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A Vision for Pottstown: What do YOU see?

April 6, 2011

As part of the Heritage Action Plan that’s being developed with funding from the Schuylkill River Heritage Area and William Penn Foundation, representatives from lots of organizations and institutions in town got together for a workshop last month, where we talked about our individual visions for Pottstown.

A vision statement should answer these questions: What do we want to create? What do we want our community to look like?

Below is a summary of the workshop participants’ visions for Pottstown. There seemed to be consensus around the idea of a future Pottstown with a safe, clean, revitalized, business-friendly downtown that promotes heritage resources and is accessible by various modes and attractive to families and young people.

1. Envision Pottstown as a revitalized place; focus on downtown; clean up blighted properties. Need for occupied storefronts downtown.
2. Have Pottstown’s streets be clean, welcoming, attractive and safe to bring people into town; heighten police presence; create safe link between Hill School & downtown.
3. Project a new, positive, business-friendly image.
4. Develop and promote a sense of place.
5. Promote a garden feel to Pottstown.
6. Build on existing arts and culture as economic development tool.
7. Envision Pottstown as a place that works together with existing assets/resources.
8. Pottstown should be the cultural leader in the region. Must coordinate offerings.
9. Move drug treatment center to new location.
10. Give Pottstown a progressive image. Add a new twist in arts, culture & sustainability that ties into the trail, natural resources & Pottstown’s history (pie, steel, railroad.)
11. Promote health and healthy living, farmers’ market, bike-sharing program, vibrant streetscape, activity on streets, eyes on the street. Create comfortable atmosphere, place where families are active, walking on streets.
12. Enhance and create transportation linkages, especially to improve foot traffic for businesses; be pedestrian-friendly; improve way-finding. Highlight the airport as a resource. Create a multi-modal community.
13. Market studio & residential space to art students; need more bars/entertainment for young people.

WHAT’S YOUR VISION FOR POTTSTOWN?

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9 Comments
  1. April 6, 2011 9:48 pm

    I share many of your thoughts about downtown Pottstown. I would love to see a co-op or co-working space where an incubator for upcoming businesses could flourish. Combined with a revitalized area that includes shoppes, coffee houses, more restaurants and bars would entice more people and families to come into Pottstown.

  2. george park permalink
    April 7, 2011 6:59 am

    sue, thanks for keeping me current. pottstown has potential but we need visionairies to leqad us. with hill, mccc and the river, and alot of affordable housing, the possibilities are endless.

  3. Judy permalink
    April 7, 2011 9:50 am

    Sure would be nice if there was a way to encourage/enforce property owners to clean up the areas that are rentals, especially empty stores, etc. Have heard of incidences where people are receiving parking tickets downtown for parking over the white lines! Wouldn’t a warning be a kinder, more friendly thing to do? A $10. ticket doesn’t encourage visitors to return.

  4. Mary-Beth Bacallao Lydon permalink
    April 8, 2011 4:22 pm

    Sue, there are so many strong efforts going on to move Pottstown into a place in the sun-the work done with this grant, the Revitalization Task Force, the new PAID Board and soon we hope very soon new Economic Development Director, the efforts of the CLT, CPR, Roy Keeler-I can only believe it’s going to happen. I hope Drew can be patient-business incubators, neighborhood garden co-ops, and Pottstown as a PA choice destination are coming!

  5. Katy permalink
    April 18, 2011 7:22 am

    Boy that waterfall got the creative juices flowing. Thank you Joe, for that gem of wonderfulness! This idea is very appealing. Waterfalls create a sense of wonder and awe, they are such a magical attraction.

    Also, I really like Drews’ idea, above, for a co-operative small business incubator. These incubators really draw the creative types together as they can co-op on so many of their needs, like marketing, which is generally a very costly endeavor. In the words of Bob Marley “Lively Up” would do wonders for our community.

    I agree with Judy too. There is no time like now to begin to clean up the trash. That simple act alone would make such a huge positive impression for Pottstown.

    Thanks everyone for all the good work.

  6. Andrew Kefer permalink
    April 18, 2011 9:48 am

    Nice job Joe, way to think outside the box. Sue, we’ve all said before that there is nothing wrong with ‘shooting for the moon’ until something sticks. Regarding the waterfalls, another example of an extraordinary use of a natural asset in an urban setting is Falls Park on the Reedy River in Greenville, SC. Please visit: http://www.fallspark.com/default.aspx for more information. In all honestry, if Pottstown could somehow manage to emulate any small American City in terms of their revitalization effort, Greenville, SC would be my number 1 pick! Their downtown and neighborhood redevelopment has also been spectacular. @Drew, I have also talked about either a business incubator or co-op workspace for Pottstown. Please check out http://www.indyhall.org/ This is a co-working facility right in nearby Philadelphia.

    I also want to second Mary-Beth’s comments, I think momentum for Pottstown in finally reaching the point where positive change will not only be talked about, but positive change will be visible all over town! Everyone keep up the good work!

    Andrew Kefer

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