From new apartments being approved to restaurants reopening and ready to serve, here’s a look at what’s happening with businesses in your neighborhood.
DUTCH SPRINGS: 4733 Hanoverville Road, Lower Nazareth Township
The quarry lake and surrounding land that was home to an aqua park and diving venue finally has new owners. Warehouse developer Trammell Crow Co. paid $16.1 million for the acreage in Lower Nazareth and Bethlehem townships. That transaction, more than a year in the making, paves the way for the construction of two warehouses, each close to 300,000 square feet.
The 50-acre quarry lake will open again under the leadership of Ken Kraft and Jim Folk, two local scuba divers. No opening date has been set so far for diving. The water park will not reopen.
Trammell Crow, a division of CBRE Group Inc., bought the property from Recreational Concepts, a company led by Stuart Schooley and Janes Wells-Schooley.
Recreational Concepts paid $97,662 in 1980 for the old mine that became a regional water park, considered by many residents to be a gem of the Lehigh Valley. Get the full story.
NEUWEILER LOFTS: 401 N. Front St., Allentown
The redevelopment of the old Neuweiler & Son Brewery along the Lehigh River won city approval Tuesday.
Manhattan Building Co. plans to convert the site into 282 apartments covering more than 324,000 square feet, and 38,000 square feet of retail space with 370 parking spaces.
The seven-story building as proposed will have a café bar, conference room, gym, lounge and swimming pool.
Much of the brewery will be demolished, but the Neuweiler tower will remain. Neuweiler’s was built in 1913 and closed in 1968 as national beer brands took over the market. That trend has since reversed, with the growth of the craft beer movement. Read more here.
PA-ALLENTOWN-READING HOLISTIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, BERKS COUNTY, LEHIGH VALLEY AND REGION
A new chamber of commerce will link clients and practitioners of holistic practices, who use treatment methods outside of traditional Western medicine: reiki masters, nutritionists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and more.
President Alicia McBride said the chamber will help holistic businesses grow and provide a way for patients and practitioners to meet. The PA-Allentown-Reading branch is the first holistic chamber in Pennsylvania.
The organization was founded in California in 2012 and according to its website, has chapters in several states. The local chamber’s first meeting will be held via Zoom on July 21. Read more about the Chamber of Commerce.
AIR PRODUCTS AND CHEMICALS WAREHOUSES: 7201 Hamilton Blvd., Upper Macungie Township
Three big warehouses covering 2.61 million square feet in total won approval from the township’s Zoning Hearing Board, with some conditions attached. The gas and chemical company’s former campus became available for development when Air Products moved its offices a mile away last year.
Prologis Inc., which owns millions of square feet of warehouse space in the Lehigh Valley, will develop the site, using about one quarter of the 235-acre tract.
Residents complained about the warehouses adding more truck traffic to an already congested area, but the land is zoned for commercial use. The board listened to six hours of testimony over two hearings before voting Thursday. Read the latest here.
LIFESTYLE BARBER ACADEMY: 353 Northampton St., Easton
Fernando Cardenas has opened the barber academy off Center Square, providing a career option for “the next generation of barbers who are looking to begin a career and change their life while still enjoying their life and not breaking the bank.”
The academy trains new barbers who can then receive a Pennsylvania Barber’s License, according to the business’s website.
Lifestyle Barber Academy held its grand opening earlier this month, on conjunction with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
PA RYE COMPANY: 536-538 Hamilton St., Allentown
A new bar and restaurant featuring Rye whiskey will open downtown this summer. City Center Investment Corp., the development company led by J.B. Reilly, said it has leased space to Dan Gonazlez and Jesse Haik. PA Rye Co. will occupy 6,200 square feet, with a bar on the first floor and a restaurant on the second floor. They will also open a wine store.
In addition to various Rye whiskeys, with an emphasis on Pennsylvania brands, the new bar will have 16 beer taps, a seasonal cocktail list and a wine list. Small plates will be available for $10 through $18.
PA Rye Co. will open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The full story is here.
WOODMONT VALLEY: Route 100, Lower Macungie Township
The Township has cleared the way for a housing development on the site of an old Allen Organ showroom. The building on the 14-acre property will be demolished, making room for retail space and 120 residential units. Read the full story here.
STRATEGIC WEALTH ADVISORY: 1275 Glenlivet Drive, Upper Macungie Township
The wealth-advisory firm was acquired by Informed Family Financial Services, a Montgomery County-based business. Informed Family Financial has offices in Norristown and Pottstown, and now adds Strategic Wealth’s locations in Birdsboro, Berks County, and Upper Macungie in Lehigh County.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Earl Schultz and Shannon LaRose of Strategic Wealth will stay with the merged company, which will operate under the Informed Family Financial brand. Read the full scoop here.
WIZ KIDS 2: 4817 Freemansburg Ave., Bethlehem Township
The steak sandwich store reopened Friday. The Madison Farms Wiz Kids closed for renovations after an electrical fire in April. There are now two Wiz Kids again; the original location is on Elizabeth Avenue in Bethlehem.
MISSION AUTISM CLINICS, 1510 Valley Center Parkway, Hanover Township, Northampton County
A ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. Friday, July 22, and tours of the facility will be available during an event held with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. Mission Autism Clinics provides individualized therapy for children with autism.
CHAMPION 2.0 HAND CAR WASH: 250 Line St., Easton
The car wash will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 23. Champion provides cleaning, inside and out; waxing; scratch removal, and more services.
BELLA PIZZA II: 578 Chestnut St., Emmaus
Bella Pizza II is opening at the location of the now closed Joe’s Pizza II in Emmaus. Joe’s Pizza II closed July 17 and starting July 20, customers can order from Bella Pizza II, the owner tells 69 News.
The restaurant located at 578 Chestnut St. has been operated by the same family for 15 years. The current owner says the family is retiring.
The owner, Michael D’agostino, who has 45 years in the pizza restaurant business, tells 69 News a new family will operate the business and will begin serving the community on July 20 under the name Bella Pizza II.
The original Bella Pizza is located in Richland, Lebanon County.
The restaurant will be closed on July 18, 19 for cleaning and upgrades. Read more here.
MORGANTOWN LOGISTICS CENTER WAREHOUSE: Route 10 in Cumru Township
Developers of a proposed distribution center warehouse off Route 10 in Cumru Township took their plans directly to township residents Tuesday, but many who attended the open house seemed to challenge the idea or oppose it.
Hundreds of people, some with signs reading “No Route 10 Warehouse,” flowed in and out of Berks Nature Center for the three-hour event regarding the $80 million, 738,720-square-foot Morgantown Logistics Center warehouse.
There was no formal presentation, but a dozen placards gave details about the project. The project is proposed for 75.2 acres at Morgantown Road (State Route 10) and Freemansville Road.
New details included that the project represents a more-than-$115 million investment, creating 197 construction jobs and 300 jobs once operational, and annual tax revenues of more than $237,000 once a tax abatement program county commissioners approved for the project in March runs out.
A second hearing for the project is scheduled before the township Planning Commission at 6 p.m. Aug. 1. Read more here.
THE PYRAMID GYM: 230 Ochre St., Lehighton
The Pyramid gym in Lehighton, which called itself Carbon County’s largest fitness and sports club, has permanently closed.
It ended its decade-long run on July 1.
It’s not clear what led to the closing of the center, which offered yoga, cardio, strength, active senior workouts and such activities as youth baseball and soccer camps.
The Pyramid was closed from March 2020 until June 2020 because of COVID-19, during which time it suspended payments for memberships, then reopened with a smaller capacity.
The gym opened in May 2012 as Pyramid Sports Performance Center at the former Scotty’s Fashions clothing manufacturing facility.
The three-story, 53,000-square-foot former factory had a fitness center, several rooms with artificial turf for field sports and lines of batting cages and pitching tunnels. A multipurpose room lined with mats was used for Zumba, yoga and Pilates.
Owners said the closest comparable fitness centers were in the Lehigh Valley.
The website says anyone who paid membership past July 1 or anyone with leftover package credits or class passes should have gotten an email with refund information.
It says gift certificates “will be refunded based on certain criteria,” and directs holders to Spotts’ email at [email protected]. It says gift certificates from basket raffles or community events will not be honored. More details here.
LOKI & LAYLA CANDLE COMPANY: 301 S. Centre St., Pottsville
The Loki & Layla Candle Company in Pottsville, which combines candles, pet care and body care, opened with a ribbon-cutting Wednesday.
It’s in the former site of Needleplay Tattoo, Schuylkill County’s longest-running tattoo and body piercing studio.
Joe Barnes, who with his fiancée Ashley Michel, owns the store, makes all of the products and said new ones are added almost weekly. All candles are vegan/kosher and free of phthalates – chemicals used in most commercial soaps and shampoos. The candles come in more than 100 scents.
The business also donates $1 of every product sold is donated to charities, organized by the brand, to military families and friends, bat conservation, and a fund to help people with veterinary bills.
The store is open 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sundays. It’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Learn more here.
ST. LUKE’S HEALTH CENTER: 174 Harvest Lane, Pocono Summit
St. Luke’s Health Center at Pocono Summit is set to open next week.
The 17,500-square-foot center, at 174 Harvest Lane, provides comprehensive health care for families, including walk-in urgent care and lab services, primary care, orthopedics, physical therapy and pediatrics.
The Care Now walk-in urgent care center will open at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 18, and the other services will open over the course of the week.
Officials said the new center will offer services in spaces that are designed with patients in mind, with a spacious lobby, comfortable waiting areas, state-of-the-art technology and plenty of parking.
The health center opening comes only a few weeks after the recent opening of St. Luke’s Family Medicine-Tobyhanna, a primary care practice just 6.5 miles away in the Mountain Center.
The new health center also is just 14 miles from St. Luke’s Hospital’s Monroe campus in Stroud Township. That 180,000-square-foot medical center opened in October 2016, with an adjacent four-story 37,500-square-foot office building.
A four-story, 170,000-square-foot hospital expansion broke ground this spring and is scheduled to open in early 2024.
St. Luke’s said that with the new Pocono Summit Primary Care, families can establish relationships with a primary care provider for ongoing preventive care, routine care and care for acute and chronic health conditions. More details here.
VITO’S COAL FIRED PIZZA: 400 Terry Rich Blvd., St. Clair
Vito’s Coal Fired Pizza & Restaurant in St. Clair, has a newly expanded and remodeled bar area.
The restaurant, which was the first coal oven pizza place in the Schuylkill county area when it opened more than a dozen years ago, held a ribbon-cutting for the expansion on July 1.
Owners Vito and Kelly Valenti “decided to remodel to give their customers a fresh new experience … a new, modern look,” said Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce President Robert Carl Jr. “A fun place to dine and enjoy beverages of people’s choice.”
The expansion also created a larger seating area, which meant adding more jobs, Vito Valenti said.
“This restaurant is superbly successful,” Carl said.
NORRISTOWN BRICK: 741 Forrest Ave., Norristown
Outdoor Living Supply, a Minnesota-based company that sells landscape accessories, acquired the Montgomery County business for an undisclosed price.
Norristown Brick was founded in 1986 and sells masonry materials and “hardscaping,” the manmade features used in landscape architecture. Russell Lyons, owner and operator of Norristown Brick, will continue to lead the business.
Outdoor Living Supply said in a statement that it is expanding in the northeastern U.S.
Private equity firm Trilantic Capital Management L.P. has invested in Outdoor Living Supply. The full story is here.
RECOVERY CENTERS OF AMERICA: 49 E. Lancaster Ave., Malvern
The new mental health outpatient center will treat people both with and without a substance-use disorder, citing an immediate need for services across Pennsylvania, particularly for young adults. Recovery Centers of America also operates in Devon, near Malvern, but said the new office will allow it to serve more people.
Care is available in person, virtually, or in a hybrid format. Among the illnesses treated are bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and other mental issues including eating disorders.
WELLS FARGO: 125 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore
The bank branch in Ardmore is due to close, according to a federal bank regulator. Wells Fargo and other banks are closing branches as digital banking increases in popularity, although Wells Fargo recently opened a new Allentown branch.
CHRISTIANACARE: 1015 West Baltimore Pike, West Grove
ChristianaCare, a Delaware health care organization, said Wednesday that it has completed its purchase of the former Jennersville Hospital in West Grove.
ChristianaCare and Tower Health, which owned Jennersville Hospital, first announced an agreement of sale on June 14.
But opening services at the new ChristianaCare West Grove Campus will take some time, ChristianaCare said. The purchase included the hospital, which has been closed since Dec. 31, 2021, and Tower Health’s interest in two office buildings, plus an additional 24-acre parcel adjacent to the hospital. The purchase price was $8 million.
The acquisition did not include any personnel or practices that are currently operating.
ChristianaCare said that since the purchase was announced, its leaders have met with community leaders “to listen and learn.” Learn more here.
SMOOTHIE Q: 600 Heritage Dr Ste 106, Pottstown
Smoothie Q off of High Street, in the shopping center anchored by Parma Pizza, opened with a ribbon-cutting Tuesday. It sells healthy smoothies, acai bowls, a variety of Jamaican patties and coco bread.
Owners Frank and Heather Anderson said they moved to the area and wanted to offer the community health and wellness. The Andersons say they have made smoothies at home for more than 10 years as a couple, and Frank Anderson for more than 25 years.
The Andersons also said Smoothie Q “is committed to community service and giving back in means of feeding the hungry, families who need assistance due to disabilities, orphans and more.”
They said they hope to assist families in need in the area, and ask the community to patronize Smoothie Q and drop off names of local families in need into their recommendations box. It’s open to anyone, not just those in Pottstown.
At the end of the month when the funds are allocated, the Andersons will help feed four families in need by way of gift cards to their local grocery store.
Every Friday, Smoothie Q also will donate part of its proceeds among its community, Joni & Friends, and The Life House.
The business offers 14 kinds of smoothies, all with banana as an ingredient. In addition, it offers acai bowls; Jamaican beef, chicken, veggie and spinach patties; coco bread; and vitamin C and elderberry shots.
Smoothie Q is open 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday. It’s closed Sunday. Get the full scoop.
UNITY BANCORP.: 64 Old Highway 22, Clinton, New Jersey
The Hunterdon County-based bank was added to the Russell 2000, an index of publicly traded companies that measures the performance of small U.S. companies. Unity, which trades on the NASDAQ stock market under the ticker symbol UNTY, was added to the index June 27.
The bank has about $2.1 billion in assets and $1.8 billion in deposits. Unity has 19 branches in New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley. Read more here.
TOBY’S CUP: 857 Memorial Parkway (Route 22), Lopatcong Township
The hot-dog shack on the north side of Route 22 is due to reopen Aug. 13. A sign at the roughly 80-year-old roadside stand said Toby’s will be back after renovations.
Toby’s started as a hot-dog cart in Phillipsburg, according to the stand’s website, before moving to Lopatcong. The current owner is Dan Risis, who also owns The Phillipsburg Antique Mall at 340 Fleming Drive.
The hot-dog stand has served generations of Warren County residents and was a favorite of Lafayette College students making late-night “doggie” runs. The full scoop is here.
T-MOBILE: 1272 U.S. 22, Pohatcong Plaza, Pohatcong Township
The phone company has opened a new store at the shopping center just east of Phillipsburg on the south side of Route 22. T-Mobile is the surviving brand after a merger between that company and Sprint. The new store is part of T-Mobile’s move into small towns and rural communities.
The new store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.