practice, which further restricted my availability.

Change in Transportation along the 422 Corridor

Recently I returned to Philadelphia after being in Pittsburgh the better part of the last three years looking after my father. Any of you that have elderly parents will soon find out choices in your life will sometimes take a back seat to what you have to do as a responsible family member. Although Pittsburgh, to me, is like being in social Siberia, I would not change a moment of sharing my father’s last days. 

DeMutis Group Funds Study of Options for Rail Service to Phoenixville

Phoenixville Developer Manny DeMutis took time to address the reasons why he is funding a study for the Borough to assess the possibility of options for Rail Service to Phoenixville. His proposal was presented to the borough Infrastructure Committee where it met with approval. It will be forwarded to Borough Council for a vote, where DeMutis expects an affirmative vote to proceed.

Opinion — Change in Freedom

From liberal to libelous, from “Bonzo” to Birch idol, born again. Civil rights, women's rights, gay rights… it's all wrong. Call in the cavalry to disrupt this perception of freedom gone wild. God damn it, first one wants freedom, then the whole damn world wants freedom.

Nostalgia, that's what we want… The good ol' days when we gave 'em hell? When the buck stopped somewhere, and you could still buy something with it. To a time when movies were in black and white – and so was everything else. Gil Scott Heron – Lyrics from the song, “B – Movie”

Internet and Change

I have previously written about the internet bringing people closer together than ever.  Social media lets us know people’s every move. It is now possible to let Google know your location, have amazon send all your needs through prime membership, or put your address phone number and birthdate on Facebook so all your “friends” know.  We have become reliant on our electronic information stream and to form our social networks.

Walking Around Money and Earmarks

I have been advocating for a loosening of the system statewide to bring back Walking Around Money (WAM). There was a time before the single application when the money was awarded without an application, but it was then refined to the Community Revitalization Program (CRP), which at least had a paper trail on how the money would be used.

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