By Evan Brandt, The Mercury
Peggy Lee-Clark believes that “Pottstown is on the verge.”
As a former member of the board of the Pottstown Area Industrial Development Corp. and its newly hired executive director, she is in a position to know.
As head of the separate, non-profit entity, Lee-Clark now holds the post of the borough’s top economic development officer, separate from the borough but working in partnership.
“Great things are going to happen, but we’ll get there faster once people stop believing the value of some properties is more than it is at this point,” she said.
“We have some architectural gems in Pottstown, but many of them require a lot of work to bring them up to modern standards and investors have to understand that if a new business has to invest too much in the building, it won’t have enough capital to be successful,” Lee-Clark said.
At the same time, developers “can’t be wed to one idea, they have to be fluid as conditions, both market conditions and the conditions on the ground, change.”
Pottstown’s greatest asset, Lee-Clark said, “is its diversity of available properties. This is not a one-size-fits-all community,” she said.
“We have spaces in a traditional downtown setting, we have office and industrial park properties on the Circle of Progress and we have older industrial properties waiting to be re-imagined,” Lee-Clark said.
One of her favorite’s in this category is the former Prince’s Bakery building at 113 S. Washington St.
At the June 20 joint meeting of Pottstown Borough Council and the Pottstown School Board, Lee-Clark said the building, vacant for many years now, is under agreement of sale, with closing expected to occur sometime in July.
PAID is developing, coordinating and implementing an economic development strategy that will stimulate investment and sustainable growth.