West Reading Avenues Winter 2017 - 32
IN THE COMMUNITY //// foreshadowing 2018
By Dean L. Rohrbach, Pro
lm Street has completed the second year of its five-year strategic plan and needs to begin the process again in 2018.
Developing a consensus among our partners on where we want to go and how we're going to get there has been
a key element of our success.
Although we are still adding up the numbers for the second year of the strategic plan, here are the results of our first year.
During the first year of the plan, our primary target area was the area south of Fourth Avenue, over to Spruce Street.
Here's what we were able to accomplish, with help from our partners:
area is no longer declining. No longer
even considered transitional, it is stable and
During the past 10 years in the area south of
Avenue, the Elm Street program replaced
sidewalks and curbs and installed grass medians
with trees in the 100 block of South Second
Ave., Yarnell Street and the 200 block of
South Third Avenue and Franklin Street.
We also totally replaced the water and sewer
lines on South Second Avenue and Franklin
and Yarnell streets, and then graded and
resurfaced those streets.
purchased, rehabbed and modernized
four foreclosed properties and sold them to
homeowners to keep investors from getting
them. Because we sold them for around three
times what we bought them for, we raised the
property values on all area properties.
Avenues Winter 2017
tore down a large vacant dilapidated
warehouse at Chestnut and Yarnell Streets, and
replaced it with four brand new townhouses
which were also sold to homeowners.
We converted a large vacant lot overgrown
with weeds into the West Reading Community
Garden and Social Area, an area that serves
as a mini-park.
painted the facades of 43 properties in
historic three-color schemes and awarded
more than 30 facade grants totaling more than
$90,000. We helped finance six new homeowners
and provided $200,000 in zero percent, deferred
payment loans with no monthly payment for
residents to modernize their homes.
to the county Redevelopment Authority
we were able to accomplish another goal in our
strategic plan. The former Penn View Motel,
which was a nuisance to the borough, was
demolished and replaced with Candlewood
Suites, which has turned out to be a very