U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-08-2013, 07:26 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,227 posts, read 5,562,899 times
Reputation: 3325

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by s1oozne View Post
That may be so but it's not the reason for changes in Middletown.

I go to that mall all the time. The majority of people from places like Chester that go there happen to work there. Why would people without money go to a mall? The people from places like Upper Darby who go there aren't poor either. Don't judge a book by its cover.

Actually, it's really KOP that's causing the mall to go downhill. It's an outdated and somewhat small mall, and it's not as simple as it being "the mall" giving Middletown a bad rep.

Lower Merion is part of the Main Line, has architecture as old as anywhere in the country, and rich architecture at that, is connected to multiple rail lines, and is in one of the best school districts in the country, surrounded by the others, and surrounded by places with more money than most of the county has seen. It's about what people want, and the only people who want the small, suburban homes are those moving up in the world, and putting town center after town center in there is only a band-aid that will not stop anything. Look at what's happening to Ridley and Springfield. What's to stop that from happening in Middletown? Nothing really, though luckily it's in a much better school district. That's what happens when you have so many smaller suburban homes, not to mention all of the outdated apartment buildings in Middletown.
That is not true. Granite Run Mall opened in the early 1970s, its nearly the same age as KoP, not to mention granite run is one the largest malls in the area as far as retail square footage goes. 10-15 years ago, Granite Run Mall was a nice place, a lot of stores for young teens and some good restaurants. Kop has nothing to do with the fall of Granite Run Mall. I would blame the retail saturation of Garnet Valley for that as part of the reason. There are enough people in this area to support more than one mall.

Yes Lower Merion is very nice and wealthy, but you seem to making it out to be this untouchable area. There is plenty of money and beautiful old architecture in the Media/Edgemont/Swarthmore/Rose Valley areas. Those towns minus Swarthmore/Rose Valley/Edgemont just have more economic diversity among the populous. But I have and would again choose to settle down in the Media area over Lower Merion, my preference.

And not every person with money needs a 5000+sqft home. That is such a false claim that wealthy people only live in big homes. Of course the large Riddlewood community in Middletown is mainly middle class folks, but there are plenty of wealthy families that area perfectly fine in a 3 bedroom split level. There is a lot of average small, fixer upper homes in lower merion, more than in Middletown. Gladywne and Villanova are the only 2 towns that fall into their own category of overall extreme wealth.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-08-2013, 07:56 AM
 
177 posts, read 306,228 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcguirk View Post
What's happening to Ridley?
Its school district is struggling for the first time in probably its entire history. Also, as you said, it's being encroached on by nearby areas, and the fact that it's a lot like Darby township doesn't help matters. It's happening to Springfield, too. It has been for probably a decade now, ever since places like Clifton Heights/Westbrook Park and other working class/lower-middle class parts of the county saw people with enough money to move on to "nicer" communities. Some moved out to Chester County, others to far out Delaware County, but the majority moved into the "Central Delco" area, and even into the nicer parts of Southeast Delco, like Darby Township. Actually, Springfield is impacting a few places in that area, mostly thanks to people from the more working class parts of Delco, especially the parts that it borders. You can actually follow the "decline" (though not really decline so much as becoming more downscale) along the major thoroughfares in that general area and across borders between working class/lower-middle class and middle to upper-middle class areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
That is not true. Granite Run Mall opened in the early 1970s, its nearly the same age as KoP, not to mention granite run is one the largest malls in the area as far as retail square footage goes. 10-15 years ago, Granite Run Mall was a nice place, a lot of stores for young teens and some good restaurants. Kop has nothing to do with the fall of Granite Run Mall. I would blame the retail saturation of Garnet Valley for that as part of the reason. There are enough people in this area to support more than one mall.

Yes Lower Merion is very nice and wealthy, but you seem to making it out to be this untouchable area. There is plenty of money and beautiful old architecture in the Media/Edgemont/Swarthmore/Rose Valley areas. Those towns minus Swarthmore/Rose Valley/Edgemont just have more economic diversity among the populous. But I have and would again choose to settle down in the Media area over Lower Merion, my preference.

And not every person with money needs a 5000+sqft home. That is such a false claim that wealthy people only live in big homes. Of course the large Riddlewood community in Middletown is mainly middle class folks, but there are plenty of wealthy families that area perfectly fine in a 3 bedroom split level. There is a lot of average small, fixer upper homes in lower merion, more than in Middletown. Gladywne and Villanova are the only 2 towns that fall into their own category of overall extreme wealth.
Granite Run hasn't been updated or expanded though, and is pretty much exactly like it was 10 years ago. KOP on the other hand has been updated, expanded into the second-largest mall in the country, and turned into a destination. They're not comparable at this point. A more accurate comparison would be the Roosevelt and Plymouth Meeting Malls to Granite Run. I remember Granite Run 15 years ago, and sure it was great. But times change, and one thing you're forgetting is that thanks to the Blue Route and multiple bus routes, you can get to KOP in like a half hour from Springfield and vicinity.

That's because it is. It's been right near West Philly this whole time and has been tested, which Middletown hasn't. It's got a better school district, is more urban and walkable in parts, has more older, impressive architecture, is much better served by transit, and is surrounded by some of the most monied communities anywhere in the country. Remember, you're comparing Middletown to Lower Merion, not Media, Swarthmore, etc as well. Right, your preference, but your preference doesn't factor into the market or any of the factors that affect an area's future.

It's not about the size of the home but about the quality. Those smaller homes in Middletown township (note: I'm talking specifically about them, not the rest of the homes) are not good quality and the fact is that the people who want those are the people moving up in the world or trying to. This whole county is saturated with those exact same smaller, suburban homes, which is why they continue to lose value. People in this county by and large build or buy things based on current conditions, without an eye toward the future or toward the market, and they eventually pay for it.

That area doesn't have real economic diversity. It will though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2013, 08:18 AM
 
177 posts, read 306,228 times
Reputation: 40
//www.city-data.com/city/Spring...nsylvania.html

This is a map from this site that shows things like median household income, housing values, etc. I picked Springfield because it borders areas from either side of the socioeconomic ladder. Follow Bishop Ave, Springfield Rd, and Sproul Rd and you can see the connections. From there you can follow the effects up into part of Marple as well as along Baltimore Pike.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,227 posts, read 5,562,899 times
Reputation: 3325
[quote=s1oozne;30864873]



Quote:
Originally Posted by s1oozne View Post

Granite Run hasn't been updated or expanded though, and is pretty much exactly like it was 10 years ago. KOP on the other hand has been updated, expanded into the second-largest mall in the country, and turned into a destination. They're not comparable at this point. A more accurate comparison would be the Roosevelt and Plymouth Meeting Malls to Granite Run. I remember Granite Run 15 years ago, and sure it was great. But times change, and one thing you're forgetting is that thanks to the Blue Route and multiple bus routes, you can get to KOP in like a half hour from Springfield and vicinity.

That's because it is. It's been right near West Philly this whole time and has been tested, which Middletown hasn't. It's got a better school district, is more urban and walkable in parts, has more older, impressive architecture, is much better served by transit, and is surrounded by some of the most monied communities anywhere in the country. Remember, you're comparing Middletown to Lower Merion, not Media, Swarthmore, etc as well. Right, your preference, but your preference doesn't factor into the market or any of the factors that affect an area's future.

It's not about the size of the home but about the quality. Those smaller homes in Middletown township (note: I'm talking specifically about them, not the rest of the homes) are not good quality and the fact is that the people who want those are the people moving up in the world or trying to. This whole county is saturated with those exact same smaller, suburban homes, which is why they continue to lose value. People in this county by and large build or buy things based on current conditions, without an eye toward the future or toward the market, and they eventually pay for it.

That area doesn't have real economic diversity. It will though.
That is because Kop is located at a major interchange, and has always been known as an upscale mall, one of nicest in the nation. Granite Run suffered from poor management, retail saturation in the area, and the influx of people lower income people who shop at the mall, but do not live in the area, which chased all of the nicer stores out.

We can agree to disagree. Its obvious the entire area is becoming more diverse, but I do not see Middletown sliding down. People are always worried about Aston going down, but the town is 300 years old and has yet to shower any signs of decline, so you never really can tell.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2013, 09:48 AM
 
177 posts, read 306,228 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
That is because Kop is located at a major interchange, and has always been known as an upscale mall, one of nicest in the nation. Granite Run suffered from poor management, retail saturation in the area, and the influx of people lower income people who shop at the mall, but do not live in the area, which chased all of the nicer stores out.

We can agree to disagree. Its obvious the entire area is becoming more diverse, but I do not see Middletown sliding down. People are always worried about Aston going down, but the town is 300 years old and has yet to shower any signs of decline, so you never really can tell.
You're the one who compared King of Prussia and Granite Run as being the same age. That was my point was that Granite Run has not been updated, whereas King of Prussia has been constantly improved, expanded, and updated over its history.

Lower-income people didn't chase the stores out. You need to open your eyes and realize that people from lesser backgrounds are not this boogeyman you view them as, and they didn't cause the stores to leave. People going to bigger malls and newer retail places is what did. Stop trying to scapegoat people instead of seeing what's really happening.

I never said it was going down. Don't assume that losing value and becoming more downscale in parts means "going down". Really, only two parts of the county have "gone down" so far in its history and they are Chester and Darby. Everywhere else in the county is nowhere near that. You can be stable and still become more downscale. That's what happens when an area doesn't age well.

Of course Aston hasn't shown any signs of decline yet. The decline has to get through Brookhaven before you'd see any real signs of decline in Aston. We're not talking about the past here. Things are different now, and that will only continue and increase.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2013, 10:05 AM
 
76 posts, read 171,544 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcguirk View Post
What's happening to Ridley?
Ridley used to be solidly middle class. With the exception of the victorians in Ridley Park, the vast majority of Ridley is working/lower middle class. It's not hard to see. The school district is failing, just check out their latest PSSA scores. I wouldn't really put it below Interboro SD just yet, but give it a few years. Springfield could be a good school district if it wasn't totally overshadowed by Haverford SD, Lower Merion SD and Newtown-Marple SD (which isn't even that stellar)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2013, 10:12 AM
 
76 posts, read 171,544 times
Reputation: 38
And as for the Granite Run Mall/KOP comparison - it's like comparing apples to oranges. KOP is located in a wealthier, more industrial area. It is much more accessible via public transportation. It's situated near several colleges that are known for attracting big $$$$ (Villanova, Bryn Mawr, Rosemont, Cabrini, Harcum) & also located near a lot of private high schools (Agnes Irwin, Baldwin, Notre Dame, Merion Mercy, Sacred Heart, Devon, Haverford) ... kids within that age range that are attending those schools have parents who are loaded. What do kids like to do after school/on the weekends? Shop. Of course that's not a reason in and of itself why KOP far surpasses the Granite Run Mall, but it's just another factor in the equation. KOP is the second largest mall in the country. If I wanted to shop at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks, Neimann Marcus, etc. where am I going to go? Well, considering the Granite Run Mall doesn't offer those high-end retail options, I'm obviously going to head to KOP.


I grew up in Delaware County. Going to the Granite Run Mall was cool in the early 90s. It was much bigger and had many more stores than the (in my case) nearby Springfield Mall. I've probably been to the Granite Run Mall twice in the past decade. It's not hard to see how downhill it's gone. Springfield Mall has gone a bit downhill as well. Adding the Ulta helped boost it up a bit. Adding the Target was probably good for business, but it's definitely drawing in the lower class people from places like Chester and Darby. BTW- I'm not saying that only poor people shop at Target. I personally love Target. I'm just saying that having such affordable shopping available at a mall will obviously draw in the lower class people who can ONLY afford to shop at those places.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2013, 10:18 AM
 
581 posts, read 1,243,376 times
Reputation: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCdelco View Post


I grew up in Delaware County. Going to the Granite Run Mall was cool in the early 90s. It was much bigger and had many more stores than the (in my case) nearby Springfield Mall. I've probably been to the Granite Run Mall twice in the past decade. It's not hard to see how downhill it's gone. Springfield Mall has gone a bit downhill as well. Adding the Ulta helped boost it up a bit. .
I completely agree with this sentiment. When I was a kid, it was a big deal to go up to Granite Run (I lived about 20-25 minutes from it). Like you said, it was really cool. I went in there for the first time in almost 10 years, last year. I was shocked at the decline and lack of retail variety. The nicer shops seem to have migrated a bit further south on Route 1, in that Chadds Ford (I think?) town center.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2013, 10:57 AM
 
76 posts, read 171,544 times
Reputation: 38
s100ze definitely provided a MUCH more comprehensive look at Delco than I did. Thanks! I just want to add/argue a few things.

I never meant to insinuate that Ardmore is working class. It has one pocket of section 8 housing, so that particular area may be considered a bit seedy in comparison to the rest of Ardmore, but Ardmore itself is a gorgeous area that I would consider myself lucky to call home. That being said, I do consider it to be one of the more affordable areas of the Main Line.

Haverford- I think it's worth noting that Haverford is home to one of the country's oldest country clubs - the Merion Cricket Club. Anyone who paid attention to this year's US Open probably got a good handle on how beautiful/expensive Haverford is

Radnor- No argument on this end about being the richest, nicest part of Delaware County. That's a pretty hard point to argue. The only thing I would tweak just a little bit is that perhaps Haverford and Radnor are on par with each other - but again, that's really a matter of personal preference at this point.

Aldan- I've seen homes that have pretty decent curb appeal in Aldan. I think the actual location is more of a problem than the housing stock. They truly got screwed when it came to school districts.

Clifton Heights- I've never seen any true "stand out" homes here, but that's not to say they don't exist. Admittedly, I haven't spent too much time in Clifton, but I was under the impression that it largely consists of rowhomes. Again, some people prefer to live in rowhomes, so this might not be a point of contention for them. Crime has increased in Clifton in certain years. A decade ago the fact of the matter may have been that the communities surrounding the majority of Clifton were worse off and dragging it down with them. But fast forward to today, and I believe that Clifton's reputation is now dragging down surrounding areas that were once considered solid and stable (IE: the part of Drexel Hill that borders Clifton). My older sister attended Drexel Hill Middle School and all of her horror stories about bullying, drugs, drinking, sex, and fights at school involved the "bad kids from Clifton." Again, I know Clifton isn't full of horrible people and I'm not trying to make gross generalizations - but that was the vibe that I got.

Collingdale- I hate to say I've given up hope on this area, but I have. It may have been a great neighborhood to grow up in a few decades ago, but that just isn't the case anymore. White flight has caused Collingdale to lose it's community feel. Some may argue that they DO feel safe walking around Collingdale at night, but I have to assume those people don't live close to the MacDade trolley stop.

Colwyn- I admit that I know absolutely nothing about Colwyn other than what I've read on City Data.

Darby Borough- At this point, I can't tell when I'm crossing from Darby Borough over into the city itself. To me, it's all the same. That sounds like a very interesting documentary though.

Drexel Hill- pretty much agree with you on all counts here. Relatives of mine lived in the Kellyville section years ago, but moved to the Drexel Park section in the mid 90s because of the rise in petty crime.

East Lansdowne- I'm not sure where else in the surrounding areas you'd be able to find a fully renovated Victorian home for around $150k. It's truly a steal. I'm praying this area continues to rise because I would love to invest in some real estate there.

Havertown- Nice area. I'd lump it in with the Pilgrim Gardens, Aronimink, and Drexel Park sections of Drexel Hill as well. I would describe these areas as "Main Line Lite." Maybe for those folks who like the look/feel of the main line but could do without the hefty price tag. The only thing that definitely is not on par with the Main Line in the aforementioned areas are school districts. But, you can take that with a grain of salt because most people I know who grew up in those areas chose to send their kids to Catholic or Private schools.

Lansdowne- Admittedly, I don't know much about the differences between Lansdowne and East Lansdowne.

Millbourne- Again, no knowledge on my part.

Upper Darby- I'm all for the gentrification of Upper Darby. I love talking to "old-timers" who talk about their memories of Upper Darby very fondly. Hopefully the area can eventually find its way on the up and up. If hipsters and professional families start looking to places within Upper Darby in addition to places within Lansdowne, that would SERIOUSLY boost the surrounding areas. Not that all of them need boosting, but think of what that would do to prices in places like the already well-off sections of Drexel Hill and Havertown. Housing prices would truly sky rocket.

Yeadon- My great grandmother grew up in Yeadon when it was an enclave for the middle class and upper middle class. I drove through there a few years ago and was very saddened at what I saw. Most notable was the total lack of home ownership pride. Lawns were left unattended, trash littered the streets, stray cats and dogs, etc.

Darby Township- Totally agree with you that it would be a solid place if it weren't for the school district, etc. Also agree that it's not fair that places like Briarcliffe get lumped into the rest of it. However, Briarcliffe is a very small area, with relatively unimpressive homes, rising crime rates, and overall low median income. So, while it's certainly not as bad as other areas of Darby Township, I wouldn't consider it "well-off" or a "stand out area" by any stretch of the imagination.

Folcroft & Sharon Hill- I tend to lump these 2 areas in together. Folcroft may be better off than Sharon Hill by a tiny bit, but not by very much and not for long.

Eddystone- Again, I WISH Eddystone wasn't so close to Chester. I really think it's the actual location of the town that really kills the vibe. It really seems like a cute little neighborhood community with so much potential. A nice downtown area, friendly neighbors, community feel, people who take pride in their homes. Unfortunately, it will never go very far due to its proximity to Chester.

Norwood/Prospect Park/Glenolden - I lump these 3 together. I really don't see any major, distinguishable differences between the 3 places. I suppose you could single out Prospect Park for it's downtown area (under the tressel), but that's about it. Not to be a total snob, but we're talking vibe here and as for vibe and am very unimpressed and underwhelmed by these 3 areas.

Ridley Park- cute downtown area, nice Victorians

Ridley Township/Folsom- Again, unimpressed. Hate the post WW2 housing stock that was originally intended for the GIs. Really don't see the appeal of this area.

Rutledge/Swarthmore- Love these 2 areas. Again would describe them as "Main Line Lite"

Springfield/Marple- Going downhill, IMO.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2013, 11:03 AM
 
177 posts, read 306,228 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCdelco View Post
Ridley used to be solidly middle class. With the exception of the victorians in Ridley Park, the vast majority of Ridley is working/lower middle class. It's not hard to see. The school district is failing, just check out their latest PSSA scores. I wouldn't really put it below Interboro SD just yet, but give it a few years. Springfield could be a good school district if it wasn't totally overshadowed by Haverford SD, Lower Merion SD and Newtown-Marple SD (which isn't even that stellar)
Springfield isn't as great a school district as people in Springfield make it out to be. Marple-Newtown might not be "that stellar" but it's still better than Springfield, and in better position for the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by templeu View Post
I completely agree with this sentiment. When I was a kid, it was a big deal to go up to Granite Run (I lived about 20-25 minutes from it). Like you said, it was really cool. I went in there for the first time in almost 10 years, last year. I was shocked at the decline and lack of retail variety. The nicer shops seem to have migrated a bit further south on Route 1, in that Chadds Ford (I think?) town center.
I was there last month. You should've seen how many vacancies there were. Even stores that were there a year or less ago. SIMON really ran that place into the ground, but its new owners are actually bringing in some creative businesses, like the discount book store and the Delaware County Sports Legends exhibit area. Still, I think that mall is just too outdated and too past its prime to compete as a mall anymore. It's a shame because "mixed-income, mix of big box and small business" sort of places are few and far behind in this area, and they can really be a great thing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top