Main Streets hears update on borough Iron Works plans
Main Streets President Kimberly Brubaker held the organization’s first meeting of 2017 at the Willow Grove Grill.
“We wanted to keep a commitment we made to have quarterly meetings where we invite all the members and network,” she said. “With so much happening to the downtown, it is good that we can get together.”
According to Brubaker, there have been several problems and misconceptions about what will happen with the Iron Works site and the plan to convert Front Street from one-way to two-way traffic.
Catasauqua Borough Councilwoman Christine Weaver gave a brief overview at the March 1 meeting, speaking to the Main Streets business owners about the anticipated changes.
“We have restricted some of the parking during the construction, but there will be parking on both sides of the street once Front Street is two way,” she said. “I know many of you have concerns that parking problems will drive away customers. We are working with alternatives to be sure we can have enough parking.”
David Molony, who owns the Lehigh Valley Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, wants to see parking closer to his office.
“We have people with health issues that can’t walk from the parking lot,” he said.
He suggested including some type of handicapped space in the temporary parking plan.
Weaver will take it under consideration. She said parking is contemplated near the municipal building and developers bidding for Iron Works development are encouraged to propose plans with parking spaces.
As a special guest, Main Streets invited Joyce Marin, executive director of RenewLV, to present some inspiration.
Marin offered ideas for improving downtown Catasauqua, perhaps creating a funky town atmosphere.
“We need things in town that want to make this different and a place people want to come to see,” she said. “People are looking at Catasauqua. All your work has piqued interest. The opportunity is great.”
Ideas flowed on what Catasauqua needs. The list ranged from brewpubs and coffee shops to raised crosswalks and sidewalk dining.
Marin wanted to see more flowers planted.
“Any town looks brighter with flowers,” she said. “Simple things attract and give visitors a good feeling about your town.”
One very important thing, according to Marin, is to be open to different ideas.
Marin was instrumental in developing a unique atmosphere in Emmaus.
“We wanted sidewalk dining,” she said. “We persuaded council to throw out the rules. If a restaurant wanted outdoor dining, owners just dragged a table and chairs out.”
This quarterly Main Streets meeting was sponsored by CoreXell, a fitness training center dedicated to athletes who want to improve their performance. Tyler Marx and Zach Fuller run the center.
“We have about 160 athletes that train with us,” Marx said.