Downtown Marketing and Development

Insights and observations on the redevelopment and revitalization of post-industrial towns on the Route 422 Corridor in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

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Filling Vacant Storefronts After the Pandemic

I am currently in Portland OR on my cross-country journey to evaluate the recovery from the 2021 lockdown. I was deeply impressed by the transformative power of innovative strategies and the strategic use of ground-floor retail. These approaches are not only breathing new life into the towns but also fostering a sense of optimism and advancement.

Downingtown Property Owners and Residents to Address Flooding

As a property owner in Downingtown for the last twenty years or so, I have experienced three floods that have affected the community. They all caused a lot of damage, and it took a long time to recover. The flooding during Hurricane IDA was particularly devastating.

The thing about Downingtown is that, in many cases, if it is not raining, there is no problem, and it is time to move on. I tried to work through the process to address flooding issues and found the process onerous locally. 

Establishing a “Sense of Place”

When Fred Kent created and ran the Project for Public Spaces, he inspired me with the placemaking concept, and I became very interested in learning. He was somehow ousted later, and the group of 400 people he put together internationally collapsed under new management. 

I always remember what he said about how you can only hold someone’s interest for about 100 feet when they are walking in a downtown setting. Figure twenty-five feet per storefront would be like four storefronts in terms of distance.

The Second Round of Lockdown Study

I plan on another nationwide evaluation of downtown vacancies due to the 2021 lockdown.  This time, I will leave a few days before I did in 2021 and hope it does not get upper 90s temperatures in some of the locations, as I encountered in 2021. 

I will also be able to have solid data on office vacancies in many of the big cities during this round. Still, I can also quickly determine the office vacancies in some small towns that I need to rank in the system. 

Please Follow the Narrative

Since the last column, I have been involved in some level of controversy, which has put my professional judgment at odds with a narrative. My credentials in the area of aberrant behavior are substantial — In both my behavior and the behaviors I seek to change. Although much has changed in my personal life, the memories of what would be a potentially good place to be aberrant are fresh in my mind.

Dealing with Open Air Drug Markets

I remember watching The Wire on an HBO binge. I had worked in Baltimore, both in the county and city. In the city, I worked in the Patterson Park Area and did tenant conversions from renter to homeowner. In the Wire lingo, I worked in Prop Joe’s area. I laughed about how they set up “Hamsterdam," an open-air drug market.

Towns Struggle with Post-Pandemic Adjustments

Many cities throughout the United States are struggling with the post-pandemic world. Much of the problem was self-induced when we all went into hiding and started working from home. Only a little was happening in the downtowns, and most was happening took place outside. 

Technical And Administrative Elites in Today’s Society

My first job out of college was working for the AFL-CIO in the international headquarters across from Layfette Park in Washington, D.C. I was tasked with compiling a manual explaining the new Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1971 and managed speakers at ten workshops nationwide. I had a lot of time on my hands and was tasked with the federal register monitoring on the Act.

Life in America – Homeless Encampment Edition

The lockdown of 2021 created an upheaval in many lives. Everyone had to shelter in place for a year. This created many issues in our daily routine. My wife and I got to know each other well as we worked from home. We each got a monthly paycheck, even though my work was in slow motion because it was public sector work.

Trust the Science and Follow the Narrative

Last week I saw something I had not seen since the publication of the Covert Action Bulletin in the 1970s. The court has prohibited the government from censoring dissenting opinions. It concerned vaccine deniers and, in general, those unwilling to accept everything and the "trust the science" exception to free speech.

Filling Vacant Storefronts After the Pandemic

I am currently in Portland OR on my cross-country journey to evaluate the recovery from the 2021 lockdown. I was deeply impressed by the transformative power of innovative strategies and the strategic use of ground-floor retail. These approaches are not only breathing new life into the towns but also fostering a sense of optimism and advancement.

Downingtown Property Owners and Residents to Address Flooding

As a property owner in Downingtown for the last twenty years or so, I have experienced three floods that have affected the community. They all caused a lot of damage, and it took a long time to recover. The flooding during Hurricane IDA was particularly devastating.

The thing about Downingtown is that, in many cases, if it is not raining, there is no problem, and it is time to move on. I tried to work through the process to address flooding issues and found the process onerous locally. 

Establishing a “Sense of Place”

When Fred Kent created and ran the Project for Public Spaces, he inspired me with the placemaking concept, and I became very interested in learning. He was somehow ousted later, and the group of 400 people he put together internationally collapsed under new management. 

I always remember what he said about how you can only hold someone’s interest for about 100 feet when they are walking in a downtown setting. Figure twenty-five feet per storefront would be like four storefronts in terms of distance.

The Second Round of Lockdown Study

I plan on another nationwide evaluation of downtown vacancies due to the 2021 lockdown.  This time, I will leave a few days before I did in 2021 and hope it does not get upper 90s temperatures in some of the locations, as I encountered in 2021. 

I will also be able to have solid data on office vacancies in many of the big cities during this round. Still, I can also quickly determine the office vacancies in some small towns that I need to rank in the system. 

Please Follow the Narrative

Since the last column, I have been involved in some level of controversy, which has put my professional judgment at odds with a narrative. My credentials in the area of aberrant behavior are substantial — In both my behavior and the behaviors I seek to change. Although much has changed in my personal life, the memories of what would be a potentially good place to be aberrant are fresh in my mind.

Dealing with Open Air Drug Markets

I remember watching The Wire on an HBO binge. I had worked in Baltimore, both in the county and city. In the city, I worked in the Patterson Park Area and did tenant conversions from renter to homeowner. In the Wire lingo, I worked in Prop Joe’s area. I laughed about how they set up “Hamsterdam," an open-air drug market.

Towns Struggle with Post-Pandemic Adjustments

Many cities throughout the United States are struggling with the post-pandemic world. Much of the problem was self-induced when we all went into hiding and started working from home. Only a little was happening in the downtowns, and most was happening took place outside. 

Technical And Administrative Elites in Today’s Society

My first job out of college was working for the AFL-CIO in the international headquarters across from Layfette Park in Washington, D.C. I was tasked with compiling a manual explaining the new Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1971 and managed speakers at ten workshops nationwide. I had a lot of time on my hands and was tasked with the federal register monitoring on the Act.

Life in America – Homeless Encampment Edition

The lockdown of 2021 created an upheaval in many lives. Everyone had to shelter in place for a year. This created many issues in our daily routine. My wife and I got to know each other well as we worked from home. We each got a monthly paycheck, even though my work was in slow motion because it was public sector work.

Trust the Science and Follow the Narrative

Last week I saw something I had not seen since the publication of the Covert Action Bulletin in the 1970s. The court has prohibited the government from censoring dissenting opinions. It concerned vaccine deniers and, in general, those unwilling to accept everything and the "trust the science" exception to free speech.

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Group contributors

Organizers

  • Barry Cassidy's picture

Contributors

  • Bill Haley's picture