Archive for January, 2009

Radnor Goes Green

January 30, 2009

Last night Radnor held the Kick Off Meeting for it’s Sustainability Series: Issues in Sustainable Living and Growth in Radnor Township.  This introduced the first in a series of topics that will be presented approximately every two months throughout the year covering a wide range of Green topics.  The series is hosted at the Radnor Township Municipal Building on Iven but the presentations are also aired live on Comcast Cable Channel 10 and Verizon FiOS Channel 30.

Green LeavesSponsored by the Radnor Conservancy, the League of Women Voters of Radnor Township, and the Township of Radnor PA, the meeting started at 7PM with the topic: Green Building 101.  Four presenters were included for the evening introduced by Elaine Schaefer of the Radnor Conservancy.  In order of appearance, they covered:

What is Sustainability and Green Building?
by: Mark Janiczek, Green Builder and Community Leader
How Green is Green? Measuring Standards and Practices
by: Brenda Gotanda, Chair, Radnor Environmental Advisory Council
Promoting Green Building – Overview of State/Local Programs
by: Lorna Rosenberg, Environmental Protection Agency
Making It Real in Radnor, a Success Story
by: Leo Bernabei, Radnor Township School District

It was an excellent series of presentations, highlighting the roles of various players in the area and how to measure the impacts/success of various programs.  This provided a good basis for understanding some current green issues and what is being done locally in Pennsylvania and regionally.

Thank you to the sponsors and presenters for a great meeting.  The next topic is currently scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, 7-9 PM and will cover “Alternative Sources of Energy: Wind, Solar, and More.

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Pierre’s Coat Drive for Project H.O.M.E.

January 28, 2009

Mark your calendars today.

WMMR and Acme Markets are again teaming up to support “Pierre’s Coat Drive for Project H.O.M.E.“.

Project H.O.M.E. (Housing, Opportunities for Employment, Medical Care, Education) empowers people to break the cycle of homelessness, address the structural causes of poverty, and attain their fullest potential as members of society.”  Project H.O.M.E. is headquarteredProject H.O.M.E. Philadelphia PA at 1515 Fairmount Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19130 just eight blocks north of city hall.  It’s revitalization efforts are focused in the North Central Philadelphia community known as the “St. Elizabeth’s/Diamond Street” neighborhood, and Ridge Avenue commercial corridor, but the project has multiple locations centered around north central Philadelphia.

Earlier today I had the opportunity to visit with Lindsay Giblin at Fairmount Ave who coordinates Project H.O.M.E.’s in-kind donations.  Within the week they will also be opening the Women’s Winter Emergency Respite which will offer shelter, a drop-in location, warm meals, and social services.  To prepare for the opening, they are still looking for blankets, towels, breakfast foods, coffee, tea, sugar, and new socks/underwear (preferably in larger sizes). Please contact her anytime at 215-232-7272 ext:3058 or by email @ lindseygiblin@projecthome.org for more details.  

Over the course of the next three weeks, Pierre Robert and the WMMRmy will be accepting donations locally at three Acme Market Locations:

Sat 12-2 Jan 31: ACME Markets Bala Shopping Center 121 East City Avenue Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
Sat 12-2 Feb 7: ACME Markets 920 Red Lion Rd. (Red Lion & Bustleton) Northeast Philadelphia, PA
Sat 12-2 Feb 14: ACME Markets 175 Route 70 Medford, NJ

They are looking for and will be collecting new or gently used coats, blankets, hats, scarves or gloves that will go directly to the homeless in our hometown.  Please give generously – all items are a great help.  It’s a rough time of year and this is a great way to give back to the community and help those most in need. 

WMMR Rocks!  Thank you Acme & Support Project H.O.M.E. today!

(If you may be interested in volunteering contact Erin O”Brien at erinobrien@projecthome.org for more information.)

Penfield Station – SEPTA Rt 100 High Speed Line

January 26, 2009

SEPTA High Speed Line Penfield Station Havertown

Welcome to the Penfield Station on SEPTA‘s Route 100 High Speed Line connecting the 69th Street Terminal and the Norristown Transportation Center.

Penfield Station is actually the third station west of the 69th Street Terminal.   Located in the northeast section of Delaware County on the eastern edge of Haverford Township, this station is a convenient stop for commuters generally from the Penfield section of Havertown and the Penn Wynne section of Montgomery County.

This is one of the smaller stations on the line and has very limited parking.  It is an ideal local commuter station allowing the residents immediate access with minimal driving. All rail stops are on a requested basis right at the platform. The eastbound platform is adjacent to a small lot with some parking but plenty of space for dropping off or picking up passengers.

The surrounding area is primarily residential single family homes with some twins.  The average sale price for homes in Penfield for the last year was $366,000 and there is currently one active listing. Just to the north in Penn Wynne, the average sale price for the last year was $328,000 but this reduced price reflects a much greater concentration of twins in the area.

As always, should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

(All information from TrendMLS system and believed accurate but not guaranteed)

Revitalization Resources Now Available in PA

January 23, 2009

Are you concerned about development in Suburban Philadelphia?  Worried about revitalization of a commercial area?  Looking at the impacts on the surrounding residential areas? Are you thinking of starting a business?  Considering a move into the state and need to know what resources are available?

Last night, State Rep Greg Vitali hosted a free public Business District Revitalization Workshop at theManoa Elementary School Havertown PA New Manoa Elementary School in Havertown for anyone interested in improving and revitalizing the local business districts.  In addition to brief introductions by various elected officials, the presentations included five representatives from various organizations which covered the spectrum of resources available for communities and individuals for both private and public improvements.

In order of the speakers, we heard:
Toni Crawford-Major Regional Director Commonwealth of PA
NewPA – State of Innovation – www.newpa.com/index.aspx
Julie FitzpatrickSpcl Projects Coordinator – PA Downtown Ctr
Pennsylvania Downtown Center – www.padowntown.org/
Laura Goodrich Director of Marketing – DE County Commerce Ctr
Delaware County Commerce Center – www.delcopa.org/
John Fleming Lead Business Development Specialist – SBA
SBA – Phl- www.sba.gov/localresources/district/pa/phil/index.html
Glenn McAllister Director – Widener Small Bus Development Ctr
Widener University Small Bus Dev Center – www.widenersbdc.org/

The above individuals highlighted the wide variety of sources of help and funding for many business, residential, and commercial enterprises.  The organizations demonstrated the importance and wealth of support provided by the State of Pennsylvania to its citizens to improve both the business and residential environment in the state.  The above can be used throughout Delaware County and Chester County.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, I would encourage you to check out the above web sites and contact them with additional questions and to identify the appropriate contacts for your projects. 

As always, if you need any additional information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.

Solid Activity in Westbrook Park Upper Darby PA

January 20, 2009

Westbrook Park Entrance Upper DarbyDespite the gyrations in the real estate market throughout suburban Philadelphia, if you are looking for a bit more stability, Westbrook Park remains a solid choice in Delaware County.  Conveniently located in Upper Darby and Clifton Heights Pennsylvania, the community has always been a popular housing alternative.  It is located close to Bishop Avenue, Springfield Avenue, and Baltimore Pike with easy access to both rail and highway connections and adjacent to the Westbrook Elementary School and Scullion Park/Westbrook Park Youth Association.  These row homes offer great space at an affordable price. 

Currently there are 14 homes showing as active on the market with an average price of $158,000 and an upper price of $179,900.  Most homes in the community have three bedrooms and one bath, but many have been upgraded with a second bath and in some units a fourth bedroom.  Three homes are currently shown as pending with an average price of just over $165,000.

As we have seen in many areas throughout Delaware County, prices have declined slightlyWestbrook Park Row Upper Darby PAThe $152,000 average sales price for 2008 was down about 4% from the $159,000 average level of 2007.  Sales were also down 23% to 62 units for the year from 81 units in 2007.  The homes currently on the market have an average of 98 days on the market, but at the current sales rate the inventory should be absorbed within a three month period.  In 2008, the average days on the market was 61 days; this was up from the 47 day average in 2007.

Westbrook Park should continue to be a popular housing choice.  The pricing and sales activity continue to be fairly strong certainly as compared to other communities in the region.  With its convenient location and reputation, this should be one of the earliest communities to benefit from any uptick in activity.

(All information is from the TrendMLS System as of 1/20/09 and believed to be correct but not guaranteed.)

The Stats – What Now for Delaware County?

January 14, 2009

Slowly but surely we are beginning to move in the right direction.

After a tough October and November throughout Delaware County Pennsylvania, the numbers in December began to look a bit more robust.  Although down, all the numbers are improving from the last couple of months.  Overall, both units sold(339) and homes put under contract(253) were down 14% from December 2007, while new listings(388 ) were down approximately 7%.  Average sold prices were down over 8% from 2007, but I would say this reflects more the mix of homes sold and the realities of the current financing1708 Massey House Marple Township PA rather than a major shift in pricing. Countywide, average days on the market remains a bit higher at 78 days on the market, but time on the market varies widely depending on the price range as seen from the Luxury Market report. 

Again, we are seeing a wide range of activity on a more local level.  In Newtown Square PA, the number of homes sold(16) were up 23% from last year (with prices up 23%) while the homes put under contract(5) declined 45%, and newly listed homes(5) fell 61%.  Next door in Marple Township PA, homes sold (6) declined 60% (with prices down 3%) with 6 new homes under contract (down 40%) and 9 new listings (down 18%).  Across the county in Lansdowne PA, homes sold during the month (9) declined 18% with an 8% price decline, while new pending (5) and new homes listed (10) both increased 25% from 2007.

Bottom line: We are getting there. 

After a rough fourth quarter, it does look like we are trending back to a more stable market, but I expect the market to remain in a bit of a holding pattern until we see the new adminstrations’ plans.   In the short term, the overall unsettled economy will probably keep a rein on both prices and activity, but this remains one of the best buying opportunities we have seen in years with lower home prices, more inventory, and incredible financing for well qualified buyers.  In addition, we have seen some move up activity as homeowners have taken advantage of the available financing and reduced prices to expand their options.  Once financing becomes more available for the larger loans, this could help to accelerate the activity.

Springfield Mall PA 101 Trolley Stop

January 9, 2009

Following the eternal quest to answer the question “What’s there?”,  I have found many of the questions have centered around the various transit stops throughout the area.  People are interested in mass transit but aren’t ready to commit until they have a better understanding of the areas and “What’s there”.

101 Local Trolley at Springfield Mall PAToward that end, over the next few months, I will periodically add videos to the site both to document the various stops and provide you with some additional information on the surrounding areas.  In due course, I should be able to cover all the various rail lines that continue through the county into Philadelphia.  I will also cover the adjacent areas in Montgomery County and New Castle County, DE.  Hopefully, this will provide you with a better feel for the options available as you look around the county and adjacent areas.

The first stop here is the Springfield Mall Trolley Route 101 stop.  This stop is located just behind the Springfield Mall in the north east corner at the trolley’s Route 320/Springfield Rd underpass.  There is no parking directly adjacent to this stop; however, the stop is located just a short walk downhill from the mall itself.  There are also stairs directly to Route 320 and the connecting bus services.

The Springfield Mall itself is currently undergoing some major changes.  The former Strawbridges store has now been removed and they are in the process of building a new anchor Target Store.  In addition there are over 70 stores listed in the mall with Macy’s anchoring the far end.

BTW: I will work to come up with a consistent format – any suggestions, just let me know.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2009

To All: Have a Prosperous and Happy New Year!

Upper Providence PA 1/1/09 Springton Reservoir - Rose Tree Park

First Light – January 1, 2009 – Upper Providence PA