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Old 07-31-2019, 11:31 AM
 
15 posts, read 7,460 times
Reputation: 34

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Hi i'm a longtime lurker but first time poster. I am not from Norristown but have spent extensive time there and think it is one of the most interesting places in the Philadelphia area.

Conshohocken is directly south and has completely turned around as a destination to be. I imagine some of the vitality of main street Norristown has been sucked by King of Prussia and the mall. Do you guys seeing the prosperity of Conshohocken and King of Prussia spreading over to Norristown?

While Norristown has seen better days it has amazing bones. Access to a regional rail line, the Highspeed Line, many busses, the river trail, and various highways. Most of the rowhomes, especially in West Norristown, while they might not be in the best conditions if restored to their original condition would be stunning (similar to the most beautiful parts of West Philly). Main Street around the courthouse really could use some help but Marshall Street is thriving as a center of Mexican/Central American culture and shops that rivals parts of South Philly. The school district isnt the best but it also isn't the worst, according to friends who have been to both Philly district and Norristown. Park access is unbeatable with the river trail and the farm park among other small ones.

Not to mention that according to city data and personal stories crime has really drop across the boards over the past ten years. At the same time the population has really grown, almost reaching peak again. Much of the new residents are immigrants from Mexico and Central America and there definitely is a very strong community that strengthens the city as a whole. Personally i'm a big advocate of Norristown's future and I'm curious what everyone else thinks
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:03 PM
 
208 posts, read 125,080 times
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In my experience, Norristown is a good deal better than a lot of people think it is, but you're right in that's not a "destination" in the way the other neighboring county seats (Media, Doylestown, West Chester) are. It's the most bedraggled of the bunch, which is especially curious considering the amount of wealth and industry in Montgomery County.

I'm not as well versed in its history as others are, so I can't speak at length about why Norristown is the way it is, but I do believe you're right that King of Prussia probably played a pretty big role in the decline of their local economy. I have to think that as main streets bounce back and more people are seeking urban-type environments, Norristown has to have a true resurgence at some point.
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
226 posts, read 68,029 times
Reputation: 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfish1 View Post
Hi i'm a longtime lurker but first time poster. I am not from Norristown but have spent extensive time there and think it is one of the most interesting places in the Philadelphia area.

Conshohocken is directly south and has completely turned around as a destination to be. I imagine some of the vitality of main street Norristown has been sucked by King of Prussia and the mall. Do you guys seeing the prosperity of Conshohocken and King of Prussia spreading over to Norristown?

While Norristown has seen better days it has amazing bones. Access to a regional rail line, the Highspeed Line, many busses, the river trail, and various highways. Most of the rowhomes, especially in West Norristown, while they might not be in the best conditions if restored to their original condition would be stunning (similar to the most beautiful parts of West Philly). Main Street around the courthouse really could use some help but Marshall Street is thriving as a center of Mexican/Central American culture and shops that rivals parts of South Philly. The school district isnt the best but it also isn't the worst, according to friends who have been to both Philly district and Norristown. Park access is unbeatable with the river trail and the farm park among other small ones.

Not to mention that according to city data and personal stories crime has really drop across the boards over the past ten years. At the same time the population has really grown, almost reaching peak again. Much of the new residents are immigrants from Mexico and Central America and there definitely is a very strong community that strengthens the city as a whole. Personally i'm a big advocate of Norristown's future and I'm curious what everyone else thinks
I live in Conshohocken. My impression is that Norristown has seen better days but there is potential, given the high speed rail, riverfront access and highway access. But the other county seats (Media, West Chester, Doylestown) are much nicer.

I've driven through parts of town mostly on the East side and have not seen anything that looks scary. There is a distinct ethnic feel to the parts I've seen which I do like. As you said, the crime rate had fallen very sharply in the past decade and to me is a non-issue.

Still, the Main St. area is bleak and needs serious reinvestment. And that kind of investment is more likely with strong school scores. Hard to say whether KOP and Conshy will rub off here or whether it will be the riverfront stepsister like Bridgeport is on the opposite side of the river.

Either way, those tomato pies at Corropolese are enough to keep me coming back every week or so...
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:56 PM
 
15 posts, read 7,460 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireshaker View Post
In my experience, Norristown is a good deal better than a lot of people think it is, but you're right in that's not a "destination" in the way the other neighboring county seats (Media, Doylestown, West Chester) are...I have to think that as main streets bounce back and more people are seeking urban-type environments, Norristown has to have a true resurgence at some point.
I agree completely. I think Norristown has a stigma attached to it and I have met people who don't know much about it and mention it along with places like Camden, Trenton, and Chester when it really is not in that category. Overall I think that main street is really the biggest thing holding Norristown back. Especially for night life, the people I know there will either go to Pheonixville, Conshohocken, or Manayunk. The only place i've been to that has been fun has been La Poblanita but I image it wouldn't be that fun if you didn't speak Spanish.
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:58 PM
 
15 posts, read 7,460 times
Reputation: 34
Also one of the biggest intersections in the city Main and Dekalb has two large vacant lots like Washington and Broad used to be, which certainly doesn't help
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,551 posts, read 2,711,899 times
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The years haven't been kind to Norristown, true, but I too think it gets a bum rap and has loads of potential.

It still puzzles me, though, why anyone considers it on par with Camden or Chester.
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Old 08-01-2019, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Plymouth Meeting, PA.
4,242 posts, read 2,150,165 times
Reputation: 2014
the ethnic feel is probably around the area when you go west crossing the high speed line tracks on markley avenue. alot of mexican families there. I would say the scary parts are mostly right around the immediate area of the court house. PArts of East and West Norriton are very nice. Norristown does have potential.




Quote:
Originally Posted by TownDweller View Post
I live in Conshohocken. My impression is that Norristown has seen better days but there is potential, given the high speed rail, riverfront access and highway access. But the other county seats (Media, West Chester, Doylestown) are much nicer.

I've driven through parts of town mostly on the East side and have not seen anything that looks scary. There is a distinct ethnic feel to the parts I've seen which I do like. As you said, the crime rate had fallen very sharply in the past decade and to me is a non-issue.

Still, the Main St. area is bleak and needs serious reinvestment. And that kind of investment is more likely with strong school scores. Hard to say whether KOP and Conshy will rub off here or whether it will be the riverfront stepsister like Bridgeport is on the opposite side of the river.

Either way, those tomato pies at Corropolese are enough to keep me coming back every week or so...
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:10 AM
 
557 posts, read 404,006 times
Reputation: 533
Honestly, I think Norristown is just in a bad location for a potential resurgence. I personally really like the town as it has cool history and the structures and style to reflect this. Unfortunately, there are a lot of options around there, and from what I've encountered, anyone who wants to live that far removed from the city usually picks one of expanding suburbs with new construction and amenities over older housing stock and antiquated city design. King of Prussia, for one example, is literally building a little village that looks like it might turn into a decent-sized village in the not-too-distant future. Blue Bell, Plymouth Whitemarsh, Conshy, etc... all surround Norristown. Norristown is an older urban town in a location where people are actively looking to avoid the city-feel and live in true suburbia.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:11 AM
 
50,063 posts, read 46,616,129 times
Reputation: 15795
I know of Norristown because of this guy:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQhH6yZ8lxw
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Old 08-01-2019, 03:10 PM
 
1,382 posts, read 1,307,557 times
Reputation: 695
Norristown seems very mixed depending on which section you live in. Bridgeport is interesting because it certainly gets affected from Norristown's prospects, yet is also part of Upper Merion School district.
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