Boyertown showcases downtown revitalization
A lot can happen when small towns are given the opportunity to improve.
Community leaders and members of the Department of Community and Economic Development got a chance to see that firsthand on Tuesday, Sept. 25, during a downtown tour of Boyertown.
Despite the rainy weather, Dennis Davin, secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, and local community leaders took a walking tour of Boyertown Tuesday to take a look and how some of the state funding the town has received has helped boost Boyertown’s tourism, development and community interest.
“We’re really here to showcase the increase in private investors that has happened because of this funding and all the different partners, all the businesses, residents and everybody really working together on the revitalization process,” said Adrianne Blank, main street manager with Building a Better Boyertown.
According to the Department of Community and Economic Development, $50,000 in funding from the Wolf administration helped to provide facade work in the downtown area. Additionally, the anchor building at 39-45 S. Reading Avenue was supported by a $300,000 state grant to rehabilitate the property into a restaurant and mixed-use space on the first floor and renovate the five upstairs apartments.
The multi-phase railyard redevelopment project of Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust, was also awarded a $1.5 million grant through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program earlier this year to construct a regional welcome center and community event center with a 100foot tower, replicating landmark railway terminals from Pennsylvania’s history.
The tour, led by Building a Better Boyertown, highlighted important areas including the new facades downtown, a stop inside the State Theater on North Reading Avenue; a brand new full service restaurant that is currently under construction and expected to open in the coming months, as well as a look inside some of the cars at the Colebrookdale Railroad.
“I think the misconception is that every young person wants to go to Philadelphia or Pittsburgh in the west and there are communities like this that really redefine themselves and really continue to develop amenities that are able to attract younger people. They have the brewpubs and the wine tours and things like that so there are interesting things to do,” said Davin.
“What do we need to do in terms of support to help these communities? Well we looked at some of the things we funded throughout the downtown area and in the railroad area and it’s really great for us to see this first hand but also to see what the continued need is,” said Davin.
Following the tour, Davin said he is hopeful for future projects in the borough given the strong community support they town has already received from its residents and private investors.
“Walking through the main street district, you really get a sense of character and pride unique to Boyertown,” said Davin. “The progress made here is a testament to the strong partnerships in the area, and the Wolf Administration is proud to be part of that progress. We’re excited to continue to support Boyertown’s revitalization efforts in the years ahead.”
Dennis Davin, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of community and economic Development, gets a tour of cars on the colebrookdale railroad tuesday from nathaniel guest, founder of the colebrookdale railroad Preservation trust.
Dennis Davin, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, gets shown around Boyertown by Adrianne Blank, main street manager with Building a Better Boyertown.
Keith Copicki shows Dennis Davin a menu for an upcoming restaurant planned in downtown Boyertown. The restaurant will be located on East Philadelphia Avenue.
Boyertown welcomed Dennis Davin, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, with a marquis sign at the State Theater.
Dennis Davin takes a look around a car on the Colebrookdale Railroad Tuesday.