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Business on Bridge: What Should Go in This Empty Storefront?

Phoenixville has more than its fair share of vacant buildings. Here's your chance to sound off on what should fill them.

This empty storefront is one of several on the 200 block of Bridge Street. So tell us Phoenixville, what should fill it?

A bakery? A clothing store? Office supplies? Let us know in the comments what you'd like to see in the space. You never know who's going to be reading.

JH April 08, 2013 at 03:13 PM
My wife and I discuss what should be in the shops all of the time. Personally I would love to see a couple of the back-to-back empty shops turn into a cool bowling alley (a-la North Bowl style in Northern Liberties). On another note, the patch needs more articles like this and less negative articles about drunk people getting arrested (which isn't news).
Howard Lamborn April 08, 2013 at 03:32 PM
How about an office for a real Main Street Manager like we had previously and the Borough Council ran out. Since he left, it has been nothing but decline in Phoenixville. Bring him back at all costs!!
marcthepig April 08, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Oriental massage parlor.
George Hughes April 08, 2013 at 03:33 PM
How about an adult book / toy store ? Or maybe a nude bowling alley .
Janee April 08, 2013 at 03:36 PM
A bowling alley somewhere downtown , lol .
Ed Roper April 08, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Hey at least we still got a bike race. Not that I'm complaining...
Ed Roper April 08, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Quite a few different parties have wished to repurpose empty storefronts for art displays. So far not a single property owner has agreed. So much for 'community-development'
Ed Roper April 08, 2013 at 04:05 PM
**with the exception of a temporary art gallery for the 2011 firebird festival at the old copy place. thats been the only time in 4+ years of living here..
Vince LoGreco April 08, 2013 at 05:04 PM
A model railroad focused hobby shop would be nice in our area (tired of driving to Lansdale when I need to buy paint). The vintage arcade sounds cool. Spent a lot of my youth and a lot of quarters back when they were not so vintage.
Area Patch Reader April 08, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Here is the bottom line, until we get some real white collar, fairly large (employing at least 50 to 100 people) corporate offices in town, it will continue to be nothing more than a place to eat and party on the weekends. Retailers will continue to come and go (who can survive with the high rents and overhead to have a place on Bridge Street but only get any real foot traffic on the weekends (most of whom are there to eat and drink, not buy anything). Unless you are a bar or a restaurant with deep pockets and multiple franchises (think Iron Hill, Molly’s, etc…) that serves alcohol, you have nearly no shot to survive in Phoenixville. How many restaurants and retailers have come and gone over the past year or so alone. Even the successful furniture place (I forget the name, sold funky, eclectic stuff and was pretty popular) had to leave and opened a store closer to Philly because their is ZERO foot traffic in town Monday to Thursday. Even the best restaurant in town, Majolica, nearly went under and had to close for a while to "reorganize". We need less mom and pop restaurants, who are basically cannibalizing each other competing for the same small market share and instead more real businesses in town. One's that will attract middle class workers to town on a daily basis. Maybe they eat lunch in town, check out some of the shops, etc...until then expect more of the same. A story about a "new up and coming" place one week followed by another place that went under the next.
Area Patch Reader April 08, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Yeah, I'm sure that will really bring in a large profit...sigh! No offense but kind of business is exactly what we DON'T need. No more "ninch" shops! They have no chance to compete in Phoenixville's weekend only environment.
Ed Roper April 08, 2013 at 05:14 PM
That is supposed to be the focus of the new steel site development. However that has been in planning for years now with no clear picture on when we will have it done. There needs to be focus on repurposing existing structures to work as small office spaces and co-ops. Phoenixville would be great for some young up and coming small businesses.
Area Patch Reader April 08, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Actually it was the last main street manager that got us into this mess. His vision was all about arts, parties, and booze. As we can clearly see, that only gets you so far. Don't get me wrong, he did a lot of good and got Phoenixville back on the map but progress has stalled (actually regressed) due to the fact that he and others at the top of the chain failed to recruit and big businesses to town. The kind that draw 100s of people daily and actually pay taxes to support the schools (restaurants and bars are well known to pay very little in taxes as they run largely on cash). Barry tried to build West Chester but forgot we don't have the County Court House and a major University. Those two things draw 1000s to that town everyday. What do we have to draw people who otherwise wouldn't come? Blue lamp posts?
Area Patch Reader April 08, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Ed, they have been talikng about that steel site for at least 3-4 years and NOTHING has been done. The whole "live, work, and play" motto sounds good but unless they can get some real businesses to come in, it will never happen. Just like the pipe dream about the "train station" and minor league baseball park. A few select people (I won't mention their names for fear of them sueing me) have scammed 1000s of dollars to conduct "feasability studies" on this stuff (knowing full well it will never happen but the checks still clear. We need new leadership and new direction. Some that has real corporate connections and can bring one of these major employers to town. Not more BYOBs and model train shops.
Ed Roper April 08, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Oh I know APP, believe me. You're starting to sound like me circa a few years ago. However those with the means to get stuff done are the same ones you are yelling about. So it naturally falls on deaf ears...
Area Patch Reader April 08, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Three families basically run the whole down town (I won't name them but most know the names). They own most of the real estate (how many businesses besides that Charmingly Linda's (I think that is the name) knick nack shop who uses the upstairs to rent apartments to keep her afloat actually own the buildings their buisnesses are in? This means super high rents and the powers that be could care less who is there as long as they keep getting a check every month. How many people's life savings have been sunk into these businesses only to go under within a year because of the high rents and low foot traffic. It's actually very sad.
marie hersh April 08, 2013 at 09:04 PM
like i said a parking lot oh and barry cassidy did not build or bring new owner to this town barry chendorain did that but cassidy took the credit
Mlm April 08, 2013 at 09:19 PM
a pet rock shop
Donna Kling April 09, 2013 at 12:18 AM
I have an idea for all of the non-restaurant shops in Phoenixvile. Could you please stay open later at least one or two nights during the week? I realize you have lives too but I work until 5PM and don't get home until 6PM and by then the bread shop, the chocolate shop, and the other specialty shops in town are closed. I can't spend my money if you aren't open! As for the business to put in: How about German Bakery or French Pastry Shop the kind like in Europe where you can have a coffee and a yummy baked good or baguette sandwich while reading a good book out on the side walk?
harry finster April 09, 2013 at 12:53 AM
you could charge people to watch the toxic waste at the steel site bubble and ooze
Area Patch Reader April 09, 2013 at 04:18 PM
You would think they wouldn't even bother to open during the day during the week as Bridge street is a ghost town (unless you count the wondering drug addicts). If I ran a non food business in town, I wouldn't even open until noon during the week and stay open until around 7-8 PM but then again, I wouldn't waste my time and money trying to run a retail operation in a place that has NO real foot traffic outside the weekends when people come in to party and eat, not buy things.
Michael Hill April 09, 2013 at 04:31 PM
How about a newspaper? The ones we currently have are horrible. Maybe if they were located in town they could report on what’s going on instead of rerunning the same ludicrous stories about what do you want to go in at this store front. Hey Patch why don’t you send your ace reporter to Council Meetings or the many other Committee meetings occurring. Why not do an investigative report on many of the issues that are affecting Phoenixville and its community.
Area Patch Reader April 09, 2013 at 04:50 PM
The patch is not a "newpaper". They are a for profit webiste that simply aggregates stories reported by other sources and attempts to cover local events. As we have seen over the past several weeks, mistakes are common and they can't really be trusted as a good "news source" (though I do enjoy their comments section where you tend to learn more from the readers than the authors and editors). No offense to the patch staff but they are the bottom of the scale. Mostly recent college grads who can get jobs at real papers or well known/respected websites. I would guess they make 20K a year and are more interested in increasing hits and ad revenue (which is why they post so many crazy crime stories instead of the real "boring" news). They don't seem to care much about the actual facts...but hey, it's free and you get what you pay for so we really can't complain too much. At least they allow real time posting which many of the local online papers do not (i.e. the Mercury) which is a big reason why they are going under as we speak. If you don't allow people to express themselves freely, they stop reading your site, your hits drop, your ad revenue goes down and before you know it, you are out of business. At least the patch seems to have figured this part out. Who knows, in time maybe they make enough to hire better quality editors and writers.
Chandlee April 09, 2013 at 05:22 PM
If this is a pointless post than why are you pontificating throughout these comments?
Ed Roper April 09, 2013 at 05:44 PM
*then And I wouldn't really say I was pontificating. I can ask if my comment is so pointless about this being a pointless post, why are you replying to it as well. But really, how is this not a pointless post, and what is the point of pointing out my pointing out the pointlessness of this post. Hmm? Exactly. So lets ask more pointless questions. What should go in the Iron Hill Building? Oh, or what should go in the Molly McGuires building. Hey what should go in the hospital? Pointlessly pointless pontification by populist people of the present population. etc...
Ed Roper April 09, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Or how about more succinctly...because I f'ing well want to. What's it to you.
Chandlee April 09, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Barry Chendorain did a beautiful job on several of the places in Phoenixville including Marlely's although they had to ruin it with that mustard yellow paint job on the outside. Anyway, not even nice restoration work will bring Phoenixville back...unless this economy turns around...
Bryn-leigh April 10, 2013 at 04:58 AM
I think it should be an arcade some where for kids and teens to hang out rather than them having nothing to do and running around town there is nothing for the younger crowd to go or have fun
Area Patch Reader April 10, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Arcades went out in the early 90s when the home systems and computers could play better games with better graphics. Forget about an arcade. Who is going to pump dollars into a machine when they can play X box live or Playstation 3 from their couch?
PJ April 11, 2013 at 06:29 PM
"There needs to be focus on repurposing existing structures to work as small office spaces and co-ops. Phoenixville would be great for some young up and coming small businesses." Ed R nailed it. This is exactly what Pville needs.

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