Newtown Business Development Council

Minutes for the Meeting held on April 5, 2007

 

Present: Lisa Russo, Don Harris, Brandon Wind, Chris Ortwein, John Boyle, Robert Pellegrino, George Wilson, Mary Ann Broderick, Evan Stone, Paul Mataras, Wayne Bishop, Heath Dumack, Michael Solomon, Richard Weaver.

Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 12:10 PM.

Approval of the Minutes

Mr. Wind moved to approve the minutes of March 8, 2007. Mr. Bishop seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Presentation

Evan Stone of Pickering Corts and Summerson gave a brief presentation on new construction along Sycamore Street. With an illustrated map of the downtown area, he pointed out the location of two major projects, the new DeLuca Corporate Center at the St. Andrew’s Preschool location and Goodnoe’s Corner. Using architectural renderings, Mr. Stone showed that the two developments will enhance the appearance of Sycamore Street, with street trees, benches, lighting and the continuation of the sidewalks. The shopping area at Goodnoe’s Corner will feature seven separate buildings, connected by sidewalks, each with entrances on both Sycamore Street and at the rear of each business. Restaurants and shops, including a pizza shop and ice cream parlor, along with a pharmacy and bank, are to be included in the center. It is 100% leased. The DeLuca building is to be a “green” building with LEEDS certification.

Codes Department Business Development Report

Mr. Solomon provided a written report of codes related business for March 2007. He noted that Rouget Restaurant at 2 Swamp Road had been granted conditional use and a decision on the Promenade at Sycamore’s application to the Zoning Hearing Board is expected this evening.

Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation

Ms. Ortwein referred to the map of the downtown area and noted that the two developments Mr. Stone reported on continue the revitalization of Sycamore Street from end to end. She discussed future ideas for Sycamore Street and said that Economic Structuring Committee of the JDNC is planning a meeting with Sycamore Street stakeholders to brainstorm ideas for further revitalization. This month’s Aha! Friday theme is “Spring into Newtown”. The JDNC is participating in the Newtown Creek Coalition, an informal group looking to restore and revitalize the creek. The next meeting is scheduled for April 21 at LaSalle University. JDNC has been working with the Conference Bureau to promote “Destination Newtown”. The JDNC/Main Streets website is: www.newtownpa.us.

Newtown Business Commons Association

Mr. Weaver reported that the NBCA continues to collect surveys from Commons tenants with a goal of publishing a directory of the businesses, sharing such information as landscaping and snow removal services. Initial response to the survey indicates that most of the tenants are using different providers for these services; there is the possibility of using the survey information to seek economies of scale for such contracted services. TMA participates in the NBCA meetings, and reports that its Rush bus service, connecting the Commons area with the SEPTA railroad station at Woodbourne Road continues to grow, with many employees of the larger businesses, such as Teletronics and LSAC, taking advantage of the commuter service. NBCA will be presented with a new slate of officers at its next Board of Directors meeting.

Other Busines

Mr. Pellegrino briefly discussed proposals that the Township has seen for the property on Durham Road facing the shopping centers. Plans had been presented for townhomes on this property, but the Supervisors saw a number of issues of concern, including access to the property and density. A zoning text amendment would be required to permit townhomes on this property. The developer has not returned with responses to the Supervisors concerns.

In response to questions from members, Mr. Pellegrino said that Verizon is required to carry the Township television station and to broadcast supervisors meetings. This service should begin shortly. Currently a video is being broadcast on the Township channel which shows traffic calming roundabouts that have been suggested in a Gilmore Associates study of Stoopville Road.

Next Meeting

The next scheduled BDC meeting will be Thursday, May 3, 2007 at Dolce Carini Restaurant, 2821 S. Eagle Road.

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Mary Donaldson, Acting Recording Secretary