Newtown Business Development Council

Minutes for the Meeting held on June 7, 2007

 

Present: Dick Weaver, Michael Solomon, Wayne Bishop, Chip Bromley, Chris Ortwein, Kent Lufkin, Riki Brennan, John Silvers.

Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order.

Codes Department Business Development Report

Director of Planning & Zoning Mike Solomon presented the report, covering May 2007, noting that the Acme site will be bought back from Elliott Building Group and the building will be demolished: the future developer will reimburse the township for the cost of demolition. He noted:

  • Goodnoe’s Corner would include: Cosi (café), First Trust Bank, A Taste of Philly Soft Pretzels, Jules Thin Crust Pizza, Cingular Wireless, an ice cream shop, an Irish pub, and a Rite Aid Pharmacy.
  • Piccolo Trattoria is looking to expand and Newtown Veterinary Hospital will move to the Business Commons.
  • La Stalla has applied for conditional use, as they have exceeded seating capacity; parking will be part of the review.

Approval of the Minutes

Mr. Lufkin moved to approve the minutes of the May meeting as presented. Mr. Bishop seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS

Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce

Information and details about all LBCCC events is available on the website: www.lbccc.org.

Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation

Ms. Ortwein reported that tickets for the upcoming Brewfest went on sale June 6 th and 56 connoisseur have been sold (limit=200) and 149 regular admission tickets have been sold; tickets are on sale on line at the Brewfest website www.newtownbrewfest.com. Connoisseur tasting will take place 12:00-1:30 pm.

Ms. Ortwein said the Economic Restructuring Committee of JDNC, chaired by Dick Weaver, held a luncheon meeting for significant property owners on State and Sycamore Streets to discuss visioning for the downtown area. They looked at the parcels remaining for development and discussed ways to create a pro business attitude. Mr. Weaver said they brainstormed ideas for the downtown area and possible additions to the group; there will be follow up. Mr. Weaver said they are encouraging consideration of Newtown as a target area, not borough or township. He noted that if Newtown was to be a destination, parking needed to be addressed.

Ms. Ortwein noted that the Newtown Creek Coalition has been meeting regularly; this group was created from the JDNC Design Committee and is investigating how to better utilize the creek as an asset. The coalition includes representatives from Borough and Township Environmental Advisory Councils, Planning Commissions, Council and Supervisors, as well as residents. There is a link to coalition information on the JDNC website; click on the creek picture on the website home page. The JDNC/Main Streets website is: www.newtownpa.us.

Ms. Ortwein reported that she is working on advertising for next year and launching a new PR campaign.

Newtown Business and Professional Association

The next membership breakfast will be held June 26 th at Chick-Fila; register on the website. Upcoming events include the Classic Car Show on July 22 and the 1 st Annual Business Expo, to be held at the NAC on October 10 th. Information about the association and its events is available at the NBPA website: www.newtownbpa.org.

Newtown Business Commons Association

Mr. Weaver reported elections had taken place; the only change was Kent Lufkin as Treasurer. Some new members have recently joined. There will be a luncheon meeting at Noon on June 14 th at the Law School; the speaker will be Fran Dunphy and the program will include an update of the township business community and development. Lunch is included and all are welcome.

Mr. Weaver said the finances are all in place for Homewood Suites; approvals were previously granted. They expect a 10 month construction schedule.

Miscellaneous

Acme site: Mr. Weaver said that the township has found Elliott Building in default and is in the process of reclaiming the property; Elliott has agreed to sell the property back. When the township has ownership of the site the old Acme building will be demolished and the cost passed along to the new developer. Mr. Weaver said there is a lot of interest in the site.

Ms. Ortwein noted that the street lights are the last element to be installed in the State Street improvement.

It was clarified that the recent Verizon outage was caused by a cut in a large line at the Goodnoe’s Corner site; the contractor is responsible for repairs. ICT has asked for reimbursement for loss of service.

New Busines

None.

Next Meeting

The next scheduled BDC meeting will be Thursday, September 6, 2007 at Dolce Carini Restaurant, 2821 S. Eagle Road.

Adjournment

On motion by Mr. Lufkin and without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 1: 00 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary