Gorgeous Victorian available at 259 Walnut Street

There’s a beautifully restored Victorian on the market for $164,900 at 259 Walnut Street in Pottstown. Looks like it’s got a 2-story garage with a workshop; this is a huge added benefit in a Pottstown home. I pass by this charming block periodically just because it’s got several lovely homes with wonderful front porches. It’s in the vicinity of Emmanuel Lutheran Church and the Pottstown School District administration building. The home can be seen on this YouTube video. It’s listed by Brian Kelly of Kelly Real Estate. Check it out!

FREE HOUSING COUNSELING CLASSES OFFERED IN POTTSTOWN

This comes to us from Genesis Housing

There has never been a better time to make the most of your money and to “clean-up” your credit.  Learn the best ways to reduce your debts. Learn how to improve your credit scores. Make good decisions with your money. Learn what they never covered when you were in high school!

Genesis Housing Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit community development corporation, is bringing the FREE class series back to Pottstown on Tuesday evenings, July 30th, August 13th  and September 17th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, at the Mosaic Community Land Trusts Offices, 10 South Hanover Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.  The classes are offered every month in Norristown. This will be the second time this year to have the classes in Pottstown.

The classes are designed to help to:

  • Understand Credit — Information on credit scores, improving your scores, re-establishing credit, dealing with debt.  Class participants can obtain a free credit report with scores from the three major credit reporting services (Tuesday, July 30, 2013).
  • Money Management – Information on preparing realistic budgets that are more than just monthly bills, prioritizing spending in tough times and understanding how current spending impacts your future financial options (Tuesday, August 13, 2013).
  • Home Buying Basics — Information the home buying process — finding a realtor, home inspections, Agreements of Sale, mortgages and first-time homebuyer grant programs (Tuesday, September 17, 2013).

Nikki Holcroft, an award winning and certified housing counselor, will teach the classes. Ms. Holcroft has more than twenty-five years experience working as a housing counselor, mortgage banker and community lender. Ms. Holcroft has worked with Genesis Housing Corporation since 2001 and teaches monthly classes on credit, money management and the home buying process. Ms. Holcroft also provides individual housing counseling sessions to help clients achieve their financial goals.  Ms. Holcroft has worked with families to restructure their mortgages, avoid foreclosures and reduce their debts.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling Genesis Housing Corporation at 610-275-4357 or online at www.genesishousing.org.

The Pottstown classes are funded, in part, by National Penn Bank. Additional funding was provided by Montgomery County. National Penn Bank is a member FDIC. National Penn Bank and Genesis Housing Corporation are nonaffiliated entities.

Genesis Housing Corporation’s housing counseling programs provide free classes and individual counseling helping over 7,000 clients. Monthly classes focus on topics not taught in regular school including understanding credit, credit repair, money management, saving plans, grant programs and understanding the home buying process including selecting a realtor and finding the best mortgage.

Since 1994, Genesis Housing Corporation has served Montgomery County as a 501(c)(3) non-profit community development corporation and is dedicated to the development of affordable housing and educating consumers on housing and financial issues.  Genesis Housing Corporation has been certified as a FannieMae Counseling Agency and is approved by PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for housing counseling. Genesis Housing Corporation is also an approved agency for many programs including the Montgomery County First-time Home Buyers Program and the Norristown First-time Home Buyers Program.

In addition, Genesis Housing Corporation has developed affordable housing by rehabilitating vacant homes and by building new homes for income eligible homebuyers. Renovated homes are currently available in Norristown and Pottstown. Genesis Housing Corporation also renovates existing owner-occupied homes for eligible families for the Montgomery County Homeowner Rehab Program and the Pottstown Homeowner Rehab Program.

Visit us on Facebook (www.facebook/GenesisHousing). For more information on Genesis Housing Corporation programs, please call 610-275-4357 or visit our web site at www.genesishousing.org.

Annual Home Show runs tonight thru Sunday at Sunnybrook

Here are all the details from the Building Industries Exchange website:

The annual Home Show is a three-day expo sponsored by the Building Industries Exchange (NARI-BIE) of Pottstown and Vicinity, Inc. and produced through volunteer efforts of NARI-BIE members.

The Show offers drawings, prizes, demonstrations, and an all-under-one-roof opportunity for visitors to collect home improvement and building information from local professionals.  Admission is $5 at the gate; children 16 and under are free.

Adult attendees will receive a ballot to nominate their choice of exhibit for “Best in Show”. First, second, and third place ribbons will be awarded based on the final vote tally.

2013 Schedule of Events

The 2013 NARI-BIE Pottstown Home Show will be held March 1-3, 2013 at Sunnybrook Ballroom and Grounds. For a map and directions to Sunnybrook, please click here.

Friday, March 1

  • 5:00 PM – Show opens to the public
  • 6:30 PM – Seminar:  Understanding the EPA Lead Paint Law – Presented by Gehman Design Remodeling
  • 7:30 PM – Seminar:  Maintain Your Expensive Blacktop Investment at Home, Work, or Social Property – Presented by Chem Seal
  • 9:00 PM – Show closes

Saturday, March 2

Sunday, March 3

  • 11:00 AM – Show opens to the public
  • 12:00 PM – Shred Event Begins (maximum:  2 file boxes; must purchase show ticket)
  • 12:30 PM – Seminar:  Go Green and Save Green – Presented by Halo Energy, LLC
  • 1:30 PM – Seminar:  Weatherize your Home’s Air Leaks with a Thermal Imaging Camera – Presented by Oehlert Bros., Inc.
  • 3:00 PM – Shred Event Ends (maximum 2 file boxes; must purchase show ticket)
  • 5:00 PM – Show closes

MCCC Opens New University Center in Downtown Pottstown

There is plenty of great news coming out of Montgomery County Community College in recent weeks. In the next few posts, I will be passing it along. There are many different reasons to check out what Montco is offering to residents of the region – education, the arts, a leg up in a job search, and major contributions to Pottstown’s revitalization. You name it, Montco is doing it.~Sue Repko

Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) celebrated the opening of its new University Center on Aug. 21, expanding its West Campus to the former AAA East Penn building at 95 South Hanover St., and building on its vision to create a thriving urban campus in downtown Pottstown.

First introduced in 2006, MCCC’s University Center offers an entrepreneurial approach to expanding higher education opportunities for residents of the Tri-County region. Through partnerships with four-year institutions – Albright College, Chestnut Hill College, Temple University and Villanova University – students can choose from eight bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees and one graduate certificate.

During the event, MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout addressed the importance of expanding access to higher education opportunities for the region.

“Before we introduced the innovative University Center model, our graduates had to travel to the greater Reading and Philadelphia areas to continue their education in baccalaureate and graduate degree programs. However, for many of our students and community members in the Tri-County region, this commute simply isn’t possible,” she said. “Therefore, the University Center becomes more than a place where our partner institutions lease space to teach their classes on our campus. It becomes part of a much larger pipeline in terms of building student access to higher education.”

Charles Roberts, alumnus of both MCCC and Albright College, shared his personal educational journey through the University Center.

“I cannot begin to tell you where I would be without having the University Center. I was able me to attend class as a working adult and as someone who could not attend class the traditional college way.  I may never have attempted a bachelor’s program unless the University Center existed,” said Roberts, who has since earned a master’s degree from Gwynedd-Mercy College and who works in MCCC’s Enrollment Services department.

Dr. Lex O. McMillan III, president of Albright College in Reading spoke about the longstanding relationship with MCCC, describing it as a “thriving, healthy partnership.”

“Montgomery County Community College has the largest onsite degree completion programs of our satellite campuses,” he told the roomful of attendees. “In the 2011-12 year, 6,135 credits were transferred from MCCC, and 130 Albright students are enrolled in the degree completion program (at the University Center).”

The University Center project is made possible through a public-private partnership and lease agreement with Vesper Property Group, the building’s owner and developer. The new 10,500 square foot facility includes six classrooms with smart and videoconference technology, a student lounge and reception area. The entire facility is secured through electronic card access, and a front desk concierge is available to greet students and answer questions.

In addition to creating a new home and identity for the University Center, the new facility frees up existing classroom space at MCCC’s North and South halls – space that is greatly needed to accommodate an unprecedented 60 percent enrollment growth at the West Campus over the past five years.

For more information about the University Center, visit here.

#          #          #

Photo above provided by MCCC:  MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout (center) cuts the ribbon for the new University Center facility. She is joined by (from left) MCCC and Albright alumnus Charles Roberts; Representative Marcy Toepel; MCCC Board of Trustees Chairman Michael D’Aniello; Albright College President Dr. Lex O. McMillan III; Senator John Rafferty; Representative Tom Quigley; Montgomery County Commissioners Vice Chairman Leslie Richards; and Vice President of MCCC’s West Campus Dr. Steady Moono.

LointerHOME offers modern Victorian office space in downtown Pottstown

If you’ve been admiring LointerHOME’s residential renovations in Pottstown over the past year, wait until you see what they’re offering in the way of office space. Not only have they restored the charm of the Victorian era  to 424 King Street, but they have tricked it out with features that any new or expanding business expects in a state-of-the-art office building.

Features like:

  • 12 private offices, including 2 executive offices
  • All new systems including
    • Brand new 4 zone gas-fed hydronic heating system and boiler
    • 200 amp electrical service
    • pre-wired for DSL
    • pre-wired with cat 5e in each space
  • New roof
  • 2 full conference rooms
  • 3 floors
  • Full reception with separate waiting area
  • Kitchenette
  • 2 elegant bathrooms
  • 1500 gallon fountain on street side
  • 8 parking spaces in rear of structure
  • partial central air
  • Available fully furnished

Even better, LointerHOME is offering this space for just $158,000 or for lease at $1,500/month. They are also able to negotiate a lease-purchase arrangement if that is what works for you and your business.

“This would be a perfect home for an active, everyday business,” said Amanda DeSeta, principal at LointerHOME. “I hope we can find the company that will have people coming and going all the time.”

424 King Street is in the traditional town neighborhood (TTN) zone of Pottstown. It is one block north of High Street, between Franklin and Washington Streets. It sits right next door to another LointerHOME residential renovation, now occupied.

You can see more photos at the LointerHOME website and get more details by contacting info@lointerhome.com. And, perhaps best of all, you can experience this space for yourself at the next Positively Pottstown Happy Hour – a Red-White-and-Blue Independence Day Bash – to be held at 424 King Street on Friday, July 6th from 5-7 pm. RSVP to positivelypottstown@gmail.com.

 

 

Area food drive picking up speed

The “Fill the Media Lab” food pantry drive being conducted by The Mercury, The Sanatoga Post, other Post newspapers, and area bloggers who are part of The Mercury’s Town Square, is kicking into high gear. New businesses keep coming forward to offer their location as a drop-off point for donations of food and laundry detergent.

Residential and commercial real estate attorney Andrew Monastra has joined the local fight against hunger by offering his office at 740 E. High Street in Pottstown as a drop-off location between the hours of 8:30 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Food collected there, as well as at Grumpy’s Handcarved Sandwiches (in the Farmers’ Market), is going to the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities. During the first week of the food drive, Grumpy’s collected 117 food items and 15 bottles of laundry detergent.* Grumpy’s is also making a matching donation for everything they collect.

Andrew Monastra’s office is down near the post office in Pottstown; it’s that beautiful Grand Review Building. Andrew is always finding a new way to support the efforts of area non-profits. His Heartland Abstract title company makes a donation from each real estate transaction to either MOSAIC Community Land Trust, The Gallery School of Pottstown, or The Carousel. Please consider contacting Andrew Monastra for your next real estate transaction!

In other “Fill the Media Lab” news, The Sanatoga Post reported today that Zuber Realty (2117 E. High Street) has become the latest donation drop-off spot in Lower Pottsgrove Township, joining Pottsgrove High School (1345 Kauffman Rd.) and Chesmont Storage (1500 Industrial Hwy.)

* I’ve got a photo of the food collected, but I’m having “technical difficulties” with my camera. 😦 Will post photos as soon as I can!

Underwater Robotics Company Plans Relocation to Pottstown

Editor’s note: Below is a press release and photo recently received from Steve Bamford, Executive Director of PAID, Inc. – that’s Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. – the economic development leader in Pottstown. I will echo Council President Toroney’s statement: VideoRay is exactly the type of employer we want to attract to our community, and a huge high-five goes out to Jason, Steve, Borough staff, the Zoning Hearing Board, and Borough Council for helping make this happen. Stay tuned as we report on more good economic development news coming out of Borough Hall and PAID…

VideoRay, LLC and Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. (PAID) have announced plans for the relocation of VideoRay’s headquarters to Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

VideoRay, the global leader in observation Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) technology, is working on plans to acquire and renovate the former Levitz building at 212 E. High Street.

Photo by Henning Klepp Christensen

The building would initially be occupied by 35 VideoRay employees working in management, corporate administration, marketing, engineering, assembly, and repair functions. The rapidly growing manufacturer of very small underwater ROVs expects to increase the size of its workforce over the next several years.

 “I am very excited about what we can do when we relocate to downtown Pottstown,” said Scott Bentley, President and majority owner of VideoRay LLC. “There are a lot of reasons why we will be better off in Pottstown than where we are now. We were recruited by PAID and I have found Borough Manager Jason Bobst and the Borough staff to be very helpful in addressing some zoning and parking issues. It has been great working with PAID and the Borough.”

“VideoRay is exactly the type of employer we want to attract to our community,” said Stephen M. Toroney, Borough Council President. “A global high tech company with tremendous growth potential will soon call Pottstown home and we are pleased to welcome them.”

PAID and the Borough have been working with VideoRay since November to help determine the feasibility of relocating and alleviating concerns about moving from a rural to urban environment. The company has outgrown its current location in East Pikeland, Chester County.

“We presented the many benefits of establishing operations in Pottstown,” said Steve Bamford, Executive Director of PAID. “The idea of locating in a classic, walkable downtown was appealing to the company. Proximity to restaurants, the Tri County Performing Arts Center, public transportation, and convenient parking factored into their decision, as did plans for expansion of the Schuylkill River Trail and the continued growth of Montgomery County Community College in the borough.”

VideoRay is also exploring establishing a robotics campus in the building by leasing space to independent companies that provide some of the accessories and software used by VideoRay and its customers. “The prospect of additional technology companies moving to Pottstown is tremendously exciting and we are here to be of assistance,” said Bamford.

About VideoRay
With more than 1,950 Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) in service around the world, VideoRay is the global leader in observation ROV technology. The VideoRay ROV is an extremely versatile, portable, affordable, and reliable solution for underwater operations including surveys, offshore inspections, search & recovery, homeland & port security, science & research, fish farming, and other unique applications in underwater environments. More information about VideoRay can be found at www.videoray.com.

About PAID, Inc.
Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. (PAID) is the non-profit corporation designated by a partnership of the Borough of Pottstown, Pottstown School District, and the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority to coordinate and lead economic development efforts within the Borough of Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Heartland Abstract makes donations to local nonprofits for every real estate closing

Heartland Abstract, Inc., a local title company, makes a donation to either The Gallery School of Pottstown or MOSAIC Community Land Trust for every real estate closing held. Engaging Heartland Abstract for your next real estate transaction will not only get you peace of mind but also a warm feeling in your heart, knowing that a donation will be made to these Pottstown-based nonprofits.

Andrew Monastra, Esq. is one of the principals of Heartland Abstract. His office is located in the lovely Grand Review Building at 740 E. High Street. Andrew has been very supportive of both these nonprofits in other ways, especially in offering legal counsel to MOSAIC CLT to secure the property at 423 Chestnut Street for Pottstown’s first community garden. You can contact Andrew at 610-326-6300 for details.

Heartland Abstract
740 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
Phone Number:  (610) 326-6300
Fax Number:      (610) 326-8600
Email Address:    monastrapc@aol.com

website: http://www.monastralaw.com/public/heartland_abstract.asp

If you’re not sure what an abstract/title company does, here’s some info directly from their website:

What we can do for you…


Buying or selling a property is the largest monetary transaction most of us experience in our personal lives.  Buying or selling a property usually involves the transfer of a large sum of money.  As a buyer or seller, you want to make sure that all the conditions of the sale have been met before property and money exchange hands.  Through the years, custom has dictated that money and all related documents be transferred through a neutral third party.  Heartland Abstract, Inc. issues title policies and offers complete escrow closing services including residential, commercial and industrial in the metro Philadelphia area.

Our Services…
•  Title Insurance
•  Escrow Service
•  Title Search and Abstract
•  Ownership and Encumbrance Searches
•  Preparation of Documents:  Subordination, Affidavits, Satisfactions
•  Witness-only Closings
•  Obtaining Hazard and Mortgage Changes
•  Appraisal Referrals
•  Information on Real Estate Taxes and Homestead Exemption
•  Recommendations to Realtors and their Services
•  Assistance with Mortgage Financing and Equity Lines
•  Resolving Legal Title Issues

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