Bergmann Associates will lead a joint effort to create a revitalization study to generate business, tourism and economic development in downtown Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The national architecture, engineering and planning firm, which includes an office in Conshohocken, was hired by Pottsville Area Development Corp. (PADCO) and is teaming on the project with Eastwick Solutions, a Doylestown-based strategic marketing firm specializing in quality of place. In addition to PADCO, partner organizations supporting the initiative include the City of Pottsville and the Pottsville Business Association.
The multi-faceted study includes an inventory analysis of downtown assets and infrastructure, an analysis of Pottsville’s strengths and opportunities, research into downtown and county tourism, interviews with business and civic leaders, a community survey and public input sessions. The plan will culminate with recommendations for short- and long-term visions and strategies to spur revitalization of downtown Pottsville.
“We see tremendous potential to build on the excellent foundation in the greater Pottsville community and make downtown a vibrant, thriving place to work, live and visit,” said Pattie Guttenplan, project planner in Bergmann’s Conshohocken office. “We’re excited to work with citizens on a community-driven process to help define their vision and create a plan for bringing it to life.”
A town located in the heart of coal country, Pottsville was a mecca for industry and is home to the oldest brewery in the U.S., Yuengling Brewery, which draws an estimated 75,000 annual visitors. Additionally, Pottsville has affordable building stock and is attracting entrepreneurs of all kinds to start businesses and make their mark in Pottsville. Downtown Pottsville also features a variety of shops and restaurants. These assets, combined with its location and proximity to outdoor recreation, position the community for growth.
“We’ll take a comprehensive look at what it takes to bring more people and businesses downtown,” said Sean O’Rourke, vice president of the Atlantic Region, Bergmann Associates. “A key goal of the study is to determine how to more effectively connect downtown Pottsville’s amenities with companies and destinations in Schuylkill County.”
“It’s important to highlight those amenities that will attract new businesses, existing companies looking to relocate, and, of course, a skilled workforce,” said Kim Stevers, director of solutions, Eastwick Solutions.
According to Naomi Ost, president of PADCO’s board of directors, PADCO selected Bergmann Associates because of its experience and expertise based on partnering with towns in New York on similar plans. Bergmann Associates has facilitated revitalization projects in communities such as Endicott, North Tonawanda, Rome, Auburn, and Macedon, New York.
“As one of the partners in the Continued Progress Project, PADCO believes it is important for the City of Pottsville to study all aspects and visions in regard to the continued revitalization of the downtown area, and encourages the citizens of Pottsville to be involved in the process,” said Ost.
State representative Mike Tobash was an early champion of downtown revitalization. He recently helped organize a visit to Pottsville for Dennis Davin, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, to experience firsthand the potential of Pottsville.
“The success of our entire region depends on strong communities working together. Pottsville is in a unique position to capitalize on assets such as Yuengling, Lehigh Valley Health Systems, Reading Northern Railroad, world-class architecture and a history that was instrumental in building this great nation,” said Tobash. “An engaged business community along with support from local and state government as well as other stakeholder groups make this effort very exciting. I am happy to help revitalize our county seat for the benefit of all county citizens.”
Officials from the Pottsville Business Association and City of Pottsville encourage citizens to get actively involved in the planning for downtown Pottsville’s future.
“The Pottsville Business Association (PBA) is excited to be partnering with PADCO and the City of Pottsville on this multilateral, progressive project,” said Savas G. Logothetides, vice president, PBA. “Bergmann Associates, through our interview, was an easy choice to assist us in our goal of creating a better Pottsville. Pottsville has a bright future and a great foundation to build upon!”
“The city is excited to work with the PBA and PADCO to conduct this study,” said Mark Atkinson, city councilman, City of Pottsville. “During the course of the study we will be seeking input from our residents, business owners, visitors and people who work in the city. We strongly encourage as many people as possible to participate by completing the surveys so that we can make Pottsville a better place to live.”
According to Guttenplan, Bergmann Associates hopes to work throughout Pennsylvania with other communities seeking revitalization and resiliency planning.
For nearly four decades, Bergmann architects, engineers and planners have been delivering results to clients across the United States and Canada. This team of more than 400 professional and technical staff spans the Northeast, Midwest and Atlantic regions. Bergmann develops connections with partners and communities to create dynamic, creative solutions that will stand the test of time, while promoting environmental and functional sustainability. Projects in the Bergmann portfolio range from major buildings and commercial developments to critical transportation infrastructure and community planning.