Economic development happens one business, one residence, one brick at a time.
That’s the report Stephen Barth of Barth Consulting Group in New Britain Township made to Perkasie Borough Council at a regular business meeting Feb. 4.
Barth is the borough’s economic development consultant.
He said three components in equal parts were needed for a community to flourish: a healthy and vibrant downtown, a growing housing sector and a robust business and industrial sector.
According to Barth, Perkasie has all three.
“With millions of new revenue, the community is blooming,” Barth said.
Real estate transfer taxes, which measure the health of the housing markets, are significantly up over 2012, and they continue to rise.
“In 2012 we averaged about $100,000 in real estate transfer taxes per year. For the past two years we’re close to $300,000 per year, or three times that amount,” Barth said.
He credits new housing starts and development along with reduced costs to build in Perkasie. About three years ago, Borough Council voted to reduce impact and permit fees. Barth said that decision has been steadily yielding fruit.
“In 2018, $128,894 in revenue was generated by reduced building permits and fees, “cut in half created to help developers invest in our community, and residents have been fixing their homes as well,” Barth said.
Barth said 2019 looked strong, as new businesses are slated to open, begin or complete construction.
Those include three large business ventures, as well as several small and mid size ones:
Among the large ventures are:
- The Ram Pub, at 606 W. Chestnut St. (adjacent to Town Hall, Perkasie’s administrative offices), by developer and restaurateur Joe Wade. It will feature three dining levels with space for private parties and business functions on all four levels, as well as rooftop dining.
Wade, who also owns the Jamison Pour House in Jamison and The Station Tap House in Doylestown said “everyone’s been waiting a long time for this. We want people to say, meet me at The Ram,” Wade said.
- Nourish Kitchen & Catering located at 619 W. Market St. Owned and operated by partners Christine Hawkins and Alicia DeMarco, the pair features locally sourced produce, catering, retail and home meal delivery options.
- EFE Laboratories Inc. is a contract engineering and manufacturing company that will re-locate its business from Horsham to at 700 W. Park Ave. the former Secant property and facility. EFE will add roughly 70 new jobs to Perkasie by the end of 2019. CEO and President Kip Anthony plans to relocate another business, ETS Electro-Tech Systems, Inc., to Perkasie from Glenside. Anthony purchased the 30,000-square-foot Secant Medical Inc., property and will redevelop it to house his two businesses.
“I’d like to create a technology center and incubate other companies and mentor and grow them, with the idea of them becoming seed tenants,” Anthony said.
- Free Will Brewing Co. plans to expand.
- The Perk, a restaurant with live entertainment, plans to expand.
- Pennridge Airport property and industrial complex.
- Richlandtown Mill has transferred to new ownership.
Barth said rebranding of Perkasie Towne Improvement Association was under way.
“Some of our other large businesses outgrew the borough. We expect five new restaurants to open in Perkasie. This year, I want efforts spent in growing the economy,” Barth said.