What's happening in and around Phoenixville, PA.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Two 14-story mixed-use towers proposed for Barto Pools location

Last Thursday night, local developer Manny DeMutis presented plans for the 500 block of Bridge St. that would see two 14-story towers built. The development, which would sit on 5.5 acres of land, would include "38,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, 448 residential units, and structured, shared parking."

Source: The Phoenix

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

This would be amazing! I agree with the sentiment that the block looks like "heck," except for Barto. I really hope this comes together!

Anonymous said...

This developer can't rent out the condos he has now -- and yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer says that office space is cheap, cheap, cheap due to more supply than demand.

This is a pipe dream and rationalization for extending Streetscapes (our tax dollars) to Nutt Road.

Also, Barto has repeatedly said they don't want to sell their land and they don't want to move. Have they changed their minds?

Anonymous said...

Why 14 stories? Doesn't that seem too high?

Anonymous said...

I love the folks at Barto. Quite nice and all. Even bought a hottub from them. But do they realize they need to clean up around there?

JW said...

- to anon 12/18 7:33
The article says that Barto would move into the first building if this does happen.

Anonymous said...

You know anything would be better than that part of town. It looks terrible. Who would want to rent in that part of town right now anyway?
If you clean up the streets there are consumers that would purchase new anything and especially if they sell the term within walking distance to all majors stores and restaurants in Phoenixville. Again that part of town looks like any other run down town in PA. It needs a facelift. Change is welcome in my mind.

Anonymous said...

hey! I live in "that part of town" and, uh, yeah forget it, your right. A lot of attention is needed our way. Not that most people around this part of town care about what their neighborhood looks like (Slum lords and lousy tenants). ITs gonna take some time to clean it up




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Anonymous said...

There are major problems with this proposal including all kinds of zoning ordinances that would have to change, fire fighting equipment that is not suitable to high rise fire fighting, the fact that the Burn Building's 70 plus advertised lofts have not been even near completed and therefore not sold, traffic, and maybe even site pollution from the slaughter house that was once operated on the site.
There is only one reason for the density of this proposal and that is to maximize the developers profits. It would be bad for the neighborhood, the town, and everyone else except for Manny and family and the Barto family. Two out of 6000-7000 families just doesn't justify this. I can only hope it's a pipe dream and the developer will come back with a proposal that makes sense instead of one that emphasizes his greed.

Anonymous said...

The last poster is correct, we'd need to completely re-vamp the fire companys in the area, some very drastic zoning issues would need to be solve, and...most importantly the real estate market needs to rebound. Demutis just recently sold one of the last spots above Iron Hill, so the market that he wants still isn't here.
Barto definitely needs to clean up that lot, but I guess if you look at the same trash for enough years you don't want to get rid of it.
I agree that we need something better in that spot but a couple of skyscrapers in Pville isn't the solution.

Anonymous said...

I say bring it on. Change will be good. When people start seeing nice things, they tend to emulate nice. Sometimes I think entire sections of the city should be razed and rebuilt. It's like, "Wow ... we screwed up the first time. Let's do this right during our next go-round." 14 stories isn't that high -- we're not talking NYC's Twin Towers here, folks.

Anonymous said...

nice idea, but 14 stories is too manny.

Morgan Street Observer said...

14 stories is ridiculous and out of scale for the community. That area needs help but if the demand is there, someone will develop it and hopefully in a way that is compatabile with scale of the surrounding neighborhoods.

I am not impressed with the quality of DeMutis' other redevelopment projects. The materials look cheap and the designs/ architecture are uninspired. The only way that Phoenixville can sustain its growth is by offering unique experiences. Part of that is great neighborhoods and architectural style. Using cookie cutter generic designs for any project doesn't serve us well. I offer the New Century Bank Building as a case in point of uninspired design (I realize that this project was a problem from the get go). The building is generic bordering on ugly- its simply office space not a community ammenity that enhances our environment.

DeMutis has done a lot for Phoenixville and continues to but he shouldn't be able to just do the minimum and get away with it. He is doing this as an investment and a business person not as a charity. Council and citizens should hold him to high standards.

My 2 cents anyway - from Morgan Street.

Anonymous said...

To the poster from Morgan Street: You are exactly right. Cheap and generic doesn't cut it. It's as if some of these folks have never looked to other cities for architectural guidance. Nothing has "WOWED" me in this town for a long time.

Anonymous said...

A fresh outlook in this location is important, whether this ever goes through or not. There needs to more ideas and change in that area if we want to continue this "rebirth" of Phoenixville.

Anonymous said...

Morgan Street Observer, I wanted to clarify a line from your original post:
I offer the New Century Bank Building as a case in point of uninspired design (I realize that this project was a problem from the get go). The building is generic bordering on ugly- its simply office space not a community ammenity [sic] that enhances our environment.

That building was designed and built by PPG--the company that owns the steel site downtown and has done nothing to enhance or positively modify the acreage that they own in the middle of our borough.

Take a look at the building directly west of the New Century Bank Building on Bride Street--the former Superintendent's Building. That one is currently a DeMutis Group project. What's your take on that...how do you think the new slate roof looks, replaced windows, etc?

Morgan Street Observer said...

Anonymous-
I agree that the rehab of the Superintendent's building looks fantastic. They were working with a great structure to begin with. It looks like they are using quality materials and really enhancing it.

I know that PPG did what is now the New Century bank Building. I am sorry that I left the impression that the DeMutis Group was part of that. I was trying to make the point, and apparently not well, that Phoenixville could do better. We should demand architecture that complements and enhances the community when it comes to large developments that will dominate our neighborhoods for many years to come.

Both the Iron Hill building and the District Court building are pretty basic. I wish that those buildings had some of the charm and attention to detail and quality that the superintendant's building has. However, they are not obtrusive and are in scale with the neighborhood.

A 14-story high rise will dominate that area and attention needs to be given to design and scale if this project moves forward.

Also have to agree with other posters here that DeMutis and others are having trouble selling what they already have. Do we really need more condos? It would be nice to see some more investment in the existing rental properties nearby.

Patrick said...

Speaking of the old steel site owned by PPG. What ever happened to the master plan for that? I remember an ambitious vision for that site, and nothing has been built except for an unsightly chain link fence around the site. I know there was a lot of council bickering with PPG regarding some of the specifics, but now it seems we hear nothing about it anymore. Anyone know what's going on with this?

Lori said...

Petty and not quite on-topic but I have to say it: whose idea was it to paint all of those lovely early 20th century street lights along Bridge Street BRIGHT BLUE?

It looks hideous. Would've been much more elegant-looking if they had just been painted a high-gloss black. That bright royal blue color matches NOTHING along Bridge Street. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

For those concerned about firefighting needs for such a tall building, you have to consider a 14 story building would most likely be at least 140ft tall. No aerial truck reaches that high. Yes, there would be a need to address tactics and ensure the proper training for use in such a tall building. But with regards to equipment, theres really nothing that can/would be bought other than possibly a few high-rise bags. But most companies already have them in use.

Anonymous said...

I think those street lamps are new. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. Clearly, black would have been a better color.

Also, can we PLEASE, PLEASE have nicer holiday decorations in 2008? One of the stars was even unlit on 12/24 on Bridge Street. Stupid and embarrassing for my visiting family.

Mike2131 said...

Do anything to that site, please! It's disgusting. Like the previous poster, it's embarrassing driving through there when I have friends or family visiting. The towers there hopefully will speed up the necessary facelift to that government housing / Section 8 area past the now fenced off gas station. Who knows? Maybe the towers will actually bring people to the Moon Saloon!

Anonymous said...

Also, can we PLEASE, PLEASE have nicer holiday decorations in 2008? One of the stars was even unlit on 12/24 on Bridge Street. Stupid and embarrassing for my visiting family >>>>>>>AWW I FEEL SO SORRY FOR YOUR VISITING FAMILY, MAYBE NEXT YEAR YOU CAN GO VISIT THEM.

Anonymous said...

OK. Your sarcasm re: my visiting family was ... ummm ... uncalled for, perhaps?

I'm trying to make a point that nicer things mean nicer property values. Perhaps that point is lost on many in this town?

Anonymous said...

I really like the Christmas decorations. Yea, I noticed the lights were out, but it wasn't for that long. It happens...

I love looking down Bridge Street and seeing all of the lights on...very Christmas-y.

Mike2131 said...

Iron Hill and Columbia Grill did a fantastic job decorating for Christmas. Both looked very pretty and Christmas-y. That Santa box, on the other hand ...

Anonymous said...

I think this could be a good look for the town. Especially that area. I live on Morgan st. and it wouldn't bother me at all to have two structures like that nearby. I'm kind of imagining Conshohocken's towers. Also, I believe it said the towers would be the same sea level height as the hospital.

tru24rm said...

14 stories is WAY too high for this area of town! I would say that 8-10 floors would be a better idea.

Also, the idea for a parking garage is great, EXCEPT that it means it will be harder than ever to park over there during construction- in THIS town, I think it's safe to say that the construction would take AT LEAST TWO YEARS!

On a different note: Does anyone know what they're building across from the new Rite Aid (aka:the OLD Eckerd)?! I don't recall anyone saying anything about it, but it looks like it has a drive-through, whatever it is!

EEK!

As if there weren't enough accidents and traffic problems in that intersection already!