Thursday morning clouds are reflected in the glass of doors at Sanatoga Thriftway, where a sign taped from the inside proclaims “Store Closed”
SANATOGA PA – If and when the Sanatoga Thriftway market reopens, whether as the proposed Sanatoga Supermart or by some other name, its new owners and managers must face a Lower Pottsgrove regulatory hurdle they could have averted had the store remained in business.
They must now apply for and obtain a new use-and-occupancy permit, which will also require a “life safety” inspection of the building at 2190 E. High St., township Manager Ed Wagner said Thursday (Aug. 20, 2015).
Thriftway’s former operators, the DeLorenzo family, closed and locked its doors last week (Wednesday, Aug. 12) after a brief but very public farewell to 18 years as the only grocer in Sanatoga village. Competitive and other pressures prompted the family to exit the business and turn the keys over to property owner Pottstown Village Holding LP.
The holding company’s managing partner, R.D. Sharma, initially promised to rename the store as Sanatoga Supermart and keep it open beyond Aug. 12 with supervisory help from a partner and his team. They contacted former employees and asked them to return, and even advertised for new workers. But keeping the lights on became difficult, Sharma later said, because shelves were empty of products and suppliers were not yet lined up.
Nine days have since passed. At least for now, Thriftway’s former shoppers have been forced to go elsewhere for their purchases. As of Thursday morning, a large “Store Closed” sign remained taped to its glass front doors. Sharma, with whom Wagner said he talked Friday (Aug. 14), was informed the so-called U-And-O permit is now necessary.
Applying for the permit is neither onerous or expensive, Wagner explained, and added it is likely township Codes Enforcement Officer Joe Groff can promptly inspect the building’s fire safety and other systems to ensure they work as expected and comply with local laws. Although “minor,” completing the process takes time and only further delays the store’s resurrection, Wagner said.
No U-And-O application had been submitted by Thursday, according to Wagner.