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Business Development Planned for Vacant Space on Route 61 Near Cressona Mall

Up to 5 new businesses shown on project renderings.

Shoppes at Schuylkill business development planned near Cressona Mall on Route 61 outside Pottsville.

Many have wondered recently what’s happening with the vacant space on Route 61 near Cressona Mall.

This massive space was previously home to the Machs Gut Beer Barn, the burned out Days Inn hotel and some classic businesses like The Alley and Dusselfink.

In the last few months, crews have been grooming and backfilling that land. All buildings that were once on space there are gone. And some signs have gone up indicating there’s some potential future activity there.

Oddly, that sign for the Chinese food buffet – which really wasn’t open that long – still stands.

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While we still wait to hear back from several companies involved in this project, we do know – at least we have an idea – what’s happening at this location in North Manheim Township.

Bennett Williams Commercial appears to be the real estate brokerage firm assigned as the leasing agent on this 8.5-acre open space between Pottsville and Schuylkill Haven.

This was posted by @bennettwilliams on X on Dec. 15, 2023.

The project is being called Shoppes at Schuylkill. And according to a website advertising for leasing opportunities to businesses, there are 3 plots currently being marketed:

  • 21,700 sq. ft.
  • 19,650 sq. ft.
  • 7,450 sq. ft.

These spaces, according to a site plan map on the project brochure, are situated away from the highway. Two smaller spaces are shown along Route 61 South.

A rendering of the proposed development shows 5 potential spaces being occupied. These prospective buildings would be situated between the Sands Ford dealership and the Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania office on the site of the former Aldi grocery store.

“The Shoppes at Schuylkill features a unique opportunity for any retailer looking to enter the Schuylkill County retail market,” reads some promotional material on the project website.

It appears Bennett Williams is marketing this project to retail and professional businesses. The site says, “This development is ideal for a multitude of uses, including but not limited to retail, hospitality, medical, office, convenience and more.”

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The Shoppes at Schuylkill project is proposed on land owned by MBC Carlisle Group LP.

According to property records, MBC Carlise Group completed purchases of this land in May 2023.

You can view the Shoppes at Schuylkill brochure here: Shoppes-at-Schuylkill-Brochure

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Stephen Zuk

    February 28, 2024 at 5:43 pm

    What is happening is the vagabond campsite that is located on Miller Brothers Cormpamy, MBC, is home to theives, drug addicts, discharges open sewer into the river occurs daily, has daily toxic garbage and tire fires, trash such as used hyperdermic needles are being thrown into the river, amomng other code and zoning violations occuring on site. MBC, Schuylkill County Commishinors, North Manheim Townshio Officials are all aware of such occurances, yet do nothing, nor are they concerned that the toxic smoke emmitted from their properties causing burning eyes and throats. Neighby residents are forced to shelter inside their homes.
    Whoever purchases or rents the propertity should be aware that the vagabond encampment, of10 -30 residents, whom are the scum of scum (only scum lower is the property owner who endorses such ongoings) come as a package deal with the property.

    • JYB

      April 7, 2024 at 11:41 am

      They cleared the encampment not long ago and not all homeless people are criminals and with the area building up more and more the cost to live in the area is also going to increase houses will be higher, rents will be higher most likely leading to increased homelessness and traffic will also increase. I have seen it happen a few times the area will basically be gentrified in the next 20 years.

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