Collegeville Borough 2019 Business Survey

Borough of Collegeville 2019 Business Survey

Table of Contents

Residency / Age

Age Categories
18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Totals
Collegeville Borough Residents 45 9 45 33 34 29 195 48%
Non-Collegeville Borough Residents 31 6 31 54 58 29 209 52%
Totals 76 15 76 87 92 58 404
19% 4% 19% 22% 23% 14%

Where they Live

The Borough of Collegeville 195 48.3%
The Borough of Trappe 32 7.9%
Upper Providence Township 33 8.2%
Lower Providence Township 25 6.2%
Perkiomen Township 35 8.7%
Skippack Township 24 5.9%
Worcester Township 4 1.0%
No response 56 13.9%
Total 404 100.0%

Would you like to see Collegeville Borough support business development and invest in bringing new businesses to Collegeville’s Main Street?

Yes No Totals
Count % Count % Count
Collegeville Borough Residents 184 94% 11 6% 195
All responders 391 97% 13 3% 404

Do you support business development comments

Category Comment
Absolute support
  • This is desperately needed in the borough.
  • Yes I definitely want to see more involvement of borough council in improving Collegeville’s business development.
  • Absolutely! I would love an area like Phoenixville has and Skippack – that would be amazing. It’s sad to walk by there because no one goes there.
  • Desperately! The complete lack of progress in this area while literally every other surrounding borough is completely overhauling is infuriating and the primary reason I’ve been voting against borough council incumbents of 12+ years. They’ve allowed this to happen and need to go.
  • The Borough government should invest in programs and ways to bring new business to the community. Responsible, proactive thinking Council members are obligated to enhance and augment the quality of life in the Borough AND its business district. The “Do Nothing” approach is cowardly, short-sighted, lazy AND dim witted!
  • Yes, would prefer to buy locally than have to travel miles to get something.
  • Look at all the businesses in Phoenixville. Attractive, and big help economically.
  • Yes, it would be good for the community.
  • If it will lower our taxes yes!
It depends support
  • Yes, provided that you find a way to also provide parking. There is currently not sufficient parking on Main Street for the few businesses that are currently there.
  • Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. And not just a solo Folk singer. How about some Blues? You find the venue and I can supply a number of local Blues Bands. Also, whatever businesses you put into Collegeville, PLEASE do not put in “high-end” shops!  Most of us today cannot afford it!
  • I would like to see more businesses, but not to (a) degree … which can take away from the quaintness of our community.
  • (Yes) but business of the kind to promote Collegeville as a nice community to live in and visit. No more gas stations, fast food, etc.  Would like nice restaurants, taverns, bars, places to hear music –second-hand shops/ vintage, or artisan shops –more like mom and pop businesses.
  • I say Yes BUT it depends on the type of business. I believe we need to keep Main Street somewhat Mom & Pop with no retail giants. Also the stores should be Family Friendly.
  • Maybe, depends on stores. Want to keep small town feel.
  • Business as in more restaurants and not the typical strip mall pizza and nail salon stuff
  • Support businesses that are not gas stations as they ruin the appeal of our quaint town. I would also like to see the development of businesses that increase foot traffic on main Street – shops, coffee shop, ice cream shop etc., Rather than banks and hair salons and other businesses where people come in to Collegeville for one purpose and then leave. There really isn’t anywhere for people to hang out besides at a restaurant/bar – would love to see a coffee shop in our town
Here’s what would make it work support
  • Chow is the perfect example of a high quality “destination” business/restaurant that draws customers from inside and outside of the borough.
  • Please bring in more restaurants and boutiques. Focus on businesses that are not insurance agencies.
  • Small-time charm is appealing (think Skippack Village)
  • More restaurants and shopping
  • I have never understood why we don’t have an amazing Main Street considering we have an amazing (college) just steps away.  We need more restaurants!
  • We love walking around town and would like more shops and entertainment businesses. We don’t need any more gas stations, convenience stores,  or car repair shops. These establishments are for people who do not live in the borough and are merely driving through.
  • I would like to be able to walk up and down main street and be able to shop in multiple places, get coffee, sit outside and grab lunch.
  • A nice brewery/restaurant to replace Appalachian Brewing Company. Breweries are very popular and are what makes a big draw to Phoenixville.
  • Support and invest can take on many meanings. I’d like to see a detailed business plan brought before the community before action is taken.
  • More student-friendly places such as affordable bars, restaurants, coffee shops, etc.
  • Provided these are local or non-corporate interests.
  • I believe in a strong small business community in the downtown area. I like what Phoenixville has done for their main street.
  • Yes, especially in Collegeville Station. That building has a lot of empty spaces but has potential.
  • We need practical planning and development. Borough management and council are unable to provide it. Get a consultant. Council needs to invest in the business district for it to change.
  • It won’t happen without a plan.
  • Yes, we need the Borough’s leadership here.
No taxes or support for businesses and related complaints
  • I would not want taxes raised to support this.
  • Support yes; invest no. Local businesses need to stand on their own 2 feet.
  • I do not believe the Borough should be in any business development. We live in a capitalistic nation, and government should not be involved in business.
  • Businesses have been formed in America since its founding. I am happy every time I see a new business open in town. Potential business owners know, or can find out, how to open a new business. Besides keeping bureaucratic hurdles as low as possible, maintaining roads and lighting, and keeping the town safe, I see no role for Collegeville Borough or its taxpayers in this process. Even the promotion of new business I feel is best left to organizations such as the chamber of commerce.
Uncategorized complaints
  • Local shops, artisans, bakery, specialty shops. There is not currently a big reason to walk up and down main street. There is not a mainstreet vibe.
  • There are not too many options along Main Street due to student housing.
  • Main St is not a walkable street like Phoenixville has. There is not enough to draw people to Collegeville to shop. There are a few restaurants that may draw some people.
  • We are constantly going to Skippack or Phoenixville because there really isn’t much to do in Collegeville outside of Providence Town Center. We would definitely stay in Collegeville if there were more things to do
  • Main Street is not conducive to development. Main Street development is more difficult due to the fact that it is narrow and serves mostly as a connection rather than a destination. Parking is problematic to Main Street.
  • Nothing remains open in that area, and there are more than enough hair places on the strip
  • Not sure if this is possible along Main Street given the lack of parking and concerns by the property owners with filling their spaces as quickly as possible. Would like to see the vacant spots in the two shopping centers filled — plenty of parking there.
  • Not on Main Street. Other areas yes, but not Main St.

Do you patronize retail stores in Collegeville Borough?

Yes No Totals
Collegeville Borough Residents 154 41 195 48%
Non-Collegeville Borough Residents 162 47 209 52%
Totals 316 88 404
78% 22%

Do you patronize restaurants in Collegeville Borough?

Yes No Totals
Collegeville Borough Residents 183 11 194 48%
Non-Collegeville Borough Residents 177 31 208 52%
Totals 360 42 402
90% 10%

Do you patronize services in Collegeville Borough?

(e.g., hair or nail salons, car repair, day care, dentists, etc.)

Yes No Totals
Collegeville Borough Residents 141 53 194 48%
Non-Collegeville Borough Residents 126 82 208 52%
Totals 267 135 402
66% 34%

Are there specific businesses you would like us to work to attract in Collegeville Borough?

Yes No Totals
Collegeville Borough Residents 149 44 193 48%
Non-Collegeville Borough Residents 155 50 205 52%
Totals 304 94 398
76% 24%

Businesses to attract comments

Business Type What responders said
Bar with alcohol, BYO, wine bar, Wine and Spirits Serves alcohol
Brew Pub (brewery / restaurant, brew pub, craft beer) Brew pub like Conshohocken Brewing Company, Rec Room, The Alchemist brewery
Coffee shop / bakery / ice cream Coffee shop (generic), ice cream shop, like Java’s Brewin’
Deli / sandwich shop Deli (generic), Jewish Deli (generic), gourmet bagel
Specialty food shops Butcher, ALDI
Parking Parking lots, on street parking
Restaurants general Second breakfast restaurant, burgers and shakes, ethnic (not defined), quality ethnic restaurants (on par with Davinci’s), decent hoagie shop, healthy restaurant options like Seasons 52, something like Annamarie’s (Royersford) or Nudy’s (Phoenixville), fresh mex like El Limon or Lumbrada or a taco place, culturally diverse restaurants (Indian, French, Korean, etc.)
Restaurants specific Salad restaurant: Chopt, Sweetgreen, Saladworks.

General restaurant: Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Cosi, Bryn and Dane’s, Harvest Seasonal Grill, Turning Point, Azteca Mexican restaurant, Wawa, Royal Farms, Appalachian Brewing Company (bring back ABC), Subway, Pizza Hut, Five Guys Burgers & Fries (in PTC), Dave and Busters(something fun)!

Restaurants with healthy food choices: For example First Watch, Harvest Seasonal Grille.

Retail general Affordable art, bakery (see coffee), chocolatier, cheese, stationary, hardware store, card shop /  gift shop that sells Hallmark cards, nicer gifts for birthdays and holidays, and that sells Birthday balloons, bead shop, florist, antique, cookware, clothing, ready to Wear for women, accessories boutiques, cute retail shops – with jewelry, home goods, etc, similar to Michelle’s in Trappe or the shops in Skippack, homes goods, pre-teen, used book store I’d love to see a much more trendy area setup like the King of Prussia Town Center concept, seafood, boutique store (undefined), outdoor store like Dick’s or Model’s, IT support, toy store
Retail specific Annie Sez, Tilly’s (high school / college clothes), Primark, Gabe’s, Party City, Franzone’s pizzeria , Poke Restaurant like Poke Bros in Delaware, Marshall’s, Ross, T J Maxx, Piccolo Amore, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Staples, Joann Fabric, Odd Lots, Hobby Lobby
Retail groceries / staples Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Giant
Retail activities Art studio / classes for adults and / or children (paint, ceramics), create or update household furniture (like Urban Luxe)
Health / Wellness Yoga studio, Spin Class studio, Business that offer health and wellness activities (Equates to yoga, counseling and physical therapy)
Furniture Second hand and vintage furniture shop.
Service Eye doctor, tech services, medical specialists, dry bar, laundromat, tag and notary shop, senior social center, nursery, auto quick lube, Interior decorator.
Entertainment Live music, small movie theater, comedy club, non-alcoholic venues, adult social dance classes (ballroom, latin, swing), swimming, community center,arts and crafts general, businesses that offer a night out to create something- jewelry, artwork or adult activities like axe throwing, game nights, etc., painting with a twist, bowling alley (like in Philly) or roller skating rink to provide entertainment for the entire family (they suggested old Sears)
Business working Business incubator or co-working space, internet cafe
Miscellaneous comments Library. Taxi service. I’m tired of always having to drive 20+ minutes to get anything I need. We need more places that our Community can meet up. ABC was a big loss. Bring Wawa back to Main St. Meeting spaces like the Hub in Philadelphia. Nice hotel- maybe a Hilton. Basically, everything is in other towns (the big shopping centers in Town Center and in Limerick), but they are all national “cookie cutter” places. Phoenixville does well because it is almost exclusively local-only establishments. Wifi, wifi, wifi.

Are you interested in Collegeville Borough businesses or activities that provide activities for children?

If yes, what types of activities?

Yes No Totals
Collegeville Borough Residents 87 108 195 48%
Non-Collegeville Borough Residents 81 127 208 52%
Totals 168 235 403
42% 58%

Activities for children comments

Note: Those who responded no and commented stated that they had no children, grandchildren or visiting children to share activities with. We are only showing the comments of those who responded yes.

Activity Type Activity
Activity facility for preschool through elementary Preschool and elementary age playgrounds, summer camps, Gymboree, KinderMusic, Story Time, Jungle Magic, Splash Lab Art, children’s yoga, in store daycare or story time (including weekends).
Activity facility teen / young adult Escape rooms, laser tag, rock climbing, skyzone, bowling alley, bounce-U, batting cages, martial arts, mini-golf.
Park, library, after school, or community space events – Educational Summer camps, outdoor education, environmental and historical programs, neighborhood and environmental improvement projects, gardening / community garden, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fix it, first aid, tutoring.
Park, library, after school, or community space events – Other Movies, structured play events, children’s concerts / theater / magic shows.
Sports facility Indoor and outdoor Parks with fields and courts for baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, volleyball.
Arts and games indoor Art, dance and music studios with lessons. Theater opportunities, board games.
Volunteer Volunteer and graduation project opportunities.
Other Make parks accessible, rainy day places to go, daycare during fitness class, etc, coffee shop with a play area like Nest or places where parents and children do something together like LuLu’s Casita, indoor play areas like Jungle Wonder.

Do you have any ideas about how we can make any of our Business Districts more attractive and vibrant?

Your ideas comments

Categories Ideas
Retail / Restaurant Type
  • Go easy on the nail salons, banks … concentrate on businesses where people want to gather.
  • More boutique style restaurants. A large coffee shop where students and professionals can sit and drink coffee and have a quick sandwich or something.
  • Outdoor dining restaurants. But not raucous and noisy.
  • Stop putting in salons and barber shops on Main Street!! Add more retail or eateries!
  • More boutique style retail.
Store fronts
  • Modern storefronts; not stand-alone houses turned businesses located in Victorian / turn of century homes. That doesn’t work anymore, its ugly looking, and too many town around here try to make that work.
  • Provide more parking spaces.
  • More parking on Main Street.
  • Marked on street parking. This will also visually narrow the street.
  • As more businesses come in, there should be a proportional increase in parking.
  • You need to find / provide parking for the businesses that are currently on Main Street as well as any new business you intend to bring in. There is currently insufficient parking on Main Street for those businesses.
Main Street Greenway
  • Make Main Street more pedestrian friendly and accessible to restaurants, shops, etc.
  • Capitalize on the trailhead at Main Street and Third Avenue.
  • Better lighting at night.
  • All businesses in the borough should be accessible (to the neighborhoods) via walking/sidewalks. More sidewalks, better maintenance of sidewalks.
  • Better connections between the borough’s sidewalk system, the Perkiomen Trail where it runs through the borough, and business.
  • Improve the bike and pedestrian access to the shopping centers and (improve) the crossings at RT 29 and Park Avenue, and at Park Avenue to Clahor Avenue.
  • Improve the pedestrian connection between Main Street and the Collegeville Shopping Center, and the trail connection to the Marketplace Shopping Center.
  • Correct the poorly designed intersection of Rt. 29 and Ridge Pike whether the proposed Royal Farms development happens or not.
  • Fix Rt. 29 and 2nd Avenue interchange.
  • Fix Rt. 29 and Main Street. Eliminate one light and make Rt. 29 straight to Gravel Pike. Always traffic congestion!
  • Promote PennDOT plans for dogleg through 3rd Avenue.
Perkiomen Bridge Hotel
  • Resolve the Hotel eyesore—either revitalize it or demolish it.
  • Tear down the Perkiomen Bridge Hotel. It is an eyesore and would be better off with a plaque to commemorate the site. It’s the first thing people see when they come over the bridge and it’s embarrassing.
  • Knock down the Perkiomen Bridge Hotel.
  • Do “something” with the Perkiomen Bridge Hotel.
  • Get rid of the Perkiomen Bridge Hotel. It makes the town look run down.
  • Remove / condemn the Perkiomen Bridge hotel.
  • Save the Perkiomen Bridge Hotel.
Collegeville Shopping Center
  • It’s great that KImberton Whole Foods has taken the old Acme building—finally! Recent improvements on that strip are greatly appreciated
Marketplace Shopping Center
  • Fill current vacancies in Marketplace shopping center. There is so much potential for the former Sears and Rock and Roll After School spaces and plenty of parking.
  • Looking for a ready made outdoor pub or cafe space? The former Sears space has an outdoor area (temporarily boarded up). There’s plenty of parking too and access to weekend trail traffic. Just sayin’.
Collegeville Station
  • Fix up the (Collegeville Station) building where Appalachian Brewing Company used to be. It’s a good location for an anchor restaurant / bar. It’s got great parking and could help the walk-up traffic for other areas.
  • Improve Collegeville station. Lots of potential but …
  • Consult with someone who helped vitalize other towns – such as Phoenixville, West Chester or Media.
  • Borough government needs to support (revitalization) by providing leadership, resources and incentives.
  • Being a small college town has some major advantages to offer. Capitalize on that.
  • Create a more defined downtown with sidewalks and areas to walk around and “window shop”
  • Keep plugging away. So much has improved in the past three years. Don’t give up. We have the wonderful college campus that now wants community involvement. It’s one of our best features.
  • Love the brighter lights on Main St. Now fill the gap between Ursinus and Fourth Avenue.
  • Better lighting along main street. When heading toward Quick Stop from Ursinus, the walk becomes uncomfortable.
  • If we could support more restaurants it will help revive Main Street.
  • Renovate the look of the town. Make it look more modern and less run down.
  • Get a consultant, plan, plan, plan and get grants.
  • Consistent and readable signage. NO banners though. Waste of money. NO business directory. Waste of money as I only need to Google near me. Better to bring businesses together and make sure they are signed up for Google my Business.
  • Signage on most of the businesses on Main Street has become tacky and unattractive
  • Attractive signage for stores/restaurants.
  • Develop a lighting ordinance to prevent large electric signs. Low, uplit signage fosters an inviting vibe.
  • Review zoning to ensure that our retail properties can adequately be invested in to promote and attract new retail users/experiences.
  • Replace dead trees.
  • We need destination shops. Restaurants are great, but once you’ve eaten, you leave. We need shops that are interesting to visit and things to do AFTER you go out to eat…and not just when Ursinus has a show.
  • Strike a balance between college-friendly and family-friendly.
  • Don’t try to make Collegeville into a Phoenixville as we don’t need downtown, we need better shopping centers.
  • No (borough involvement), (business district improvement) is up to the individual property owners.
  • More local events – music, arts
  • More activities like summer concerts and Halloween parade.
  • Love the events at Ursinus College for the community.
  • Organize more events like the car show and movie night – food truck, wine festival, etc.
Features of the region
  • Build on our proximity to Evansburg State Park, Audubon Center, Valley Forge, the Perkiomen and Skippack creeks, the Schuylkill river, historical sites, etc.

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