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Why not Williamsport?

August 26, 2013

Mayor Campana fought tooth and nail to get a Kohl’s store in downtown Williamsport....

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(38)

BillTriumph

Aug-31-13 11:17 AM

'hick it is interesting that you and Joe Biden literally have one thing in common ...literally.

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wwhickok

Aug-28-13 7:55 AM

I'm with Cap on this, there are a few places I do shop at the Mall, Sports Spree, Childrens Place, my wife likes Macy's, we do get a lot of our sons shoes at Kids Footlocker..but frankly, that's about it.

Our mall is FREAKIN BORING! Maybe if it was a 2 Story Mall with more stores like Charlotte Russe and Express(a store I really like) and others. And when it comes to Walmart, I live 2 blocks from Walmart and would rather drive to Target, I cannot stand Walmart!

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wwhickok

Aug-28-13 7:51 AM

Part of the problem with Williamsport is that 90% of it is bars. Which is literally what Bill just said. Now, some of those places are also restaurants and very nice ones to boot, I've been inside 33 East, it's pricey but worth the price (it's a special occassion type for me and my wife).

There's a few places downtown to shop but not many. "Downtown ain't for everyone" WHY NOT? That right there is the problem, there SHOULD be something for everyone downtown.

Also Mike, I'm not knocking your opinion or necessarily disagreeing with it. Listen, I do feel like there should be some free parking in the city, but those who 'make the decisions' have no interest in doing for the citizens, they are about revenue and tourism, they've proven that, so it's not going to change.

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Capricorn1

Aug-28-13 5:25 AM

Sorry Bill, probably been to the mall a half dozen times in the last ten years. I'll shop online before paying the prices at the mall. And WalMart.. I'd rather go to the dentist. I was just stating what helped drive business out of downtown. In my younger years I used to enjoy cruising downtown until they stopped it.

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BillTriumph

Aug-27-13 10:01 PM

Here is a little information for you... Hip people make fun of people who think the Mall is the cool place to be. The hipsters are catching the Blind Chitlin Kahoonas downtown, hittin GG2 and Otto's, and checking out Converge. But not everyone can be hip or even cool, so soldier on Preit patron.

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Capricorn1

Aug-27-13 9:36 PM

To be honest Bill, I really enjoy visiting downtown Lewisburg. Very nice. Downtown Williamsport isn't nearly as nice as it used to be. WalMart and the mall drove out all the nice stores.

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BillTriumph

Aug-27-13 7:51 PM

To each his own. Downtown Williamsport ain't Olive Garden, Ruby's or Red Lobster. It ain't the GAP, Macy's or Sears. It ain't TGIF or even Buffalo Wild Wings. It is 33 East, Old Corner, Ozie and Mae's, Brickyard, 3 Gringo's, Barrel 135, Bullfrog, and the James. It is not for everyone. Sorry for that.

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Capricorn1

Aug-27-13 2:14 PM

Maybe I'm missing something, but how much shopping can you even do downtown with the exception of Khols? I think there are more bars than shops. And I think you guys are kind of exaggerating when stating that we have many great locally owned restaurants. I think I've tried most of them and I would only qualify a handful as great. Joy Thai downtown is probably the best restaurant around and both The Urban Spoon and Yelp attest the same.

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mikekerstetter

Aug-27-13 1:52 PM

wwhickok"...as far as paying for parking, that's not going to change so the sooner we all get used to it, the sooner we can focus our complaints on something else"

BillTriumph-"Ah yes the old standby canard "parking downtown is too difficult". So putting a few quarters in a meter is going to break you? Hey there tightwad the parking is free after 6:00pm and all day on weekends! ... but the downtown parking is sooooo far away from "everything"."

Say what you want, but there are a lot of people who feel like I do. There are a lot of good restaurants that are not chains in a lot of other small towns and rural areas that have their own parking or close convenient parking. And until the sad parking situation changes in Williamsport I won't frequent the downtown establishments unless I have something else to do there.

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wwhickok

Aug-27-13 12:39 PM

On top of that, 3.1 Miles is quite an exaggeration.

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wwhickok

Aug-27-13 12:38 PM

Actually Bill, I almost never have to park more than 50 to 100 Feet from the mall entrance which really isn't that far. I park at Macy's almost every time, and it seems like that's not a very popular place to park, so I usually get very close to the entrance. Furthermore, it's seldom that the entire parking lot at the mall is even close to full.

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BillTriumph

Aug-27-13 8:08 AM

Ah yes the old standby canard "parking downtown is too difficult". So putting a few quarters in a meter is going to break you? Hey there tightwad the parking is free after 6:00pm and all day on weekends! You jockey at the Mall to park as close as possible to a store entrance (which is never "that" close and have to endure the car parked next too you slamming their door into yours, and then walk 3.1 miles traversing the Mall shop to shop... but the downtown parking is sooooo far away from "everything".

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wwhickok

Aug-27-13 6:58 AM

@Enigma, very valid points.

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wwhickok

Aug-27-13 6:56 AM

-continued-

area some revenue? Very few shops/stores, etc have their own parking lot downtown, Khols and Wegmans are two of the very few and those are extreme exceptions. That is the primary reason most of us would rather go to the Golden Strip or the Mall.

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wwhickok

Aug-27-13 6:54 AM

First of all, about the parking, do we need more convenient parking? Yes of course we do? Do any of us want to pay for it? No, we don't. Now, here's the issue with not wanting to pay for parking, you're just going to have to get over it.

If you go to just about any city, guess what, you've got to pay for parking unless you're parking on a residential street in most cases. So that's not something that is going to change. I'm sick of watching the parking costs continue to rise, but as far as paying for parking, that's not going to change so the sooner we all get used to it, the sooner we can focus our complaints on something else, though I am with you on not wanting to pay to park in parking garages. But, having said that, they need A LOT more parking downtown. Very few people want to park 5 blocks away from a store they want to shop in, nor should we have to. All these 'parking lots' are tied up in 'permit parking', well what about the rest of us who want to give the downtown

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BillTriumph

Aug-26-13 8:36 PM

Seriously? Who needs another cookie cutter frozen entre overpriced plastic food franchise outlet? The creative fresh prepared foods of downtown eateries is way more tasty and honest... And those downtown places are a lot more fun, the people are real and the atmosphere doesn't need some dopey phony decor. Let the franchise gulch be at the Mall or Golden Strip you won't find me waiting in line at any of them only to be disappointed.

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enigma

Aug-26-13 2:44 PM

Wes, There is one big problem with your idea about dealing with blighted properties. Nobody wants them! If some developer wanted to build there, do you really think they couldn't buy them from the current owner(s)? The problem is one of supply and demand. There is a lot more property than there are people who want it. It will stay that way until the economic environment here changes. I don't know a lot about the highly publicized blighted properties, but if they are hazardous, the city can condemn them and if the taxes are not paid they can be forfeited and auctioned, but none of that will help if no one has a use for them.

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mikekerstetter

Aug-26-13 2:00 PM

There is no need for more restaurants downtown. There's so many that it would take quite a while to try them all and I've heard good things about all of them. But, as I said, the biggest thing that keeps me out of downtown Williamsport is the lack of convenient parking. I don't want to drive around the block (or several blocks) a parking spot and I don't want to pay for parking. If Williamsport and it's Merchants want to bring in outside people to spend money in their establishments they need to address the parking problem.

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JerryfromRI

Aug-26-13 12:46 PM

Jack and Sarah's also my favorite breakfast restaurant.

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wwhickok

Aug-26-13 12:30 PM

-continued-

with something that is going to SUPPLY Jobs. I used to work at Shopvac and I can tell you first hand over the last few years they have permenantly laid off hundreds of people, the majority of that factory is now empty in terms of employees. Maybe 1/4 of the employees that used to work there, now work there. Another part of the problem is that all the available "Industrial" property is being purchased by the Gas Industries, thus disallowing any potential Industrial manufacturing businesses from having options here in Williamsport. Honestly, the Gas Industry in this way, is having a very negative effect on our city.

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wwhickok

Aug-26-13 12:27 PM

You're right Enigma that's not what I want, nor is it what I mean to say.

What I mean is, I think 'control' should be taken when doing anything with blighted properties, buildings that have sat empty for long periods of time, and planning when it comes to the usage of open land.

There isn't any reason, imo, the city couldn't 'temporarily take possession' of these properties, make them and sell the land to developers, auction it off if you will for city revenue. People who would then be able to control the property, maintain the property, and find buyers, businesses, that desire that property.

I don't pretend to know how all this works, my point is, that there's a lot of old, run down buildings and houses that I think could be replaced with something better.

On top of that, if we get one more freakin' Sheetz in the area I might just lose my mind.

Industry, you're absolutely right Enigma. Frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing an Industry buy out Shopvac and replace it

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SteelerFan

Aug-26-13 11:13 AM

Back in the 70's Williamsport had the choice to have the Mall locally and the Council and local heavyweights (Stearns's etc) didn't want it. We now have the results of that very bad decision.

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spike2

Aug-26-13 10:26 AM

Downtown has plenty of restaurants. many are very good. The Strip is Loyalsock Township not the city. The Mall is not Williamsport. Muncy has Orlie's,a very good restaurant. The parent company makes decisions unless a restaurant is a private business. We have a ton of chain restaurants. I would like to have a WaWa rather than our numerous mini-marts and Sheetz.

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enigma

Aug-26-13 9:12 AM

Wes, Slow down and think about what you're saying. It sounds like you want the city government to control the economy. That sounds a lot like Communism and I'm sure that's not what you want. Government should have a very limited role in the economy; ideally no role. If Puffs owns the property and wants to stay there, that's their right and your opinion about what should be there means nothing. Private property and free markets are what made this country great and turning control over to the government has proven to be bad for everyone. Government's role in this needs to be limited to zoning and promoting the area as a good place to do business. The occasional tax incentive for very desirable businesses could also help.

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enigma

Aug-26-13 9:01 AM

Mr. Johns and others here miss the big picture. Retail and service businesses go where the money is. It you want them in Williamsport you have to have money. The only way to do that is to attract industry. We need industries that pay a good wage so that people in Williamsport have money to spend. That will bring all kinds of chain stores and restaurants in. I have nothing against Kohls, but spending taxpayer money to bring them here was a huge mistake. It did nothing to help the economy. Production brings money in, consumption sends money out. Government should never bribe someone to take money out of the area, and that's what retail does.

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