Boyertown show­cases down­town re­vi­tal­iza­tion

The Boyertown Area Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Mar­ian Dennis mden­nis@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mar­i­anDen­nis1 on Twit­ter

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.”

MAr­iAn DenniS — Dig­i­tAl FirSt Me­DiA

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.

MAR­IAN DENNIS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

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.

MAR­IAN DENNIS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Keith Copicki shows Dennis Davin a menu for an up­com­ing restau­rant planned in down­town Boyertown. The restau­rant will be lo­cated on East Philadel­phia Av­enue.

MAR­IAN DENNIS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boyertown wel­comed Dennis Davin, sec­re­tary of the Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Com­mu­nity and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, with a mar­quis sign at the State The­ater.

MAR­IAN DENNIS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Dennis Davin takes a look around a car on the Cole­brook­dale Rail­road Tues­day.

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