July 26, 2015 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. There is more than a hint of change in Norristown's real estate market. It can be very subtle, like a sprinkle of cinnamon on a cappuccino at Jus' Java on Main Street. It can be loud, like the arrival of the 7:27 a.m. Manayunk-Norristown train, or construction on the Lafayette Street corridor that will, by 2020, finally link the community with the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Norristown, the borough urges, is "Where You Belong," and developers and real estate agents say it is committed to making that happen after decades of neglect and false starts.
July 20, 2015 |
Three years after the fact, Sarah Peck still expresses some surprise that Arbor Heights, her first venture into the long-neglected Norristown real estate market, was as successful as it turned out. Built in 2011-12, the 12 townhouses at DeKalb and Elm Streets - a block shy of an area once known as Millionaires Row and a few blocks from the Montgomery County Courthouse - sold about as fast as they were completed, she said. In a real estate market where average prices often struggle to get above $120,000, Arbor Heights' townhouses easily averaged $135,000, and the one resale since was $20,000 higher than that, she said.
July 6, 2015 |
When Kristen Breslin faces an obstacle, she turns it into an opportunity - not the easy way out. Midway through the Great Recession, she could feel the end of the road for her job at an auto-parts store looming, and decided it was time to build a new skill set and move on. "I was like, 'You know what? No one is ever going to pay me to punch buttons on a computer,' " the Norristown woman recounted in her a matter-of-fact way. She'd been part of what many consider "a man's world" working at the parts counter; it took her some time to build rapport with her mechanic and gearhead customers.
July 6, 2015 |
Philadelphia police have arrested a man in Monday's slaying of an elderly woman from East Mount Airy, officials announced Saturday. In a news conference at police headquarters, Capt. James Clark, commanding officer of the homicide unit, identified the suspect as Leroy Wilson, 37, who was arrested early Saturday morning in Norristown. Clark said Wilson lived at the homes of girlfriends in Norristown and North Philadelphia. Regina Brunner Holmes, 85, was found Monday in her East Mount Airy home, beaten, stabbed, and with her throat slashed.
July 4, 2015 |
As the congregation of Ebenezer Methodist Church cheered through a rousing 175th anniversary sermon Sunday, members of an even older church a half-mile away were bowing their heads in prayer for the last time. St. John's Episcopal Church, Norristown's oldest place of worship, dating to 1812, marked its final service Sunday. Unlike many Montgomery County towns whose identities are entwined with their founding denominations - Quaker in Lower Merion, Mennonite in Harleysville, Swedenborgian in Bryn Athyn - Norristown's identity is rooted in ethnic and religious diversity.
June 20, 2015 |
A Norristown neighborhood is to be awash in music, splashing, cheers, and laughter Saturday as the historic George Washington Carver Community Center pool is resurrected. Once the party is over, however, organizers will resume the tough slog of rebranding, raising money, and proving to the community that the center can be self-sustaining for years to come. "We have to get through this season, and we have to validate whether or not the community really wants these types of programs," said the Rev. Byron Craig, who leads the new board of directors, installed in October.
May 26, 2015 |
Terry Newton does not usually trust police officers. But after his 28-year-old son was shot and killed in Norristown last month, he found comfort at an unexpected place: the police station. Norristown police Chief Mark Talbot stood among Newton's family. He expressed sympathy for the death of Keithon Majors. He made eye contact. He answered questions. "It was almost like I was in his living room," Newton said. That approach is typical for Talbot. In his first 18 months on the job, the chief has worked to transform his department and overcome what borough officials called a long-standing lack of trust between residents and police.
May 14, 2015 |
Ruth H. Loudon, 97, of Norristown, a banker so successful that she was coaxed out of retirement at age 74 to help build a local business, died Thursday, May 7, at home. Mrs. Loudon had put in a normal five-hour day Thursday at Systems Solution Inc. in King of Prussia, where she began work in 1992 after a long career in banking. She was found reclining in her favorite chair. Her death was due to heart failure. Mrs. Loudon's assignment at Systems Solution was to apply her years of experience, old-school work ethic, and patience to the task of expanding the business from just four workers to a company with 70 employees operating in a multitude of states.
May 10, 2015 |
From the street, Bob Shoudt's home looks like any other in his King of Prussia neighborhood. The red brick and white siding is like his neighbors', and flower beds surround the walkway. The front door squeaks when it opens, and there is a staircase in the kitchen that leads to a basement. Therein lies what makes the home unique - the gathered fruit of a 51-year coaching career. Cases and shelves, featuring dozens of autographed baseballs, signed football helmets and track & field medals, cover the wall farthest from the stairs.
May 1, 2015 |
Earlier this week, at a party in New York to celebrate her book Whatever . . . Love Is Love , Norristown-born actress Maria Bello watched as her father had celebrity chef Mario Batali put salami directly into his mouth. "My dad was definitely the king," Bello said with pride. Bello's memories of her father, though, did not always elicit such pride. The third chapter of her book begins as Bello recalls asking her father, "Dad, do you remember when you chased us through the backyard with a gun?"