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Sale Pending for Big Marty's Property

Settlement is expected to occur within 45 days for the Hatboro site, which has been vacant for several years.

One of Hatboro’s largest vacant buildings could be open for business again soon, an official confirmed.

An agreement of sale was reached for the long-shuttered Big Marty’s property situated at 317 S. York Road late last week, Hatboro Main Street Manager Stephen Barth told Patch.

Barth would only say that two investors were in the process of acquiring the 10,000-square-foot building and 54-space parking lot and that settlement was slated for 45 days.

“They asked not to release anything until that point,” Barth said, refusing to disclose the purchase price, or what’s in store for the former carpet shop.

He did quash rumors that Trader Joe’s was coming to town. The grocery store chain, along with “at least” 20 other interested parties, had looked at the property, but said they were not interested, according to Barth.

When asked if the site would eventually house an Aaron’s rent-to-own furniture and electronics store, Barth said, “I can’t say,” adding only that the structure would be used for a “commercial retail use.”

Prior to the agreement of sale, Barth said other prospective buyers had envisioned “all sorts of things,” including a mixed-use development with apartments on top and retail on the bottom. Most interested in the property were considering commercial and office uses, but some were looking at automotive facilities – which are not permitted under the existing zoning, he said.

For the last year, Barth said he’s actively been helping realtor Rona Waters – whom he said is the daughter of Big Marty’s owner - interest prospective buyers in the property. Waters did not return a call seeking comment.

Seeing the former Big Marty’s on the way to reopening is a step in the right direction for the borough, Barth said. Coupled with the opening of nearly 50 new businesses over the last year, an ongoing expansion at , the conversion of the former Wendy’s to and the , the pending sale of the Big Marty’s property is something to make the community “really proud.”

“Big Marty’s makes Hatboro feel empty because it’s such a big, noticeable building,” Barth said. “Filling those key anchor properties is very beneficial to the borough.”

While the benefits might be obvious, the news of the pending property transfer might not have been as apparent. Hatboro Borough Council President John Zygmont said he had “no information” that the Big Marty’s property had been sold.

“I have heard the same rumors,” Zygmont said, referring to claims that readers posted on Patch about the store becoming either a Trader Joe’s or an Aaron’s. “I have no idea whether either of those parties is involved.”

Along with no longer having to look at an abandoned property, Barth said the other positive to finding a buyer for the Big Marty’s site is that fewer vacancies will help to drive property values up. In Hatboro, the average lease rate is about $10 per square foot, as compared to $25 to $45 per square foot in Newtown and Doylestown, he said.

When Barth first came on the scene a little more than a year ago, many of the buildings on North York Road, in the vicinity of the New Galaxy Diner, were empty. That is no longer the case.

Now, instead of having more vacancies than buyers, the opposite has occurred, he said.

“We have to turn people away,” he said. “People have certain needs and you can’t fill it because you don’t have the open spots anymore.”

Attorney Pete February 08, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Municipalities can't deny permits to retailers it dubs "lower-end" (Aaron's Rental), or give preference to "higher-end" retailers (Gamburg Furniture). If the zoning permits a retail use and if the applicant meets zoning, the municipality engages in discriminatory actions if it favors one applicant another applicant.
Al Kaholik February 08, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Big Marty's would make a nice, big, Pawn and Used Guns after Aarons is scared away, and after HRA defeats Wawa, a porn shop can move into one of those vacant properties. Maybe a behavioral center for troubled youths can take the other (some truth to that based on previous interest). The Old Mill will end up just a parking lot as the building is filled with mold and nobody but Wawa, thus far, has shown financial interest in saving it. OR, maybe Boro will entertain HRA and somehow buy it. They can raise taxes to maintain the mold infested mess in the flood zone. All our problems will be solved. And as long as we all support our businesses and buy a $30 dog leash in town instead of $12 at Walmart, the business district will improve.
three hundred oink oink February 09, 2012 at 12:19 AM
If Hatboro Borough residents want to live in a town with a Trader Joes they need to move to Media Borough. Hatboro doesn't have the demographics TJ looks for. Hatboro yokels are funny. Watching you guys on this message board is like watching a 300 pound woman shop for size 6 jeans. You are living in a dream world.
The Voice February 09, 2012 at 01:19 AM
@300 oink. Just ride down york road on the weekend and you’ll see several 300 pounders in size 6 pants! Why do you think we need another wawa?!?!?!?
Keyser Soze February 09, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Enterprising Ed- No no, the adult movie theater/ gentlemen's club needs to go into the old Closet Works. Big picture my friend. I mean, we are trying to serve our demographic here. It just seems that some folks have a hard time embracing the demographic of the town.
Keyser Soze February 09, 2012 at 01:15 PM
We should have a Cinco de Mayo parade
Main street hatboro February 10, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Main street hatboro is a mess the list provided is a lie half these businesses have been here longer than mr. Barth. I visited a couple of these businesses and was told they never heard of mr. Barth. So what exactly does mr. Barth do for his 60 thousand dollars a year, I guess as George said it in an earlier comment yea mr. Barth you are smart you collect a huge paycheck, lie about what do and force us to have to look at businesses like aarons and wawa, thanks does your hometown look like this, don't think so!
Main street hatboro February 10, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I think a strip joint and adult book store are looking better each day.
Dan Dee February 10, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Ohhhh, the humanity!
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) February 10, 2012 at 02:16 AM
"Main street Hatboro," Please refrain from personal attacks on here. Just to clarify, Stephen Barth is a part-time consultant to the borough. His salary is public information and is $37,500 a year - not the $60,000 you mentioned in your comment.
Cindy Blaser February 10, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Theres already a Trader Joes in Horsham and Abington. Why would we want one here? I used to live in Georgia near Fort Benning when my husband was in the army and we furnished our doublewide with rental furniture from Aarons, not a bad deal.
The Voice February 10, 2012 at 02:39 AM
To the HRA. Since you are now an organized group and seeking status. I suggest you retain legal counsel. The likelihood of putting the association /individuals at tort risk is possible. You can’t block a business just because it does not meet your collective standards. BTW I understand the borough might be getting a massage parlor soon!
Personal attacks February 10, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Ms katalinas main streets comment doesn't appear offensive at all, maybe you should check your facts before writing. Maybe your editor should check your work. By the way Personal attacks seem to be the norm in the hatboro horsham patch.
Al Kaholik February 10, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Voice...It's not like they could get sued by some property owner after they sabotage some million dollar deal. Including the legal costs and all the costs associated with sitting on a vacant property and paying taxes on it too. I heard about the parlor as well. Not a big deal. Most people didn't even know about the last one we had and it was there for years, right in the middle of town. Hopefully they don't want to move into a historic or old building though. HRA won't have to say they are fighting the type of business, but that they don't want the hanky-panky happening where George Washington once slept or something.
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) February 10, 2012 at 03:02 AM
"Personal attacks" I think inferring that someone lies about the job that they are doing etc is a personal attack. It's not up to the Main Street Manager to say who can and can not open a business in Hatboro. And, by the way, I am the site editor. I make it my job to post the facts and I do so without hiding behind an alias.
The Voice February 10, 2012 at 03:08 AM
I’ll drink to that Al! They’re naive and that can be dangerous. Some people just need to find out the HARD way though!
Tara February 10, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Well put!
Scott Johnson February 10, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I agree with Completely with Chris on this point.
Hey Glee Fat Pants February 12, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Any steady and reputable business would be a welcomed addition to our town.
Karpet Liquor February 12, 2012 at 08:05 PM
@Hey Glee. I agree but certain “demographics” bring nothing to a town. We need a more home town feel and less inner city PRIDE.
Eaton Beaver February 12, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Well said, Karpet.
Keyser Soze February 13, 2012 at 12:13 AM
What "demographics" do you believe an Aaron's doesn't fit. Sorry, hate to break it to you, this is not Doylestown Borough filled with BMWs and Mercedes. It is Hatboro, filled with Oldsmobile 88s driving around with a headlight burned out. Not that there is a damn thing wrong with it, but it is what it is... blue collar. Do you think Impact Thrift would thrive in Richboro. Absolutely not, but it is one of the most shopped stores in Hatboro. If you believe that Aaron's does not fit this town's demographics, then you must be blind.
Karpet Liquor February 13, 2012 at 12:26 AM
@Keyser.When people think of Doylestown, Newtown and New Hope they consider Hatboro as an emerging equal. If only we can keep out the riff raff. Today it Aaron’s, tomorrow it’s head shops and ZEBRAZs.
Keyser Soze February 13, 2012 at 01:13 AM
In what circles do you travel that equate Hatboro to those towns? I respectfully disagree, the socio-economics are not even on the same planet. In no way, shape, or form, does Hatboro resemble those towns. Maybe you can make it after you evict 3/4 of its residents and set up a system of not allowing building owners to try to fill their buildings. I'm sorry, little Hatboro tucked in between the south end of Warminser and Willow Grove is light years away from being those other towns you mentioned, and it is never going to be. Like it or not, Hatboro is toward the lower end of middle class while Doylestown, Newtown, and New Hope are toward the upper end and reap the benefit of the local tax on its residents. These is a tremendous difference in tax base between households making 100k+ and living in homes assessed at over 1/2 a million as opposed to households making 60k and renting a shoebox apartment. Sorry, but those are the breaks. I also believe in relative deprivation. The people of this town are perfectly happy in their lives until people begin comapre then to Doylestown and such. Then they realize what they are "missing" something. Don't be the guy to make people feel like less by shoe horning your idealogy on others.
Karpet Liquor February 13, 2012 at 02:02 AM
As much as you would enjoy a Urban Outfitters and a Rent-a-Center in Hatboro that won’t happen. I doubt the town council wants that sort of inner city image. By the way, our towns demographics is very similar to Doylestown borough. Can’t seem to find anything supporting we are a blue collar town either.
Dolores Forget February 13, 2012 at 02:57 AM
No, actually I don't feel like I am missing anything. I chose Hatboro, an area I find very charming, with a sense of community and quality of life I did not find in what would be considered higher end areas. Hatboro primarily consists of residents in search of a place to raise their families and live safely in today's world. I could live anywhere I want to and I CHOSE Hatboro, so don't imply I am a frustrated wannabe....the things I am looking to preserve were here when I arrived. Hatboro is just as nice as Newtown and other areas,and has the bones of a great shopping district. My family and I love it here.
Tea Kay February 13, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Compare main street towns: http://www.city-data.com/city/Hatboro-Pennsylvania.html http://www.city-data.com/city/Jenkintown-Pennsylvania.html http://www.city-data.com/city/Doylestown-Pennsylvania.html http://www.city-data.com/city/New-Hope-Pennsylvania.html
Keyser Soze February 16, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Okay everyone, it's time to put on y our thinking caps. Successful businesses need to cater to the people that are in their community. Time to put in some research instead of just blabbing over the internet. What is the median house value between Hatboro and Doyelstown borough? What is the median family income between Upper Moreland Township and Warminster Township (both of which surrounds Hatboro) compared to the median family income of Doylestown Township? Let me know what you find. Do you still believe that Doylestown Borough and Hatboro Borough are so alike and cater to the same crowd?
Mary Cummings February 27, 2012 at 01:48 AM
I love when people say citizens raising their voice is dangerous! First amendment, gentlemen (and I use that term loosely). And may I also add that there are several dissenting voices that repeat themselves over and over. There are about 5 of you. The HRA has close to 800 signatures in 4 weeks and they haven't even gotten to half the town. So, I'm pretty sure the people who are naive and out of touch are you. But I enjoy reading your comments. You're at least funny and entertaining!
Mary Cummings February 27, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Soze-nobody wants to be Doylestown. Relax. I grew up there. I moved to Hatboro because I hate what Doylestown has become. It's a town of new-rich and over-priveleged. I moved to Hatboro because it is Hatboro. A nice quiet middle class place. And nobody minds that there is section 8 housing and low income folks. What A LOT of people are saying is that we can bump it up just a notch. And I'm sure even an old sour guy like you can appreciate just not wanting to see your town go down hill.

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