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Downtown News

Recently, Barry Cassidy started a blog appropriately titled Downtown Phoenixville News. Last week he posted a number of items concerning businesses on Bridge Street.

Specialty Wine Store to open in Phoenixville's Downtown
Through the efforts of State Representative Paul Drucker it seems that the State LCB will open a specialty wine store in downtown Phoenixville. In a meeting called by State Representative Drucker on Friday LCB real estate professionals mulled over the options for the store.
The store will carry high end specialty wines like the store to open in center city at 11th and Market Streets.
The sites under consideration at this time include the proposed new development in the 100 block and two sites in the 200 block.

Bakery to locate in the downtown
a new bakery selling artisan breads will be opening in the near future down by iron hill where the tile place was located. in the past few days there has been a flurry of activity concerning renting retail space on the street. There is a lot of interest in what is soon to be the former earth mart space. it was a toss up with the bakery for that space but finally the man settled on the spot on the 100 block.

the 6 -12 store is in the process of moving into the space next to steel city.


Anonymous said…
Is Earth Mart closing...or moving?
Anonymous said…
What is exactly is the 6-12 Shop? It does not appear to be the type of store that would help revitalize or bring an upscale clientele to the downtown. A high-end wine shop and the 6-12 store? Does not make sense; seems some of that state money is being spent very unwisely and maybe somebody else should be deciding on the downtown's future. Somebody with a vision of success for Phoenixville.
Anonymous said…
Based on past hsitory, sadly this place will be out of business within less then a year. No week day foot traffic and insane rents make it nearly impossible for small retailers that don't sell booze to make it.

Good luck to the bakery. Hope for the best, perpare for the worst.
Anonymous said…
Earth Mart is moving not closing.

I don't know what the 6-12 Shop is but a high-end wine shop would be a welcome addition to the downtown, especially due to all the great BYOBs.
Anonymous said…
6-12 is basically like a 7-11. Back in the old days the 7-11 got it's name because it was open from 7AM to 11PM (which is obviously no longer the case). I would assume that this place might go by the same model (just a guess).
VC said…
6-12 is another convenience store that is open later than the current save more and Hiedi Sue's. Trust me it's no Wawa.
Anonymous said…
Out of curiosity, are there any "rules" (for lack of a better word) for what stores need to look like on Bridge Street? That 6-12 looks TERRIBLE. It is an eye sore and it seems to glow.
Anonymous said…
Look, can we all get something straight here? Barry doesn't decide what businesses go into the downtown. You're giving him way too much blame and praise. If you own a building then you can bring in any business you please as long as it isn't a sex shop or a tattoo parlor (for now). The building owner who let the 6-12 move next to Steel City is a lawyer in town (Bender) and she rented the space to them. Barry can kick and scream all he wants but it will do no good. Your argument about use of state money is one thing, but to sit here and blame or praise BC for businesses in the downtown is just ridiculous . It's an old and tired argument.
Anonymous said…
I see nothing wrong with the 6-12 store down there. For some, maybe shopping there is beneath you, but overall what harm is it causing anyone?
Anonymous said…
While Barry C. may not be able to "officially" choose what businesses come to Bridge Street, he can make things so miserable for people he doesn't like that it drives them out of town. He has already done this to several business owners.

Let's keep it real here.
Mike said…
I have no problem with the 6-12 store either. Its not my cup of tea but who cares.

What I want to know is what constitutes high end wine I told someone the other day I bought a bottle of Coppola for $17 and I was told that $17 was expensive. I thought it was reasonable and was great quality.

I want to know whether I will ever go into this store or not, because to me, high end wine is like $50 dollars and up / bottle.

BTW, Heidi Sue Variety is the trashiest (sic?) store in Phoenixville. I have never been in there, but the store looks dirty, the store front sign is dirty and those those perceptions keep me far away from that place.

Anybody have insight on how that place stays in business?
Anonymous said…
I also have wondered how Heidi Sue stays in business. I have actually taken people in there b/c the whole place is fascinating and not in a good way. It's a like a walk through history as I am sure a lot of the items for sale have been there for YEARS. It reminds me of a place where unsold merchandise goes to die.

Also, I have no issues with the type of store 6-12 is, but it just doesn't have curb appeal, which I think is imporant for such a prime location. They could do so much like changing the lighting for starters. Like I said in my previous comment, the place glows.
Anonymous said…
Heidi Sue's is still around because the owners bought the building 30+ years ago and therefore aren't getting raped by Demutis for insane rents. Therefore they don't have to sell a ton of stuff to get by. Not to mention the poor people (and make no mistake, there are still a lot of them within the 3-4 block area around Bridge Street) still need a place to buy smokes and cheap household goods.

I personnally rarely step foot in Heidi Sue's but I'm not so much of a snob that I wish they would go out of business either.

While the gentrification that has taken place on Bridge Street has been most the most part very good, it has hurt a lot of long time Phoenixville residents who can no longer afford to live in town due to escalating rents. Places like the Dollar General and Heidi Sue's are all these people have. They aren't hurting anyone so cut them some slack!
Anonymous said…
While the people that need to use these stores aren't hurting anyone, but the mere existence of Dollar General, Heidi Sue, 6-12 stores are hurting the possibility of the newer stores from succeeding. But here's why: aesthetics, not contents or patrons.

The Dollar General looks like a bomb shelter, constantly has trash all over the parking lot, and the management is belligerent to others using their lot, which I can understand, but when you have 6 shoppers, and 40 spots, let's use some common sense here.

In my opinion, after the 6-12 took down the illegally-placed brand specific cigarette signs in their windows (nothing screams prosperity better then Newports for $4.69...) the old 6-12 location looked fine when it was at the Old Bank Building at Church and Main. They were also getting ready to open up a dining area in the rear that was really coming together. It was tidy and useful. The new location looks absolutely horrible.

Heidi Sue exists only through grandfathering and the owner isn't ready to retire. Still, I will never go into any of these stores because of the image they put forth.

On the other hand, take a look at Sav-More. Same products and clientele, but it looks good. No one complains about it. Or even the Cantina on the 300 block of Bridge or the Brazillian store on the 100 Block. They have specific goods and services that serve a specific population, but the buildings and windows look good (Cantina) to great (Brazil). That makes all the difference in the perception of a commercial district and especially in a district as small as this one.

The rule CERTAINLY applies,
PERCEPTION IS REALITY. Keep the cheap goods and diversity of clientele, but encourage the shopkeepers that are lacking in aesthetics to make a change. It would help everyone.

Aside from very specific signage requirements, safety and sanitation standards, the Historic Architectural Review Board and Borough Code offices have their hands tied. You can police zoning, safety, sanitation, etc., but not taste. Only "the market" can do that.

If you have a commercial district spotted with places that LOOK like blight, whether they are or not, new potential visitors will perceive it as such, no matter what gems lie in between.
Anonymous said…
I have always wondered how Heidi Sue is in business. The store looks disgusting and the space above it looks equally bad (blinds are broken, falling down, junk in the window, etc.). Honestly, it's a direct insult to all the work that has gone into revitalizing the downtown area. 6-12 shop is a bad choice for such a prominent spot. What is next? Check cashing? Pawn shops?
Anonymous said…
Rest assured that there are zoning restrictions that do not allow certain building uses without variances.
Joe Carcuss said…
There are no zoning restrictions against a check cashing place (there use to be a couple in town not that long ago) or a pawn shop.

I'm sure Heidi Sue's would leave if someone made a decent offer on the place. The problem is that the entire building would need to be gutted to the studs in order for it to become respectable.

As for the Dollar General, I agree that it is a low class establishment. With the size of the building and parking, they could put something really nice there (Trader Joe's?) but I suspect that as the economy continues to worsen, we will se more vacant buildings downtown as opposed to additional development. I just a low class shop is better then a vacant building.
Anonymous said…
The owners of Hedi Sue ARE the nicist owners downtown.Where did some of you com from?If you dont need anything from there dont go in there , but DONT think you are ALL that.

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