Neshaminy Mall Under Renovation

Posted: May 01, 1995

After several years of planning, a multimillion-dollar facelift is underway at the Neshaminy Mall.

When completed by late fall, the 25-year-old mall on Route 1 in Trevose will be lighter and brighter and will feature an array of new stores - including a new anchor - and an expanded food court, according to Fran Pollack, marketing manager.

Boscov's, the Reading-based chain with a store in Levittown, will open a 185,000-square-foot, two-level department store in the former Bon-Ton Store, which has been empty for about a year. It will join Strawbridge & Clothier and Sears as anchors and will bring the mall's merchandising space to more than one million square feet.

Pollack said the renovations are being done also to make shopping more convenient and comfortable. Automatic doors, skylights, and more seating throughout the mall will be among the improvements.

In 1990, the center was bought by the Homart Development Co., Chicago, which immediately began planning the upgrade.

Pollack called the renovations "unusual" in the sense that the mall is now 95 percent leased. "It's not being done to solve problems, just to bring things up to date.

Floor tiles, replaced by the mall's former owner in 1988, are being ripped up again. Lighter-colored ones will be used to add to the brightness. Signs also are being improved.

The giant totem pole - the first thing drivers see as they approach the mall on Route 1 - will not be replaced.

"It's a landmark," Pollack said. "It might get a facelift, but there are no plans for it otherwise."

When Bath & Body Works opens next month, it will join several recently added retail shops - including Limited Express, Victoria's Secret and Structure.

Several tenants, including Modell's Sporting Goods, Edco Men's Wear and Autumn Hill Furniture, are expanding or remodeling.

David Filippone, mall general manager for more than 20 years, said the mall has "great customer loyalty."

SMALL-BUSINESS PLANNING

* There are many ways to get into business. And whether you want to buy one or form one or even get rid of one, you can get some tips at the "ABCs of Small Business Owner Planning" seminar on Friday.

Sponsored by the North Penn Chamber of Commerce, the seminar will be led by

financial planner Jan R. Carr, who specializes in small and individual business planning.

The session will take place at the chamber, 515 Stump Rd., Montgomeryville,

from 8 to 9:30 a.m. The cost is $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers. 215-362-9200.

STILL INFLUENTIAL

He wrote about winning friends.

Now, the CEO of his namesake, Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc., will continue the tradition with a satellite seminar tomorrow about surviving and thriving in today's business environment.

The broadcast, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Carnegie & Associates, will cover everything from identifying leadership skills to coping with stress - while strengthening family relationships.

It will begin at 12:30 p.m., followed by a discussion from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Science Center Building (main auditorium) of Montgomery County Community

College. The cost is $35 for chamber members; $50 for nonmembers. Call the North Penn Chamber for reservation at 215-362-9200.

MARKETING BASICS OFFERED

* Got a piece of the action?

If not, you can learn how to get one at the U.S. Small Business Administration seminar titled, well, "How to Get a Piece of the Action."

According to the SBA, this is an opportunity for "socially and economically disadvantaged individuals" to learn - free of charge - marketing basics, from defining potential and target markets to deciding what marketing materials to use.

Presented by consultants from Fort Washington-based JACA Corporation, it takes place tomorrow, at the King of Prussia Holiday Inn, 260 Mall Blvd. Call 215-643-5466 to register.

SUPERINTENDENT TO SPEAK

* The Upper Merion Business and Professional Women's Club will present Laura Michener, Upper Merion School District superintendent, who will speak tomorrow on "Teaching Moral Values in Our Education System Today."

It begins with dinner at 6 p.m. at the King of Prussia Holiday Inn, 260 Mall Blvd. The cost is $15. For information, call 610-834-1665.

AWARDS

* Bedrooms and birdies.

That's what the swank new PineCrest Golf Club and Residential Community got an award for bringing together.

Home buyers at the 165-acre Montgomery Township development get an easy stroll from living room to fairway while helping the community keep space open - 75 percent of the site is guaranteed by covenant to remain as open space.

The Montgomery County Planning Commission gave its Planning Merit Award to developer the Klein Co. and its design consultants last month for mixing open space preservation with developing housing and recreation.

THE LEARNING TRAIL

* Jumpstart Your Business Now is the latest seminar offered by Earl L. Sigmund, certified public accountant, at his new Business Learning and Job Counseling Center at the First Valley Bank Building, 6 East Trenton Ave., Morrisville.

Since 1989, hundreds of individuals have attended Sigmund's seminars, which provide new, prospective, and established small business owners with financial and management tools to start or stimulate their business and keep it on the right track. For a complete list of seminars, schedule of dates and fees, call 215-736-3156.

* "Drugs & Alcohol in the Workplace" will be the topic of discussion on May 9, at the next regular monthly meeting of the Pennridge Chamber of Commerce.

Greg Smith, an addiction technician from the Penn Foundation, Sellersville, will discuss the problems presented when drugs and alcohol are mixed with work. The breakfast meeting is set for 8 a.m. at Sellersville Family Restaurant, Main Street. A breakfast buffet will precede Smith's presentation which is at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $10 a person. Reservations and further information, call 215-257-5390.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

* The First National Bank and Trust Co. of Newtown has established a first- time home buyers program, committing $1 million in the first year, said Don Leidy, a vice president and senior mortgage officer.

Designed to address several obstacles facing the low- to moderate-income home buyer, the program minimizes monthly payments, down payments and settlement costs.

Mortgages will apply to homes in the bank's service area that cost $118,000 or less. Applicants must live or work in Bucks County and must not have owned a home within the last three years.

For more information, contact Jeff Carter at 215-968-4203.

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