SANATOGA PA – Businesses, or more specifically a declining number of them, in Sanatoga and Lower Pottsgrove have elected officials looking for economic development assistance.
Township Commissioner Shawn Watson and others expect to meet soon with Montgomery County Development Corp. Executive Director David Niles to discuss how the Sanatoga village district lining East High Street can be more aggressively marketed for potential merchant growth, Watson announced during Monday’s (June 8, 2015) Board of Commissioners’ meeting.
Board members have regularly expressed concern, since the closing of Hollywood Video in the Sanatoga Village Center several years ago, about the loss of businesses and a growing number of storefront vacancies in the district. Their worries were heightened last September (2014) with the closing of the K-Mart department store at 2200 E. High.
Most recently shuttered, commissioners’ President Bruce Foltz noted, was the Sunoco gasoline station at the corner of East High and Sunnyside Avenue. Workers for Sunoco could be seen Monday removing signage from the station’s awnings and pumps. Its accompanying convenience store was emptied of merchandise and most fixtures as well.
That’s not to say there are no bright spots in the village, the board has noted. Landscaping contractor HEB LLC recently completed its occupancy of the former J.C. Ehrlich Pest Control building at 2169 E. High, and just last week finished exterior improvements there. Also, national franchiser Paradise Donuts will soon open its first Pennsylvania location June 27 at 2170 E. High, owner Bill Parker reported.
There have been merchant proposals, too, that commissioners rejected as unacceptable. Most well known among them was an August 2014 plan by Family Dollar stores to build and open a store on vacant land at the southeast corner of East High Street and South Pleasant View Road. Commissioners said the site was too crowded and did not fit with the character of the village.
Still, in a township that prides itself on being business-friendly, board members are grasping for help in attracting entrepreneurs. “We’ve got to do something about it,” Foltz said.
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ June 8 meeting):