The abandoned Citgo gas station at North Charlotte and Mervine streets
SANATOGA PA – Bruce Foltz, president of the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners, doesn’t hold a license from the Pennsylvania State Real Estate Commission, but he may be the most active marketer some commercial property owners could have on their side.
During his many years of political tenure, Foltz has had the township staff compile a database of vacant properties, contacted agents about attracting prospective businesses to buildings and lots, and made similar contacts to businesses himself. All have the goal of trying to build Lower Pottsgrove’s commercial base, “and I’ve been at it a long time,” he admits.
He tried again during July (2014), Foltz told his board colleagues at their meeting last Monday (Aug. 4).
Foltz and the staff sent a letter to a Bensalem PA-based company, GreenDrop, that he heard was renovating former gasoline stations into drop-off points for the charitable collection of used clothing. He had the perfect site, the letter said: the once busy (but environmentally troubled) Citgo property at the corner of North Charlotte and Mervine streets.
The property is tied up in court cases, and the board has unsuccessfully attempted for years to have its owners at least spruce it up if it cannot be sold. Commissioners at one point even contemplated, but were dissuaded from, using eminent domain proceedings to take over the lot themselves.
GreenDrop has already responded with a polite “thanks, but no thanks,” Foltz advised. “So they’re not interested, but we gave it a shot,” he noted.
Vacant land and a rail siding at the former OxyChem plant on Armand Hammer Boulevard
Also during July, Foltz said he and others toured open acreage awaiting development at the former Occidental Chemical property off Armand Hammer Boulevard, now known as the TriCounty Commerce Park. “They are no plans to do anything with it yet,” Foltz said, but OxyChem’s property arm, Glenn Springs Holdings Inc., “might consider any options,” he added optimistically.
The open land benefits from improved highway access in reconstruction of the boulevard interchange at U.S. Route 422, now under way, and also has rail access. “It’s a nice asset there,” township engineer Scott Exley agreed.
Just get the word out, Foltz figures, and something might happen. Because, maybe you know somebody who knows somebody else who’s looking for a piece of ground like that?
Related (to the Citgo property):
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Aug. 4 meeting):