Updates on some of Pottstown’s biggest development projects were highlighted in the Pottstown Area Economic Development (PAED) annual progress report on Wednesday.
Artist renderings shown at the event depicted the proposed Iron Globe entertainment complex, a 2,200-seat outdoor concert venue planned along the Schuylkill River between the north and south ends of the borough.
A 15-minute video offered a behind-the-scenes look at three of Pottstown’s “most impactful” ongoing projects – the Mercury Hotel, the Pottstown Sustainable Energy Park (PSEP) and the Remediation and Redevelopment of the Works of Pottstown veneer.
And PAED Executive Director Peggy Lee-Clark remarked on a number of other important improvements for the region, such as the opening of the Challenger Learning Center building at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC). , and even a new kayaking outpost along the river.
Nearly 250 members of the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce representing Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties attended the luncheon at the Sunnybrook Ballroom, which marked the organization’s first major in-person gathering in two years since before COVID-19.
“It’s great to be back to celebrate Pottstown after the biggest upheaval in business in over a century,” Lee-Clark said.
The event also served as something of an unveiling for the nonprofit PAED, which changed its name from Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. last year.
The name change was described as “a symbolic reflection of revitalization through innovation and the reinvention of Pottstown as a major economic hub” in a statement.
“We want to communicate a more cohesive marketing message,” Lee-Clark said. “We want a vibrant, clean and safe downtown that people in Pottstown and beyond want to visit – and we want people to see the value of PAED’s work and investments.”
The event’s theme, “FOCUS”, was intended to “inspire deliberate and cohesive development throughout the borough”.
“The projects featured today do just that,” Lee-Clark said.
She first spoke of the multifaceted entertainment venue Iron Globe, whose mockups show as planned for Keystone Boulevard, a short drive from West High Street and the MCCC, and nestled on 11 acres of land near roads 100 and 422.
“The site will host high-profile concerts, food and drink menus, and family-friendly activities such as ice skating and drive-in movies,” Lee-Clark said, adding that the facility will be “catalytic at the regional”.
Later in the event, a video – which is now available to watch online – revealed the renovation work at three important venues.
The former Pottstown Mercury Building at 24 N. Hanover St. is being converted into a luxury hotel to be called The Mercury Hotel.
Another 11-acre undeveloped lot on Keystone Boulevard near the Iron Globe project is set to become the site of PSEP, which will not only create renewable energy and help the region reduce waste, but also create more 100 jobs.
The cleanup effort at Pottstown Plating Works at 254 S. Washington St. also continues, though the future looks bright for the property.
Lee-Clark noted how Pottstown’s history as an industrial city has made revitalization efforts difficult and why continued investment from both public funds is needed to help correct environmental issues like that of Pottstown Plating Works. .
“As part of our industrial past, Pottstown ended up with a less than desirable environmental landscape,” she said. “Without public money to help with sanitation, development would cease to exist because the numbers just don’t add up.”