Montco Approves 3-Year Planning Pact For Collegeville Borough
The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a contract between the borough and the Montgomery County Planning Commission. Montco planners will work with the borough in support of their new Main Street zoning district, and updates of their Main Street revitalization plan.
DCED Awards Planning Grant for Collegeville’s Main Street
This month the Borough was awarded a $74,000 planning grant from the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to develop a Main Street Master Plan. Last March the Borough, in partnership with Ursinus College and the county Planning Commission, applied for a DCED Local Share Account grant. The grant covers the cost of planning, consulting, and design of a Main Street Master Plan.
This plan will act as a road map in revitalizing our Main Street, with particular emphasis on the 400 block. The grant now allows the Borough to hire the Derck & Edson Architectural Firm to lead this project at no cost to Collegeville taxpayers.
Learn more about Derck & Edson in our post Principles for Planning Collegeville’s Main Street.
Former Key Bank Building Gets Renovations and Tenants
A minority salon and upscale day spa are coming soon to the former Key Bank building at 364 E Main St (map it). And a separate 700 sq ft retail or office space there is also available.
Over a year ago, the partners of the Keenan, Ciccitto & Associates Law Firm bought the former Key Bank building located next door to their offices. They have now renovated the 6,000 sq ft space into three beautiful commercial spaces.
Ryan Skye, a hair salon and hair products company is moving into the right end space. Currently located in Phoenixville, they will be closing that store and moving to our Main Street. The salon will offer much-needed hair styling services, and quality hair products such as wigs, extensions, gels and oils and more for African-Americans and all other ethnic backgrounds.
The upscale Hush Esthetics Spa will be opening in the left end space, part of which was the bank’s original 1930s Savings and Loan building. The spa will offer skin care, permanent makeup, foot soaks, massages, yoga, reiki and more. One of the bank’s former vaults will host couples’ massages. The Collegeville location is owner Kristen Stone’s third spa and will be her most luxurious. Check out this Instagram before-and-after post of the interior renovation.
Both stores hope to open in early Spring, and could become sought-after destinations not only for our residents and students, but should also bring new customers from the region to our Main Street.
One more commercial space is available in the building —the final 700 sq ft space between the above businesses. This could make a wonderful ladies boutique or other business catering to women. The entire front of the space has a floor to ceiling window highly visible to the street which would be perfect for showcasing products. The law partner owners are open to negotiating the lease. For more information, contact Rowan Keenan of the Keenan Law offices at (610) 489-6170
Redner’s Collegeville Upgrading to Upscale “Fresh Market”
Redner’s Director Tony Basiliko confirmed that renovations will start this summer to transform their Collegeville store, located in the Marketplace at Collegeville shopping center (map it), into one of their new upscale “Fresh Market” stores similar to the one in Audubon. They hope to be finished by early fall.
The new Redner’s will feature locally grown produce, farm fresh meats and dairy products. They will increase their grab n’ go Chef-inspired prepared meals, and carry fresh sushi, and a refreshing water and candy selection. Redner’s is also applying for a liquor license to carry beer and wine in the store. Tony added that Redner’s will need to hire additional staff for the store this fall.
The store will keep its current footprint; it is unable to expand since the spaces on both sides are now fully leased. A special occasion store offering flowers and fruit baskets will soon be moving in between Redner’s and Aavya Indian Cuisine.
Collegeville Named Safest Community in all of PA in 2023
Oops, we did it again!
Residential real estate rental firm Property Club, reports that Borough of College residents “have a 1 in 270 (0.37%) chance of becoming the victim of a crime.” That’s “a crime rate … lower than the national average by 84 percent”.
Regional Rail Update
SEPTA pulled the plug on its King of Prussia Rail Project, one of two projects with the potential to bring regional rail within reach of the Collegeville region.
SEPTA was denied the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program funding which would have provided 60% of its costs. SEPTA’s capital budget, which has been “underfunded for decades”, cannot make up the difference.
See the Billy Penn story SEPTA pulls the plug on KOP Rail, putting the $3B project ‘on pause’ after FTA concerns.
Meanwhile, planning and funding for the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority (SRPRA), an effort to restore passenger rail service in the Reading to Philadelphia corridor continues. According to a November, 2022 article in the Patch, Schuylkill River Passenger Train On Track For Federal Funding, “the authority has budgeted $1.3 million through 2025 with each county contributing $431,520”, and “approve(d) an agreement with Smart Growth America through its Transportation for America program … to provide guidance to the authority during the process of advocating and applying for federal funding”.
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