Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Here's the latest on the Granite Run Mall Project

With the 4th quarter of 2014 quickly approaching, things are starting to pick up for what's in store for the Granite Run Mall.  It's been known for awhile that occupants currently in the "Mall" section have been told their last day will be December 31st of this year.  If you've been in the mall recently, you'll have noticed that many have picked up and have left already.
Granite Run to be modeled after Hunt Valley Towne Center


What people need to understand is that this won't be the same shopping format that launched the mall back in the seventies.  That concept that included big retail stores anchoring the three corners of the mall worked back then, but now it's a whole new ball game.  Those stores Sears, JCPenny and Boscov's have long term leases and are expecting to remain, but the proposed town center will go after entertainment, restaurants and medium to higher end retail.  To energize that strategy a new movie theater is expected at the center of the proposed development.  If you're trying to visualize what that may entail, check out Hunt Valley Towne Center in Maryland.  Why Hunt Valley Towne Center? Well, that was the property developed by the current owners, BET and is serving as the model for the Granite Run Towne Center. To get an idea of what that is like,  check out that towne center's website or Facebook page

Unlike Hunt Valley, the Granite Run site will NOT be getting a Wegmans.  That's been confirmed with two reasons given: 1) There are plans for a Wegmans in Concordville which isn't far enough away to put another one here.  2) The mall's current site doesn't have the square area to put something as big as a Wegmans.  One reason being that there is a pipeline that runs through the mall's property and is located between Sears and the Acme. That doesn't mean there aren't big names interest in this property, there are, and a lot of them.  Before I get to that, let's talk about Acme.

With all the proposals going on, Acme is looking to step up its game with a new cafe and possibly a whole remodel of their store.  Acme is very interested in the walk friendly paths that BET is looking to introduce that should go over well with residents.  Yep, there will be residents.  BET has come out and stated that two residential apartment structures are needed and without them they may not have the attraction to make the who deal work.   A company called Avalon Bay is expected to develop the apartment complexes with monthly rents around $1,500 to $1,800.  These will be marketed towards young professionals and empty nesters.  The layout is still yet to be determined, but expect some of the higher end apartments that this area has ever seen.  That may include concierge services, collaborative work spaces, common social areas, fitness centers and living space with one to two bedrooms.  In fact, they're looking to do 385 units with a projected accommodation of about 584 people.  (those are BET's numbers, not mine). 

Before I get to the good stuff, there are some interesting facts that really speak volumes of how badly the mall has lost value over 15 years.  Back in 2000, the mall's assessed value was over $100 million with a yearly school tax revenue of $2.3 million.  For 2015, the value is projected to be $21 million with a school tax revenue of just over $600,000.

Okay, so who's interested in setting up business here?!  I've saved the best for last and here's why:  BET isn't some small group of investors who just wanted to get into the towne center business.  They are well financed, experienced at this type of development and are probably the best group that can pull something like this off.  There's A LOT yet to play out but BET has publicly stated that they have had discussions with Urban Outfitters who in their own right could really attract some very nice businesses and restaurants to this development.  BET went on to state that they have an impressive list and interest from business looking to be apart of this, but as these things go, each is looking to see who makes a move.  I suppose it's a lot like going to a school dance, you want to know who you'll see there before making the effort to go. 




Sunday, August 24, 2014

Media in Two Minutes

MEDIA IN TWO MINUTES


Restaurants and businesses here in Media like to point out that this is typically a slow time in town with a lot of people getting in the last of summer vacation time before the upcoming fall rush.  Business tails off a bit with until after Labor Day.

On the other hand, it's been very busy for me with a recent project that was just launched nationally and so far received quite favorably by the press. I hope to have sometime coming up to focus on this blog and share some neat stories about businesses in Media, development of Baltimore Ave and an update on Granite Run Mall.  Until then, enjoy what's left of the summer!

Bizarre Week in Media

First off was a report this week that a person dressed up like a Ninja attacked a person on Sycamore Mills Road.  Police reported that the perpetrator was apprehended and was in some way related to the victim.  

Secondly, a lot of people have been upset with the news of Frank Lavin who has been reported missing.  There are a lot of people looking for Frank and just this weekend I saw flyers on telephone polls on State Street.  I hope Frank is found safely soon.  I'll post any updates I hear and ask that you all do the same.

Media Fire Company’s Annual Fund Drive
Media FD 2014 Stats
The fire company's fund drive is underway and any contribution you can offer  I know would be greatly appreciated.  Folks can use the mailer that was sent out or go to our webpage, www.mediafirecompany.com, and use the paypal link for the Fire Fund Drive.

A lot of people know the fire company by driving by the garage on Jackson  street and seeing the staff working on the equipment.  But here are some statics that really show how busy this group is and how important it is for them to be ready. Based on the stats, they make at least one call a day for a fire and at least 5 calls per day for some other kind of emergency. 

I'd also like to recognize the anniversary of Marion Baker and Morgon Wood who were killed in the line of duty 85 years ago this week.
Tuesday was the 85th anniversary of the death of two Media firefighters. August 19, 1929, Media Fire Company was dispatched to Middletown Township for a fire. While responding the driver of the truck had a heart issue and loss control of the truck, leading it down the embankment. Most of the crew jump off while one member had the truck roll over them. The driver of the truck was Marion Baker and the firefighter was Morgan Wood. Media Fire Company went to the graves on Tuesday and paid respects to their fallen brothers.  https://www.facebook.com/mediafirecompany
Berry Fresh is Open and maybe Garden Cafe too!
To the delight and curiosity of many, Berry Fresh opened this week.  I haven't yet had a chance to get in to see the grand opening, but by driving by it looked like there was quite a buzz. 

I also saw the door open for Garden Cafe, which is located on N. Jackson street a few doors down from sister operation, Koffee Korner.  I"ll have to swing in to take a look, but stop by.

101 Trolley Pub Crawl - Oct 4, 2014
I thought this was a great idea and like the enthusiasm surrounding this.  On Oct 4th there will be the first of its kind - Trolley Crawl.  Here are the details:
Today we're excited to announce The 1st Annual 101 Trolley Pub Crawl on Saturday, October 4th, 2014. The Crawl will ride Media's 101 Trolley from State and Orange at 1:08pm and visit five taverns along the trolley route.

There's no sign-up required, no entrance fee or ticket needed - the only cost is $2.25 for each of the trolley rides = $9 TOTAL - CASH ONLY. Plus, of course, whatever refreshments you choose to purchase at each of the 5 stops along the route. Each spot has a bunch of drink and food specials on weekends.

Mark your calendar and plan to "Let SEPTA Be Your Designated Driver!"

Check out the full schedule!  https://www.facebook.com/101Crawl?fref=photo
 Media Youth Center Summer Hoops League:
 I really enjoyed the invite to stop by and check out the Media Youth Center last week.  The games were great and everyone had a good time.  Congrats to the 4th/5th grade girls team on their historical win!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Penncrest playing fields look GREAT!

I'd like to recognize the Rose Tree Media School Board and the facilities staff for a great job this year with the playing fields at Penncrest High School.  Having seen them first hand while jogging, I can say they are in top shape for this season's athletic games.  Even the practice fields look great too.





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Penncrest Football Discount Cards

The Penncrest Football team and families will be going around neighborhoods tomorrow to sell their discount cards for $15.   Thanks to all the local businesses who participated.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WOW! What a championship game at the Media Youth Center Summer Hoops League.

You can't pass up court side seats, especially when they are at the Media Youth Center for the Summer Hoops Championship game between the 4th and 5th grade boys and girls teams.  This year the girls played the boys and had everyone on the edge of their seats with dazzling ball handling, post-ups and crashes to the boards.  

The crowd was into it from the first jump ball and continued on to see history made this evening.  The girls went on to win the championship against the boys making them the first ladies team to beat the guys in the history of the MYC.  What a great night and community event!  Girl Power ruled tonight, but everyone played hard and had a great time.


Nativity BVM Parish - 5k and Kids Fun Run - Rose Tree Park - Saturday, Sept 6, 2014

A special thanks to all the businesses 
that help out with donations!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tonight's the Last Show of the Rose Tree Summer Festival.

The Rose Tree Summer Festival concludes for the summer this evening.  Check out tonight's (7:30p) performance 
Charlie Phillips Band plays Eric Clapton
Electric and acoustic – from Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” to Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” “Layla” by Derek & the Dominoes & solo faves “I Shot The Sheriff,”“Lay Down Sally,” more. 


Also, don't forget to stop by Nelson's BBQ on Sunday from 3-7 and get your Chicken or Ribs before the LAST show. All Proceeds benefit Family Promise of Delaware County which provides shelter for homeless families in our area.

Media in Two Minutes

Media in Two Minutes

Ok, here we go!  Mid August means the beginning of back to school and I'd have to say the unusually cooler weather this month is making that feel more like a reality.  Not only that, but tonight is the conclusion of the Rose Tree Summer Music Festival.  I'm having someone look into this, but I'd have to say this season may have been the festival's most popular year.  It was a great series and Delaware Parks and Recreation group did a fantastic job.  A special thanks to event volunteers like Nancy Peters who does such a great job with making sure these things run smoothly.

I actually enjoyed watching many of my friends on Facebook take the ALS challenge by pouring ice water over their heads.  It was great and raised a lot of money.   I was thrilled even more to not have been nominated, by that doesn't mean there wasn't a challenge - there was. 

Yesterday I was contacted about a "Media Challenge to Fight Hunger" to help our local food bank.  I no sooner read it and LOVED IT.  Jenn Metzger of 8th Street, I do accept the challenge and encourage everyone in the community to do so as well.

"A 24 hour challenge for everyone local: The shelves at Media Food Bank are empty. Fill up a bag or box with non-perishable food, take a pic, share/tag the pic, and challenge your friends to do the same. Drop off the food today from 5-6:30PM or tomorrow (Sunday) from 8:45 -12PM in the parking lot @ 425 W. Front Street (BRV Community Church). We are hoping to fill a couple pick up trucks of food...and would love your help."
Tedman

Questions and Comments from the Community via Twitter:
@mediapanews Media should be cleaner. There is a lot of trash around town.

You're right.  In fact, State Street is quite grimy and should be routinely cleaned and power washed.  Here's a post by another person from the community two months ago.

@mediapanews Why are there no ice cream trucks in the Media area?

There actually are and I heard one just a few weeks ago.  Here's a post on the subject.


This actually makes driving fun!
If you haven't checked out a driving app for the your smart phone called Waze, you might want to give it a try if you drive a lot, especially long distances.  It's been around for a few years, but has really gotten good in the last year.  

The app leverages the knowledge of travelers in real-time.  Whether its police activity, traffic, weather, a vehicle on the shoulder, or even debris in your path ahead; the service is impressively accurate and useful.  It's free and also allows a user to participate with their own observations like, stand still traffic.  I can make a boring ride actually interesting.

Jack's Tavern is getting free Wifi
Every once in awhile I like to stop in at Jack's Tavern.  I like the people there and for the price, the food can't be beat.  I was there this weekend and was told free wifi will be available soon.  For those who like to go to Jack's while keeping track of their fantasy football team, free wifi will come in handy.

But the big news here is that I was given the schedule for one of the best soups I've ever had.  I know people are going to think I'm crazy,  and I didn't believe it myself, but this place has soups that customers get in line for.  Here's what you need to know: The chicken pot pie soup will be served exclusively on the first Wednesday of each month. 

Hand Carved Roast Beer Beef and Pork- Dominic's
Coming Soon.
Overall people seem excited that Dominic's is coming to Upper Providence and will be located where the former Upper Providence Grill is, or for you old timers, the former Casa Manno's.  The UPG restaurant was on the market for quite some time, but this looks to be a great replacement.  If their close to what Nick's Roast Beef is in Springfield, they'll probably quite well.

What created more buzz for this opening, was the misspelling they had on their banner out front that misspelled 'beef' and read 'beer'.  Any publicity is good publicity, I suppose.

Here's what's going on Edgemont Street
Sewer Upgrades on Edgemont St.
For those of you enduring the heavy equipment, road materials, metal plates and piping; be aware that work be done is to replace sewer lines along Edgemont Street.  It took me a bit to track someone down, but Aqua is working with a company called ProPipe to re-sleave the current sewers with plastic replacements.  No time frame on how long this will take, but I suspect Edgemont Street will probably be repaved once the work is done. 

For the four Media Borough Council people who live by Edgemont Street, two of which who LIVE ON Edgemont, you could have done better to notify the community of the pending work.  I received complaints that no one even knew what the work was for.

Upper Deck of Media's Parking Garage is open.
About three weeks late, but the upper deck of the Olive Street Garage is now open.  The lower tiers including the entrance on Olive Street will now be closed for repairs.  No kiosks yet on the third floor, so for the meantime, parking is free.  As usual, no update by Media Borough Council on the matter.
Top Tier of Olive Street Garage is now open.
Check out a Vine Video of Maggie Hooks


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rose Tree Colts Update

Rose Tree Colts Update

Reminder practice starts tomorrow 6pm, we will be wearing helmets, tee shirts and shorts,. Please remember to bring water.

Registration is open at www.rosetreecolts.net

Flag Football will begin Tuesday Aug 12th

Rose Tree Colts cheer will begin on Monday, August 11th at 6:00 p.m.

Tackle PRACTICES WILL BE MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY FROM 6:00 P.M. - 7:30/8:00 P.M. THROUGH LABOR DAY

Flag Practices will be Tuesday and Thursday. Flag will be Tuesday and Thursday nights with game Friday nights at Rose Tree. We will have 1 7 year old travel team, if interested in travel team please let your coaches know.

Once again we look forward to see everyone and a great 2014 season..

Media in Two Minutes

 Media in Two Minutes

Thanks to all the readers who stop by to read this blog.  I got to meet quite a few of you this weekend and appreciate the nice compliments.  It's my enthusiasm for Media that overcomes my dislike for writing that allows for the motivation to do this every week for the last four years.  It's fun too, so that helps.

A special recognition to faithful reader, Stan who I saw yesterday at an event and who told me he reads everyday.  Wow, thanks Stan, I still have you letter you wrote me that hangs in my office.  Also, kudos to Media Borough Code Enforcement, Jim Jeffery's who was given some of the nicest comments I heard from a family that recently moved into a newly refurbished home they bought.  Nice job, Jim!
 Tedman
Berry Fresh Cafe - Opening Soon
I caught up with Berry Fresh Cafe Manager, Jason who is still putting the final touches on the store located on the westside of State Street, but the place looks GREAT.  They've got a neat layout, that kind of reminded me of a Chipolte restaurant.  Corrugated metal, burlap ceiling and something I wasn't familiar with but looks really cool; mushroom wood that covers certain areas of the cafe. 

They are excited to open and the enthusiasm from Jason gave the place a great vibe.  No date yet on the grand opening, but it will be in the next few weeks, if not sooner.  They even have coconut water packaged in what looks like a coconut.  Had to give that a try.  Also, they use bio-degradable utensils which is pretty cool.  I've never seen that before.  


Best of luck Berry Fresh Cafe and welcome to Media!




Send your questions via twitter
Not quite once a day, but I do on occasion get questions via twitter (@mediapanews) on all sorts of things.  Where's the best bar? Who has wifi? How do I contact so-and-so?  I actually like the requests and it's much more effective than emailing me.  I'd say 90 percent of the email I get I don't read, unless I know to expect it from someone.  Email may still be effective, but when it comes to advertising, it's become almost useless.

Penncrest Football Ad form
Support a great program that could really use your help.  Penncrest Football will be featuring an ad book that will include advertisements from local businesses.  Don't miss out! 

National Night Out.
I had never heard of National Night Out until I starting seeing posts by communities who were hosting these events in their towns.  Here's a description of what it is all about and its purpose.  It might be helpful if Media participated in these to get to know better the towns first responders.

Amazon starts same day delivery in Philadelphia
I don't know how much of Philadelphia is covered, and it may not include Media just yet; but this is an ambitious move by Amazon towards changing the way people shop.  Depending on it's success, which remains to be seen, this could put a lot of pressure on the historical format of mega-centers (Walmart, Target, etc) and malls.  

Imagine a part of Granite Run Mall with an Amazon retail distribution pickup store.  Put in a few drive-thrus and same day pick-up could get interesting.  Many stores such as Staples, Walmart and Best Buy are testing these models now.

Property values near stations are 41% higher
Check out what Wall Street Journal had to say about living near public transportation.  Here in Media, we're lucky to have a Septa regional rail line for those who commute to Philadelphia.  We're also fortunate that Septa recognizes the value of ridership and is actively looking to include more parking in Media.

Rail ridership is also increasing, up to 4.8 billion in 2013 from 3.4 billion a decade earlier. Passenger rail lines are becoming more popular as more people opt for downtown living where they are less dependent on cars. WSJ July 29th

Media Borough's Website is useless
I made mention of this a few weeks ago, but just this weekend two people told me how much media borough's website, well, sucks!  The problem is that for $15,000 spent to redesign the whole site 3 years ago, it shouldn't, but like many things in this borough it was mismanaged.  

Forget that it looks outdated and is poorly laid out; it's not even consistently updated and is a pain to navigate through.  Some committee minutes are posted, while others aren't.  The calendar is a mess and should at least be a priority of the site which is what West Chester Borough seems to get.  As for mobile apps and social media, Media totally missed it.  

Media's Hotel in Springfield is doing just fine.
“The hotel has been a great success, and the township is very happy with it,” said Solicitor Jim Byrne on Springfield's hotel. So good in fact, they are already planning an expansion.  Meanwhile, Media's borough council likes to play the victim of circumstance when it come to any project (Third Street, Wawa, Hotel), but the fact of the matter is, other municipalities facing the same challenges are doing just fine and working through their issues.  

Mismanaged projects, lack of communication, dissension and zero leadership is what this town suffers from.  Don't believe me, here's a comment from a business owner in June's Media Business Authority illustrating the well known dysfunction.
Is this how you want your town run?