NEWTOWN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
LUNCHEON MEETING AT GOODNOE FARM DAIRY BAR
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2004
Approval of the Minutes: Mr. Terry moved to approve the minutes of the November meeting as presented. Mr. Michaud seconded; the motion carried unanimously.
Present: Chairman Richard Weaver, Hal Roberts, Steve Schreiber, Dan McCloskey, Wayne Bishop, Thomas Harwood, Linda Mitchell, Patrice Martin, Mary Ann Broderick, Mark Byelich, Tangela Randolph, Amy Gallagher.
Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 12:15 PM.
Codes Department Business Development Report
Mr. Harwood distributed and reviewed the report for October 2004. He noted that Chef Jean Pierre is adding an eating place use, and that SaladWorks would be going into half of the space occupied by West Coast Video.
Approval of the Minutes
Mr. Schreiber moved to approve the minutes of the October meeting as presented. Ms. Mitchell seconded; the motion carried unanimously.
Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Mitchell reported that the next Business Card Exchange was scheduled for November 30, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Bucks County Visitors Center. She said that the next Percolator meeting is scheduled for 8:00 a.m., November 11, at St. Maryís; RSVP to the Chamber. Information about all LBCCC events is available on the website: www.lbccc.org.
Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation
Ms. Dunleavy reported that the October 26 Open House, held at the First National Bank, was well attended. Ms. Mitchell noted that Main Streets Manager Chris Ortwein is making many connections within the community, and said that the newly formed Marketing Council would be meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. to discuss branding and a logo.
Newtown Business and Professional Association
Ms. Mitchell welcomed Amy Gallagher from Massage for Health, located in the Luxemburg Complex. She distributed a flyer detailing upcoming events of the Association, noting:
Information relevant to all the associationís events can be found at the website: www.newtownbpa.org.
Economic Development Commission
Mr. Weaver reported that they are working on bylaws and organizational issues for an association for the Business Commons that would address common issues, business concerns and communication in the Commons. He said they are sending letters to solicit persons interested in participating on the Board of the association; there would probably be 11-13 Board members. Mr. Weaver said that the letter mentions that administrative issues, such as bylaws, are being developed, to clarify that association structure would be place for the new Board.
Mr. Weaver reported that a Hilton Gardens Hotel would be coming to the site of the old France building, utilizing the old building and adding on to it. He noted that the demographics of Newtown have changed, and that the hotel wants to have more than the earlier projected 100-110 rooms. It was clarified that although stand-alone/free-standing eating establishments are not allowed in the Business Commons, restaurants/eating places could be in businesses and in the proposed hotel. Mr. Bishop said eating places in the Commons would be useful for employees who work there. Ms. Martin noted that Aramark has a cafeteria type eatery in the Fort Washington business area, open only during business hours. Mr. Harwood said that a decision had been made previously to not make land available for regional restaurants, e.g. chains, but to keep it available for local development.
Ms. Mitchell reviewed the project and said she would be contacting Ms. Kruse regarding ad sales; she noted that the profits from ad sales would go to JDNC, as voted previously by the Council. She said that the map would be mailed to all residents and businesses in the Borough and Township.
Mr. Byelich asked Mr. Weaver what feeling he was getting from the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors regarding the Stockburger relocation proposal; Mr. Weaver said it hasnít been discussed recently. Mr. Harwood said that there is no time line and no sketch plan, and that it hadnít been heard by anyone yet. It was clarified that Stockburger wishes to move the business to property it owns on the Bypass across Silver Lake Road from Community Crossing Church.
Mr. Weaver said the Board has seen three proposals for development on the Acme site, and that they were all quite good for the site and included upscale shops, were close to the street, and had apartments or businesses on the upper floors and parking behind. He said there would be a fourth proposal submitted; interested parties have been responding to an RFP from the Redevelopment Authority. Mr. Weaver said there would be public hearings scheduled, with a 15 minute presentation by each developer; he said the Borough wishes to review the plans as well.
Mr. Harwood reported that Pryda (on the corner of Sycamore and Jefferson Streets) has not cleared with HARB, and that land development and building inspections have not been concluded as well. He noted that the backers of the project have taken over management of the property and they are working to comply with all HARB and zoning requirements; he said there should be significant progress.
The next scheduled BDC meeting will be Thursday, December 2, 2004.
Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 1:10 p.m.
Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary