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Old 01-16-2015, 10:19 AM
 
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I live in Collingswood now, and do love the town area. I wonder if we will ever get bored/tired of it though. A lot of the shops are uninteresting and have that run down look. The restaurant scene is awesome though….we always enjoy going out to eat in town. But when it comes to the other businesses…there really isn’t anything that really stands out. I feel like the town is just aching for something new and different. But, it does make me wonder how the area will progress over the years, especially since the Local Market went out of business in 3 weeks. Understand they had a wrong customer in mind. But it is of concern when thinking about new businesses here and how they will grow when major retail stores are a hop, skip or jump away by car. And I think the area does a poor job on marketing the businesses in general. But that is the business’ fault.

But I think a lot of people like the idea of having a town center, when I wonder how many people really take advantage of it AND support it who live in that said town. I work with someone who lives in Haddonfield and she has said that they barely ever walk up to Kings Highway. We also barely walk up to town during the winter ourselves. I think it’s more people want to feel like they are part of a community vs. what shopping/restaurants are available in their walkable town. Cherry Hill has swim clubs in almost all of the developments, that really leaves the door open to becoming friends with your neighbors. So really you can find that sense of community in any area.

Agree with the poster that said Haddon Township is very insular. Collingswood is similar. I think Haddonfield, HT, and even parts of Collingswood all have that air of snottiness. Living in a town that has a town center really does not equate to friendliness or warmth. A lot of people assume that it does. Don’t get me wrong, we have met some friendly people…but just have been surprised how closed off other people have been as well.

Also, as far as the school district for Collingswood…we have been monitoring it closely (we have a baby at home), and have decided that we will probably be moving before she is in preschool or kindergarden. The schools only seem to be getting worse (not better). But you never know…a lot can change.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJhighlands87 View Post
I'll disagree with this a bit. I currently live in Westmont now and it doesn't strike me as particularly vibrant. There are only a handful of storefronts, compared to Haddonfield or Collingswood, and they're spread out. Sure, there're a half-dozen ok bars, but they're usually pretty empty
Like I said in my other post - it's not as cute-sy as Collingswood or Haddonfield but not being as pretty as it could be is something different from not functioning. It works and it's clear that it works because there are a lot fewer vacant storefronts than there used to be 10 years ago. I used to go to PJ's back 14 years ago in the middle of the week and it was never empty. Not anymore so than the city bars I used to go to. The Pour House is far better and I've never seen that place empty or anything resembling it.

What Haddon Ave there has been lacking is people who live near it. All of the new condos/apartments going up on Albertson right now are only the first phase in addressing that problem. What Haddon Ave. has too much of is curb cuts. That's what makes the walk unpleasant. Some streetscaping and curb restoration would put an end to that.
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:05 AM
 
2,679 posts, read 3,576,197 times
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Originally Posted by daysable View Post
I live in Collingswood now, and do love the town area. I wonder if we will ever get bored/tired of it though. A lot of the shops are uninteresting and have that run down look. The restaurant scene is awesome though….we always enjoy going out to eat in town. But when it comes to the other businesses…there really isn’t anything that really stands out. I feel like the town is just aching for something new and different. But, it does make me wonder how the area will progress over the years, especially since the Local Market went out of business in 3 weeks. Understand they had a wrong customer in mind. But it is of concern when thinking about new businesses here and how they will grow when major retail stores are a hop, skip or jump away by car. And I think the area does a poor job on marketing the businesses in general. But that is the business’ fault.
I moved there before the renaissance started and a lot of shops and restaurants have come and gone since then. A lot of people who got an early start there were really taking a risk in a town that was just regaining its footing. It took years before the public got used to the idea of Haddon Ave. as a shopping (or anything) destination. There's also the competition from online shopping that really started to cause problems for some retailers just as they were getting established around 10 years ago.

I will say though that while I lived there I lived over one of the shops and then just a block off of Haddon and I frequented the shops regularly - the Wawa, the hardware store, the barber, the coffee shop, the dog groomer, the post office, etc. What I thought the town was really missing at the time was a shoe store and a place to pick up basic groceries. I knew a lot of people who lived on my side of haddon ave. who shopped locally but then it's worth noting that half the town is cut off from the Ave. by the big psychological barrier of the PATCO viaduct and the parking lots. It's a much further walk if you live south of Atlantic Ave. compared to living on the Cooper River side of the Ave.


Quote:
Agree with the poster that said Haddon Township is very insular. Collingswood is similar. I think Haddonfield, HT, and even parts of Collingswood all have that air of snottiness. Living in a town that has a town center really does not equate to friendliness or warmth. A lot of people assume that it does. Don’t get me wrong, we have met some friendly people…but just have been surprised how closed off other people have been as well.
Here I strongly disagree. I knew so many people there that I had met just from walking around town that it got difficult for me to just make a quick trip to the store because I would always have to stop and chat with a few people along the way. People who are new to the town, in my opinion are very friendly and open. I think it's important to remember that the older, blue collar Collingswood is much different from the new people moving to the town. They tend to be a little more standoff-ish and a lot of them prefer the dumpy old Collingswood (with lower property taxes) to what's been happening and aren't particularly fond of the new people they feel are responsible for it.
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Old 01-17-2015, 04:05 PM
 
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So I have to ask, as someone whose HHI is about 300k, I was shocked that the OP seemed to think a 160k HHI would make her "poor" in Haddonfield. I am considering moving to Haddofield from Society Hill, where I definitely at times feel "poor," and do not want to be in the same dynamic. Recognizing, of course, that Haddonfield is an affluent town, would a HHI of 300k truly put one among the "have nots" in town?
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Montco PA
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Originally Posted by PhillyGal75 View Post
So I have to ask, as someone whose HHI is about 300k, I was shocked that the OP seemed to think a 160k HHI would make her "poor" in Haddonfield. I am considering moving to Haddofield from Society Hill, where I definitely at times feel "poor," and do not want to be in the same dynamic. Recognizing, of course, that Haddonfield is an affluent town, would a HHI of 300k truly put one among the "have nots" in town?
A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me that the average family income in Haddonfield in 2010 was $130k, so I don't see how $300k in 2015 would cause you to feel "poor" there, unless the average income there more than doubled in five years.

Of course there is a difference between "HHI" and "wealth" but at $300k you can either keep up with the Jones' or not keep up with them and not care.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Like I said in my other post - it's not as cute-sy as Collingswood or Haddonfield but not being as pretty as it could be is something different from not functioning. It works and it's clear that it works because there are a lot fewer vacant storefronts than there used to be 10 years ago. I used to go to PJ's back 14 years ago in the middle of the week and it was never empty. Not anymore so than the city bars I used to go to. The Pour House is far better and I've never seen that place empty or anything resembling it.

What Haddon Ave there has been lacking is people who live near it. All of the new condos/apartments going up on Albertson right now are only the first phase in addressing that problem. What Haddon Ave. has too much of is curb cuts. That's what makes the walk unpleasant. Some streetscaping and curb restoration would put an end to that.
Yeah, I was probably a bit unfair regarding the Haddon Ave. bars...they're all fine local bars and work for the area. I wish there was something a bit more upbeat, like the Craft House in Cherry Hill.

I agree that the curb cuts, combined with a lot of low-rise buildings and few trees make for a generally unpleasant walk in Westmont...I really like the streetscaping work they've done in Collingswood by the Lumberyard.

I guess my complaint isn't so much that Westmont (or Haddon Ave. in general) are bad, rather that there isn't anything better in South Jersey, in terms of mass-transit access, density, walkability, and vibrancy. In North Jersey, Westmont wouldn't even register as an identifiable downtown (yet, I think SJ magazine ranked it in their top-10 a few years ago).

I just read a report this morning that the towns are considering Jitney service along Haddon Ave. I'd be all for it; it would be nice to be able to go to a BYOB in Collingswood and have an easy ride back to my place in Westmont. Sure, the PATCO is an option, but none of the stations are near the restaurant strips (especially Collingswood's) and I'm a bit a of a walk just to get to the Westmont station. Apparently the Haddon Twp. mayor is in favor of the program (probably because more people would take it to the bars in his town), while Haddonfield and Collingswood are lukewarm, arguing that few people ever do a "night-on-the-town" along Haddon Avenue. My response would be, just because few people do so now, that could change with more promotion (and as the population density increases with the completion of the Lumberyard, Albertson, and hopefully Haddon Towne Center). Even now, I've definitely seen people get on the PATCO at Westmont and get off in Collingswood, so there's already some that do this. Adding a movie theater or other entertainment venue to the strip would do wonders, I think.
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:58 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me that the average family income in Haddonfield in 2010 was $130k, so I don't see how $300k in 2015 would cause you to feel "poor" there, unless the average income there more than doubled in five years.

Of course there is a difference between "HHI" and "wealth" but at $300k you can either keep up with the Jones' or not keep up with them and not care.
Per the 2009-2013 ACS, Haddonfield's median/mean family income are $142,976/$183,836, with 24.5%, 17.2%, and 29.3% of families respectively earning between $100k-$149k, $150-199k, and $200k+. Suffice to say, $300k will place the OP among the Joneses', though they certainly won't be the elite of the elite.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NJhighlands87 View Post
Yeah, I was probably a bit unfair regarding the Haddon Ave. bars...they're all fine local bars and work for the area. I wish there was something a bit more upbeat, like the Craft House in Cherry Hill.

I agree that the curb cuts, combined with a lot of low-rise buildings and few trees make for a generally unpleasant walk in Westmont...I really like the streetscaping work they've done in Collingswood by the Lumberyard.

I guess my complaint isn't so much that Westmont (or Haddon Ave. in general) are bad, rather that there isn't anything better in South Jersey, in terms of mass-transit access, density, walkability, and vibrancy. In North Jersey, Westmont wouldn't even register as an identifiable downtown (yet, I think SJ magazine ranked it in their top-10 a few years ago).
I agree - Westmont isn't as vibrant as it should be but there are so many easy fixes that are tried and true (and not expensive). Just closing up half the curb cuts would be huge. Some more street furniture. More trees like you said. Some of the reason that things are not progressing there as quickly as they should be are the ridiculous opposition and a lack of leadership but also because the recession put development financing on hold for a long time (in addition to putting the pinch on peoples' purses). A lot of the low-rise, auto-oriented stuff does need to go and it will eventually but the property values need to get to a place where tearing that stuff down becomes viable. In the meantime places like Keg & Kitchen could really spruce up their parking lots with just a little bit of outdoor seating and greenery. I realize it's winter now but with a few heat lamps the outdoor dining season in South Jersey should be half the year.

Quote:
I just read a report this morning that the towns are considering Jitney service along Haddon Ave. I'd be all for it; it would be nice to be able to go to a BYOB in Collingswood and have an easy ride back to my place in Westmont. Sure, the PATCO is an option, but none of the stations are near the restaurant strips (especially Collingswood's) and I'm a bit a of a walk just to get to the Westmont station. Apparently the Haddon Twp. mayor is in favor of the program (probably because more people would take it to the bars in his town), while Haddonfield and Collingswood are lukewarm, arguing that few people ever do a "night-on-the-town" along Haddon Avenue. My response would be, just because few people do so now, that could change with more promotion (and as the population density increases with the completion of the Lumberyard, Albertson, and hopefully Haddon Towne Center). Even now, I've definitely seen people get on the PATCO at Westmont and get off in Collingswood, so there's already some that do this. Adding a movie theater or other entertainment venue to the strip would do wonders, I think.
I've taken the train between C'wood, H'field and Westmont regularly and seen others do it as well. I don't think it's widespread by any means but it happens. You also have shuttles like the one that runs between the Collingswood PATCO station and the Park Towers (or whatever they're called these days). I think that's the key there is thinking of all of Haddon Ave. as one destination and not just in running a shuttle up and down it but getting people to it who live in the 1-3 mile range. It is missing a movie theater like you said and it's also missing a grocery store. The Acme on Cuthbert is close but not close enough. I also think maybe another big draw and something that could eventually make the whole thing sustainable is running the shuttle down Haddon Ave, down Collings and over the Walt to the Navy Yard (connecting with the Broad St. Subway along the way).

Anyway - now that Collingswood is wrapping up with the Lumberyard this is the next project. It's going to be a complete game changer not just for the town and for Haddon Ave. but for the whole PATCO corridor.
Collingswood Transit Village | Alberto & Associates
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:17 PM
 
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Anyway - now that Collingswood is wrapping up with the Lumberyard this is the next project. It's going to be a complete game changer not just for the town and for Haddon Ave. but for the whole PATCO corridor.
Collingswood Transit Village | Alberto & Associates
YES! Every time I ride through I think about how those parking lots just deaden the whole area. If they actually build a mixed-use development in the Collingswood PATCO parking lot, I think it'd really trasnform the town from just a restaurant row to a local destination. Those apartments would be close enough to the Westmont border that I wouldn't even complain about the dry laws.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:48 PM
 
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Haddon Twp. Forges Ahead with Jitney Service, but Co-Signers Tough to Come by |

Looks like Haddon Twp is moving ahead with the Jitney. Seems like the mayor and township residents have the right mindset, though all these comments about "bedroom community," "small-town feel" and "quiet streets" don't jive with 24-hour community, transit-oriented, live-work-play, or heck, even pub crawl. It's progress, but they still seem to not realize they're living in the twentyfirst century.

I really wish Collingswood and Haddonfield would get on board with this. None of them are quite big enough to be an attraction alone.

Look at Bloomfield Avenue in Essex County (which completely blows Haddon Ave away in terms of attractions and ammenities), which stretches through Glen Ridge, Montclair, and up to Caldwell, with Montclair itself home to multiple downtowns aside from Bloomfield Ave.
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