hey sears! this is what a working refrigerator looks like…thanks to gerhard’s in malvern….

Thanks to Gerhard’s Appliances in Malvern we have a working refrigerator at last! Aesop says the moral of this story is #ShopLocal

The other day I wrote about why no one should purchase a paper clip from Sears.  As I write this their giant white, nonfunctioning, unlovely Kenmore paperweight is still sitting in the house waiting for freaking Sears to come and get it.

This all started August 31 when my husband and I ordered a new refrigerator from Sears because the old one while less than 10 years old  was dying (Samsung in case you are wondering and the parts and repairs IF you can get the parts are VERY expensive.)

On  Friday, September 14th Sears delivered the refrigerator.  Now mind you, you have to pay extra to get it into the kitchen and they unbox it, but the do not hook it up.

Within FIVE minutes of the delivery truck leaving we discovered GAME OVER. We were the proud owners of a broken yet brand new refrigerator with scratches on the front and elsewhere.  Now the scratches I could have lived with and covered up with appliance paint, but a broken brand new refrigerator? No, couldn’t live with that at all.

For the past week we have been making call after call to Sears.  Two days ago I got super irritated by the volume of ridiculous calls to the Phillipines and called the remnants of the corporate offices in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. As luck would have it I got the same man who was snarly with me on the phone last week, the one time I was able to get someone in the United States on the phone.

And yes I recorded the call. Why? Because unless you experience the vortex of hell known as Sears “customer service” you do not understand.

Yesterday (coincidentally?), after sending my little AV project around to Sears and Consumer Reports and media outlets like magic a person from the U.S. who worked for Sears called my husband.  Did we want a new refrigerator? NO Did we want the giant white Kenmore paperweight repaired? Oh come on! Are we being punked? We were already told in no uncertain terms by the Phillipines that wouldn’t happen so NO just come and pick it up. And REFUND OUR MONEY.

Well apparently, they are sending people to pick it up. I won’t hold my breath as to the speed.  But what has been SUPER ANNOYING is they took our money in under five minutes via an electronic sales transaction on their website, yet they sit ON our money and have full use of it while we have custody of their sucky broken GIANT white Kenmore paperweight.

I will further note that I had to get Lite Movers of Wayne, PA (can I rave about them for a nanosecond? They are AWESOME and we highly recommend them!) whom we had to pay to remove the dying Samsung to the curb since Sears also no longer removes dead/dying appliances to come back last Friday to move the GIANT BROKEN WHITE PAPERWEIGHT out of the kitchen!

Yeah O.K. Sears, you aren’t inconvenient, time-wasting, frustrating, or money wasting AT ALL are you?

Doesn’t seem like a fair trade does it? Doesn’t seem like Sears did anything other than waste our money, cause us to spend MORE money and gave us the lovely gift of appliance shopping PTSD did they?

I have to ask can I charge Sears rent for the space in my home the GIANT WHITE UNWORKING KENMORE PAPERWEIGHT is taking up as tomorrow is ONE WEEK since they dumped it on us? (But I digress)

Meanwhile, we needed a refrigerator.  Last Friday afternoon my husband ordered another refrigerator from AJ Madison whom I had never heard of. By Saturday morning he had an email saying oopsies they would not be able to deliver until some time in OCTOBER.

(Did I mention this has been going on since around August 31st? Actually before if you count the attempted repairs on the dying Samsung which after a couple of hundred dollars and the inability to find parts was stopped.)

I will admit I had the full housewifey meltdown at this point.  Yes, yes I did.

So we called up Gerhard’s in Malvern and Angela took tremendous care of us in about ten minutes. Ten minutes.  Delivery included.  Beat everyone else’s price AND they do installation and remove dead appliances.

Yes that set my housewifey heart all a flutter, I kid you not.

And today? They showed up when they were supposed to, their delivery guys were wonderful. They installed it, help me set it up, removed all the packaging and the dead Samsung and like Lite Movers, didn’t scratch a wall or mark a floor.

The moral of this story is Sears still sucks and  SHOP LOCAL.

Oh and this time we went Frigidaire.

If you live in Chester County, you can find Gerhard’s at 116 Lancaster Avenue, Malvern, PA and their phone number is (610) 644-6666.

why no one should shop at sears…EVER

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Meet our giant white paperweight.  Sears delivered a BRAND NEW BROKEN, yes BROKEN refrigerator.  They refused to come back and pick it up even though we called within MINUTES of the truck leaving our driveway.

Today was just a day.

From hell.

Our pretty Samsung refrigerator went on life support and repairs would have been easily more than half of a new refrigerator so we opted to replace it.

We have always done the bulk of our appliance shopping over the past few years from the Sears Outlet online.  My husband liked dealing with them…I had no issues until today, either.

Let’s back up to we ordered the new refrigerator.  Nothing fancy, a Kenmore side by side with ice and water on the door.  We figured we would go with something we thought could get repaired in case of an issue.

Up until a few years ago, when you got a new appliance, they took the old appliance away. Not anymore.  So we had to hire our favorite movers (Lite Movers of Wayne, PA and they are awesome) to come move the dying fridge out of the house pending pick up from PECO who does appliance recycling (it has to run when it is plugged in still, which the old one does.)

Fast forward until today.  They came to deliver the Sears refrigerator.  What they will do now is unbox it and move it into place, the rest is on the customer. It was quite the ordeal to get everything moved and prepped and ready as ours is an older home.

The delivery guys couldn’t have been nicer.  They unboxed it and pointed out a scratch in the white door.  That was no biggie as it was nothing a little appliance touch up paint couldn’t cover.

The delivery guys plugged it in and were on their way.  Then I went to open the refrigerator door.  It would not open.  The freezer door opened fine, but the refrigerator side? BROKEN.  Son of a bitch we just paid to have a dying appliance replaced with a broken appliance.  Yes, I am cursing, it has been a very special day.

Immediately we are on the phone to Sears. Only you CANNOT get a person in the US on the phone. All people in offshore call centers reading from scripts that tell you that they “completely understand” how you are feeling.  Uhh no, you couldn’t possibly understand. Trust me.

After four frustrating calls where all I get is the Philippines and they can’t help and they want me to talk to the outlet store in Norristown, PA.  Norristown isn’t going to help me, I ordered ONLINE. Oh and they keep mispronouncing my name. Which is incredibly offensive after the 6th mispronounce in one conversation.

These helpful offshore call center employees of Sears may be fluent in English to a point, but they are not native speakers.  English is a second language and they just aren’t comprehending what is being said, and can’t go off script.  They also can’t (or maybe it’s won’t?) transfer your call BACK to the U.S. Every other cheap American company which utilizes offshore labor has the ability to transfer you BACK to a U.S. call center if that is what you want, even Comcast, which I think has some of the absolute worst customer service ever.

I go to trusty Google and Google the corporate offices of Sears. Aha! An actual address and phone number with a recognizable U.S. area code.

But no.  You dial and you get…the Philippines. So I keep dialing.  ONE time out of about two dozen calls I get someone in Illinois.  I think they were related to the Seinfeld Soup Nazi of days gone by they were so rude.  “You listen to me,” the operator says. “I am going to talk and then you can speak. You are going to listen to ME. I am not listening to you.”

(SAY WHAAAATTT?)

I try to explain to the operator I would like to speak with someone in the Executive Offices specifically having to do with serious customer service issues.  The operator told me that essentially those people would not speak with me. I can’t remember the exact phraseology but it was probably the rudest switchboard operator since they first were handling one ringy dingy. They were so bad I wished I had recorded the conversation. I ended the call and tried calling back to get someone, anyone to help me.

Yeah…. so….. no…. just more  Phillipines. (And you know why these call centers are in off shore and third world countries, right? It is so they can pay employees super duper low wages and get away with it.  Cheap labor.

So I started looking around for other people to speak with.  They say Eddie Lampert is the CEO or President or Chairman of the Board.   Only you can’t speak with him or anyone in his office, all you get is a voicemail in Illinois that never calls anyone back.  I have to wonder if anyone listens to it. There is also this chick, Leena Munjal
Senior Vice President, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail.  She is unable to come to the phone as well. Very busy important people. Me the peon should just know better, right?

who to call

So I kept Googling.  Apparently Mr. Fast Eddie Lampert is just a hedge fund guy. Yep, just another hedge fund guy picking the carcass of a business clean for their own profits, right?

Here, I looked up Eddie Lampert and found this:

 

 

New York Times : Sears and Its Hedge Fund Owner, in Slow Decline Together By James B. Stewart
March 30, 2017

Hedge funds have been failing over the last year at the fastest rate since the financial crisis in 2008. Some crashed and burned after sudden reversals. Others quietly liquidated.

Then there’s Edward S. Lampert’s ESL Investments. It hasn’t failed, but may be setting a benchmark for slow, painful declines thanks to its outsize, long-term bet on two venerable retailers, Sears and Kmart.

Last week, Sears Holdings, the parent company, said what was becoming increasingly obvious to most investors, not to mention anyone who’s been in a Sears store lately: “Substantial doubt exists related to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”….Mr. Lampert was a Wall Street wunderkind, a Goldman Sachs intern whose intellect, ingratiating personality and prodigious work ethic attracted the patronage of some of America’s most prominent and successful investors…founded ESL in 1988 with $28 million in seed money … 

Sears’ reclusive CEO explains why he rarely visits the office — and instead lives at his sprawling $38 million estate that’s 1,400 miles away
Business Insider Hayley Peterson Mar. 27, 2018, 10:55 AM

“THEY COULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENT DECISION”: INSIDE THE STRANGE ODYSSEY OF HEDGE-FUND KING EDDIE LAMPERT
In 2003, many were skeptical when Lampert married Sears to Kmart. Now, with hundreds of stores closed and thousands thrown out of work, Lampert defends his strategies in his first in-depth interview in 15 years. The author also tracks down the man who kidnapped Lampert before the Kmart deal went through.

bloomberg

VANITY FAIR BY WILLIAM D. COHAN
APRIL 2018

Aug 20, 2018, 03:23pm
Fortune: Eddie Lampert Just Can’t Stop Picking At Sears’ Carcass
Steve Dennis

There are many, many articles. I am not posting more. They are all variations of the same theme.

So I also decided to call up the ESL hedge fund so I looked them up on Bloomberg.

Yes really, I called.  So what?

Did I expect to get anyone to speak with me? No, but it has been the day from hell with Sears so what did I have to lose? I was kind of curious as to what they would say.

Years ago, I worked for a couple of years for a now-defunct hedge fund. So I knew whomever answered the phone would be snotty pants the receptionist.  She did not disappoint. She was superior to little old me in every way…on the phone.

 

Whatevs.  I admit I was unpleasant and irritating.  But in my own defense, I have a dying refrigerator outside pending pick up for disposal, and a giant white albatross paperweight of a broken yet new refrigerator in my kitchen, which I now have to pay to have moved out of my kitchen so Sears can retrieve it.  I cook, I like a neat house and everything looks like hell in a hand basket.

Apparently it is too much to ask to have a WORKING REFRIGERATOR DELIVERED BY SEARS!!!

I now know no more Sears for anything. I understand why so many Sears and Kmart stores have closed.  I understand why people said to me we should have called Queen, or D & K, or Gerhard’s  or another local appliance store…or even Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Sears sucks. I hope the hedge fund prince of an owner enjoys his lovely estates. I hope someone involves them and Sears in a giant class action lawsuit some day.  For the crappy customer service alone and the inability to talk to anyone pleasant in the U.S. they deserve no less.

Don’t buy a paperclip from Sears.

Sign me disgusted by yet another U.S. business that is being killed by a hedge fund.

the serious acreage of greystone in west chester bites the dust as development begins….

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Found on the internet

Long before I moved to Chester County I had heard of Greystone Hall.  Probably because the Jerrahian family live on the Main Line.  At least some of them do. In 2001 they were subjected to an attempted eminent domain taking from the West Chester school district. Yes, shades of Stoneleigh.

West Chester Daily Local Jerrehian owner condemns district
Kevin Plunkett Oct 15, 2001 Comments

“Before taking such and extreme step, the school district should go out of its way to be careful, fair and beyond reproach,” said Dean Jerrehian in a statement sent to area newspapers Sunday. “It is bad enough for the government to take someone’s property, but it is even worse to take it on a few days notice …and especially if they are not even sure they really want it.”

Jerrehian, one of the members of the Jerrehian Partnership, which owns the 400-plus acre property in West Goshen, was referring to an announcement made last week that the West Chester school board intends to discuss possible acquisition of a portion of the property for its proposed new high school.

He raised several objections to the possible move, including that it may not be the best site for the school, that its cost is uncertain, and that the district “has not fully explored all feasible alternatives.”

Jerrehian also said Sunday that by making its announcement on the heels of the Jerrehian Partnership’s application to create an Agricultural Secuirty Area for the property, which he referred to as his family’s farm …..The district said the action was taken because the Jerrehian owners recently filed an application with West Goshen to create an Agricultural Security Area protection. If that application is granted, the district could have a more difficult, lengthy and costly road to eventually buying the land through eminent domain.

Explaining his family’s decision to set the agricultural district up, Jerrehian said corn and “other field crops” are being grown on parts of the property. He did not know how many acres were under cultivation, however……All that was mentioned was that the district is interested in roughly 108 acres near the Greenhill Road and Route 100 intersection, he said.

Mind you that was not the only property at that time the WCASD tried to take. There as also the Singer Farm.  Unrelated, but the same time frame would have been the Saha Farm in Coatesville.

During at least a month or better in the winter of 2001, The Daily Local wrote a series of articles on eminent domain that I thought were quite powerful.  Here is an excerpt from one of the 2001 articles:

….America’s frontier has been closed for well over a century now. Its citizens, though, still need roads, schools and utilities. Its leaders develop plans for land improvements and economic revitalization. And the two groups face potentially bitter conflicts, here in Chester County and across the nation, over the locations of these projects on the one-time frontier and over the means by which those in charge carry out their plans…..In Valley, more than half of Dick and Nancy Saha’s 45-acre farm is under threat. The city of Coatesville, in an effort to revitalize its economy, is attempting to take the land for a recreation center and 18-hole golf course. The Sahas, vowing to fight the city’s condemnation to the Supreme Court, are seeking allies among public officials and the public. The Valley board of supervisors has joined their cause.

In East Bradford, the West Chester Area School District’s proposal for a new high school led to rushed efforts to take 102 acres of Philadelphia real-estate developer Michael Singer’s 172-acre farm on Route 322. Singer and his attorneys successfully fought off the school district’s plans earlier this year, with an assist from East Bradford officials who opposed the location of a large high school on the land.

Yes, I digress. But a point is coming. I have no clue what happened to Michael Singer’s 172 acres after they beat back the West Chester Area School District in 2001:

“In an opinion issued Tuesday, Court of Common Pleas Judge William Mahon ruled that the school district’s April 6, 2000 meeting — at which it voted to acquire 105 acres of Michael Singer’s 172-acre farm to build a new high school and athletic fields — was “void and of no effect” because it violated state “sunshine,” or open meeting, laws.”

I remember cheering the Jerrehian family’s victory over the West Chester Area School District.  But when I saw their plans for Greystone years later filed in West Goshen Township, I almost regretted cheering them on because I wondered for what did we cheer? So they could develop hundreds of ticky tacky new construction boxes? (Greystone-NID-Plan-Presentation-11.3.17-rev._2)

In late 2017, Bill Rettew wrote about this Greystone Development:

598 homes to be built in West Goshen
By Bill Rettew Jr. brettew@dailylocal.com Oct 11, 2017 Comments

WEST GOSHEN >> A development project to construct 598 homes at the 433-acre Jerrehian property is shovel ready.

The township has approved the project, Woodlands at Greystone, at the former Sharpless Estate, with the potential developer still seeking an OK from supervisors to establish a Neighborhood Improvement District.

The property stretches from Phoenixville Pike on the southeast, the Route 322 Bypass to the south, near Pottstown Pike on the northwest and Greenhill Road to the north.

Through the NID, future homeowners would foot the bill for 30 years to pay off a bond issue financing almost $21 million of infrastructure improvements…..Greystone Manor will continue to operate on its own 35 acre lot.

The article quotes West Goshen Supervisors. Specifically FORMER Supervisor  Ray Halverson and still existing Supervisor Chris Pielli.  I will be honest that I think West Goshen is one of the more problematic Chester County municipalities and are part of the lovely Mariner II pipeline ground zero as it were.  Them approving this is sheer lunacy and am I alone in this opinion? And yes, I understand all too well the realities of development but when will more municipalities in PA do what is right for residents?

I had put Greystone out of my head until up popped an article this week in the Philadelphia Business Journal by Natalie Kostelni.

The week before the September 5th Philadelphia Business Journal article, there was also an article in the Daily Local on August 29 about construction starting. It featured  heart wrenching photos of construction equipment digging up the earth.

All of this comes on the heels of Crebilly in Westtown news from Mindy which I will share :
*******************************************

Dear Friends,

Crebilly Farm/Toll Brothers Conditional Use appeal court date is quickly approaching and I hope you are planning to attend:
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH, 1PM, Chester County Justice Center, 201 West Market Street, West Chester  COURTROOM #1 (Not #15).
We are coming upon what could be the final moments of what will set the tone for a long time to come.  Our national history is in jeopardy and all of us will pay a dear price in traffic congestion and environmental damages if the Judge grants this appeal.
 
Last week, I attended the Chester County Commissioners Meeting and asked the Commissioners ‘What can the public do between now and the court appeal to keep this fresh in the minds of others?  Can we write letters to the Judge?’  I learned this is an option and it is up to the discretion of each judge whether they will read them or not.
 
FRIENDS, THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION– for each and everyone of us; all those reading this message and all those you can share this message with.  I am calling on everyone for a new letter writing campaign- ASAP!   Please send a mailed letter in opposition of the proposed development via snail mail- yes, snail mail– one to the Judge and one to the Commissioners!  Please be polite.  If it’s too much to write a letter, that’s okay, then just write a sentence- and please mail it snail mail.  If it’s too much to write a sentence, that’s okay too, then please mail an empty envelope with the following message on the front at the bottom:   
PLEASE PRESERVE OUR NATIONAL HISTORY ON CREBILLY FARM!
*Every letter/sentence/envelope needs to have written on the front of the envelope at the bottom: 
PLEASE PRESERVE OUR NATIONAL HISTORY ON CREBILLY FARM!  
We need to flood the Judge and Commissioners’ mailboxes, office and desks with letters from all over West Chester, the county, the state and the country!  Make copies of the same letter and send numerous copies to both.  Flood them like the Brandywine River last week!  Whether the letters are opened or not, I think our message on the front of the envelopes will be pretty hard to miss and talked about by all.
SEND YOUR SNAIL MAIL TO:
The Honorable Judge Tunnell
Justice Center
201 W. Market Street
West Chester, PA  19380
*Remember to include on the front of each envelope at the bottom:
PLEASE PRESERVE OUR NATIONAL HISTORY ON CREBILLY FARM
 
Chester County Commissioners
313 W. Market Street
Suite 6202
West Chester, PA  19380
*Remember to include on the front of the each envelope at the bottom:
PLEASE PRESERVE OUR NATIONAL HISTORY ON CREBILLY FARM
Friends, this is MASSIVE PUBLIC OUTCRY.  And I promise- it’s now or never.  I thought it one of the silliest ideas ever to ride my horse through the nearby neighborhoods of Crebilly Farm almost two years ago to raise awareness, but it was all I could think to do at the time.  To my surprise, it woke people up.  And then together, we woke up the Westtown Township BOS.  And they heard us.  And they voted ‘NO.’  Time to wake up the Judge and Commissioners before it is too late.
If not you, then who?
Sincerely,
Mindy Rhodes

******************************************

So back to Greystone. It is over 400 acres, right? And it has how many homes ultimately planned? 598 houses? So even if this development is built in stages, it is the same school district as Crebilly, so if Crebilly goes through where is West Chester Area School District going to go to get more land now?  How will THAT school district handle all of these new district families?

Kind of ironic, and bitterly so, isn’t it? The Jerrehian family saves their property from eminent domain via a school district to turn around and sell to a developer? Makes you wonder if this is the ultimate FU to a school district, doesn’t it?

But it’s not just the school district which will suffer, is it?

Chester County collectively needs to seriously wake the hell up.  And that includes that misbegotten Chester County Planning Commission headed by a Lower Merion Township Resident, doesn’t it? Pick a school district. Pick a municipality.  All the land is going under developers’ collective shovels and I am still asking how this insanity is sustainable?

What about the farm land that was on Greystone property?

Now for the history.  My dear friend Sara’s grandfather was the architect Charles Barton Keen . Mr. Keen was the architect on Greystone Hall built for Philip M. Sharples.  I found some great history on a blog called Hackberry Hill:

HOUSE HISTORY
PHILIP SHARPLES’ GREYSTONE HALL
OCTOBER 26, 2016

Philip M. Sharples (who often went by P.M.) was a fourth-generation Pennsylvanian and from an influential Quaker family in Chester County. Not surprising that one of Sharples predecessors was the first mayor of our town.  In 1881 Sharples established the Sharples Separator Works Company with plants in Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Canada and Germany.  At its peak, Sharples Separator Works was the largest industrial company in our town, employing 600 workers and turning out an average of 3700 separators a year (West Chester University Archives).  He was clearly a big deal.

Sharples 5

The company did exceedingly well for over 30 years and Sharples became a rich man.  In 1907, he finished construction on Greystone Hall, an incredible house that sits just north of town designed by architect Charles Barton Keene.  Coincidentally, just after looking at the Sharples’ city house, I attended a lecture at Greystone Hall, not initially realizing that this was a Sharples’ house as well.  I am not sure P.M. lived in or owned the city house though – it was possibly a relative. There are a lot of Philip Sharples in the family tree!  I need to look into that further.  In any case, by 1907 P.M. Sharples was living quite grandly at Greystone Hall with his wife and three children.

Sharples 2Sharples 4

…..P.M. and his wife moved in and a mere four years later his wife passed away leaving Sharples and his three children alone. He later remarried and had 3 more children.  His second wife and 6 children lived at Greystone until 1935.

Sharples fell victim to the Depression and ended up losing Greystone to foreclosure in the early years of World War II. Greystone was pledged as collateral on loans and about half of the original nearly 1000 acres of land were sold off in small parcels starting in the late 1930s.  Sharples relocated his family to Pasadena where he lived for 9 years before passing away in 1944 (www.greystonehall.com).

You can read more about the history of Greystone in detail and the family who has owned the house since 1942 here.  The house sits on an incredible 500 acres. Still.

Pennsylvania is a private property rights state. It is what helped defend Greystone from eminent domain, after all, wasn’t it?

But where do we draw the line on developers and politicians and their visions for where we call home?  When did the rest of our collective private property rights as extended community stop mattering?

Chester County is literally disappearing and soon you won’t be able to tell if you are in Chester County, or say some bland subdivision in Oklahoma.

Today an Inquirer article by Vinny Vella made me pause and decide to write something about this.  It’s not like we can stop it. The plan is approved and the construction has begun. 

While I was researching and hunting for the old articles on the eminent domain play which occurred, I also came across this thing from Temple University about restoring the Greystone lands I guess. (Haven’t read through it all but have also uploaded MLArch 2015_Greystone Hall 2_Web here.)

Here is one page from that PDF showing the trees on Greystone:

plants

Greystone was mentioned in another post I wrote in 2017 about the still missing Toni Lee Sharpless . 

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I think this development will create havoc. It will overwhelm infrastructure, a school district, and so on, won’t it? Can you imagine the traffic when all of the houses are built? I was told that land that was probably undevelopable was given to West Goshen Township for parkland or something? Hopefully that saves a good chunk of the forest, right? There is supposed to be some road cut through the development.  Friends say it will be a narrow windy 25 MPH road?

Sign me sad. I am glad the mansion is staying, but am totally bummed that all those acres will become plastic houses.  For any number of reasons. Hope the ratables were worth it, West Goshen. In the Philadelphia Business Journal, West Goshen’s Manager was quoted:

West Goshen has been dealing with developer interest in Greystone for years. “We couldn’t stop the development but we could manage it,” said Casey LaLonde, township manager of West Goshen.

I had to laugh because Casey LaLonde? Y’all GOT managed versus managing anything didn’t you?

Other interesting tidbits from the Philadelphia Business Journal article include:

…Other developments Reiser was involved with include Atwater, Muir Wood in Newtown Square and Carriage Hill in Doylestown……As it did with those projects and will do with Woodlands at Greystone, Reiser will serve as the master developer and has partnered with NVR, which builds under Ryan Homes and other brands, to construct the houses. Under that arrangement, Reiser plans to prepare the lots for development, install the infrastructure and then sell them to NVR on a scheduled basis over the next six years.

Atwater? It’s in East Whiteland, right? Large and kind of unattractive?  Hmmm isn’t that the development which has already caused some elementary school redistricting within Great Valley School District?

Here is the Inquirer article:
PENNSYLVANIA Philadelphia Inquirer
In Chester County, hundreds of homes to rise near historic Greystone Hall
by Vinny Vella, Updated: 21 hours ago

More than 400 acres of land, the largest remaining undeveloped tract in West Goshen Township, Chester County, were sold last month to make way for hundreds of houses in a deal that was a decade in the making.

But the origin of the $38 million sale of land surrounding the historic Greystone Hall traces to the 1950s, when the Jerrehian family, its owners, first started courting developers.

Their vision was finally realized Aug. 23, when half of the property surrounding the mansion was sold to Reiser Land Development. The other half, according to Drew Reiser, a managing partner at the company, is expected to be sold in a separate deal, the details of which, he said, are private.

Reiser’s plan for the Woodlands at Greystone calls for the construction of 598 homes….The Jerrehian family has owned the land, once the property of West Chester manufacturer Philip M. Sharples, for nearly 80 years. The main building, Greystone Hall, frequently used for corporate retreats and wedding receptions, will remain under their ownership and will not be part of the subdivision.

Sharples, who built Greystone Hall in 1907, founded the Sharples Separator Co. but lost his money during the Great Depression. The Jerrehian family, which immigrated to the United States from Turkey in the early 1900s, bought it in 1942.

Read the entire article.  It is informative and interesting.

Bah Humbug. I am glad the mansion is surviving but why all the houses? I will never understand. Kind of disappointed in the Jerrehians on this, have to be honest. I don’t know what I thought they would eventually do with all of the land, but it wasn’t this.

 

attention to detail is key IF you are choosing a realtor

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I love the junk that people pay to have delivered to your mailbox. Today’s offering is above.

I make no secret of my disdain, dislike, pick your own adjective of “Realtors” who do this.

When I get these flyers, I call to be removed from the mailing lists.  And in this case, the guy is trying to impress me with Delaware County real estate and locations where I wouldn’t want to live.  All  miles away and a different county. It’s kind of an apples to oranges situation.

And attention to detail with a realtor is also SO important. Poor Don Don Dowd doesn’t know to take the time to proof read his flyer?

moronHow do I know? Because the phone number on the hundreds or possibly thousands of mailers delivered has the wrong office phone number printed! I was crying laughing at the just deserts of that when I called to have our address removed…when you dial 484-496-4000 you get a wrong number recording.

So  I looked them up on Facebook and called the correct number which is 484-498-4000.  And all I got was a 12 year old answering the phone who said she worked for an answering service so she could not help me.   Really? Fabulous, right?

So Don Dowd, this blog post is for you.  If your answering service can’t help anyone, let alone offer to take a message and you can’t pay attention to proof-reading your irritating tree-killing mass mailing / solicitation flyer, why would anyone want you as a realtor in the first place?

To all of my fabulous realtor friends in Chester County and elsewhere, it is my pleasure to refer along all of you. You are real, work hard, pay attention to the smallest detail…and best of all you don’t waste your money on these tacky flyers.

Now time for the circular file for Donny’s flyer….

 

talk to the hand…

ba750bff-f55d-47ba-a69b-ec235686c22a

Sometimes you just need something funky.  I found something funky today.

Talk to the hand.

Sorry, I just crack myself up. But hey, it’s a great funky piece to hang jewelry when you are doing the dishes.  It’s a vintage glass jewelry display basically.  These were/are used for holding or displaying rings, watches, scarves, other jewelry items, and fashion accessories.  And for $10…. I splurged.

I was at Resellers in Frazer when I found the blue hand. I was loving on a couple of pieces of furniture and an oriental rug I have neither need nor room for (but ohhh that chair!):

They have a lot of cool stuff right now. I am glad they are still there considering all the upheaval around the shopping center where they are a tenant (you know like Beam’s Music, Frazer Dental, the Frazer Post Office, etc?) – here is what showed up on the Chester County Sheriff Sale Lists:

frazer shopping

Today I was told this wasn’t happening tomorrow, but who knows? Maybe there was a stay of execution?

And don’t you feel so incredibly sorry for all of the small business owners like Reseller’s there? To be in this not knowing?

I went noodling around and found this:

frazer bklnfsc

 

Sadly, this is almost perfect for development vultures if they have $8 Million lying around, right?

But please NO MORE MIXED USE APARTMENT TOWERS CARRIAGE HOMES PLASTIC TOWN HOUSES.  East Whiteland where this is located is full up. (In my humble opinion.)

There was this thing in Federal Court from March, 2018 – some sort of court order:

Order from judge (CLICK HERE TO READ)

It’s all public record.  According to a sign on the property the agent for Wells Fargo managing now is Metro Commercial.  According to some thing I found in a New York State (as in government) register, this local shopping center is owned by guys in Brooklyn NY.

fraz ny

When you plunk that Brooklyn address into Google what comes up is a little random. So it’s no wonder why not very much attention was ever paid to the shopping center, right? Out of sight, out of mind, cash the rent checks?

Anyway, back to talk to the hand…A fun little treat. Go visit Reseller’s . They are still open.  Just like the other businesses suffering through this along with the post office. It has also been hard on all of  them because the sign to the shopping center has literally been broken for months.  They were working on it today.

Nancy Drew over and out….talk to the hand….

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file under “progress” kills tradition in ardmore, pa or something else? is viking pastries closed for good?

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My friend Michelle found this sign waiting for her today when she stopped in Ardmore to #shoplocal at Viking Pastries

So has progress in Lower Merion Township’s downtown Ardmore put yet another tradition, another long-standing business out of business? Or is it something else? Or something related? Or just simple economics?

Viking Pastries appears to be done as in dead as per this hand lettered sign.

62 years…*POOF* ??

How many of us who grew up on the Main Line had memories of Viking Pastries and Walter’s Swiss Pastry which was located in Bryn Mawr and closed years and years ago? (Can’t remember exactly when.)

Those were the bakeries of many of our childhoods – Viking Pastries and Walter’s Swiss Pastries.  My mother always bought our annual Christmas Bûche de Noël complete with it’s chocolate bark and meringue “mushrooms” from Walter’s.  She also bought  things from Viking too.

Both bakeries had fierce loyal and devoted followings once upon a time.  Now they are but memories of a Main Line that used to be.

In 2013 Viking Pastries was part of a bakery makeover show called Save My Bakery. Save My Bakery was a show in the Nancy Glass Glass Productions Stable and appeared on Food Network and/or DIY Network.  (Click here and see some of the original makeover.)

This was covered extensively at the time by local media.  It was wonderful.

But maybe this wasn’t enough to save Viking long term? Don’t forget the bakery’s family has seen horrible tragedy in the form of the still unsolved disappearance of Richard Petrone.  Richard Petrone and Danielle Imbo vanished without a trace leaving a Philadelphia bar in 2005.

This family and bakery were always part of local events.  When I was on the Main Line, if there was a local fundraiser or get together, you could always count on the generosity of Viking Pastries.  I worked on many events where they donated boxes and boxes of their delicious cookies.

When Viking got their fancy T.V. makeover, we all had high hopes. But still there were kerfuffles. Like the August 2017 temporary Department of Health closure as reported by Main Line Times. Here is an excerpt:

“It was a plumbing issue caused by the construction across the street,” said Viking Pastries owner Marge Petrone of One Ardmore Place being built on the former Cricket Avenue Parking lot. “That [project] has been a nightmare.”

According to Petrone, water from the construction site flowed into a hole left in front of the store and straight into the bakery’s basement. “We had an inch or two of mud there. There was low water pressure – we couldn’t flush the toilet.”

Petrone paid for a Port-a-Potty to be placed outside the back of the shop, but ultimately, she aid, “if you can’t use the bathroom, the county is a stickler about that” and will shut you down.

Except my opinion, personally? I also have to wonder about the Ardmore Tartification Effect on old school businesses like this?  As Lower Merion Township has strived for decades at this point to make Ardmore what they envision, the old time businesses have fallen off one by one, haven’t they? Some say, when the movie theater closed and they didn’t get a new theater chain in that THAT was the beginning?

Ardmore has had peaks and valleys.  I had high hopes when parts of the Main Street business community were saved from eminent domain for private gain, but now? Sadly, today, I barely visit a place I used to be in practically every other day for years and years.  I live just far enough away that getting there is a hassle with regard to never much parking and crazy traffic.  That and the site of towering apartments rising up on Cricket Avenue behind what was the movie theater to overshadow everything and everyone like Godzilla.

Who owns Viking’s building?

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Who is 35-39 Cricket LLC?

35-39 CRICKET LLC

Who has owned the building over the years and years?

who owns what

These are all public records off Montgomery County and PA’s corporation database. County court dockets sadly show open items so is this closure in part financial? Sadly I did  also find  landlord tenant and other things going back  a few years, so is the economy as much to blame?  Also as the property changed hands did the rent just keep going up?

Whatever has happened, it’s a crying shame.  It represents the death of another small business with a long history in a Main Line Community.

RIP Viking Pastries. Thank you for all the wonderful years you gave your customers.

(the photo array is assembled from a couple of my photos and ones I found on Google)

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lower merion school district is having stoneleigh sunshine issues?

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Oh CBS3 I think I love that you love “sunshine”.  What am I talking about? Oh my, check out the CBS3 video about Stoneleigh in Lower Merion.

I am going to let CBS3 tell the story:

CBS3 Emails Reveal Private Tour, Internal School Board Conversations As Stoneleigh Gardens Controversy Continues
By Joe HoldenAugust 1, 2018 at 11:36 pm

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Those set on preserving Stoneleigh Gardens versus the Lower Merion School District: It was a boil over this spring that has since simmered in the quiet summer months. But a final decision has yet to be made on the Main Line property that school officials identified in April for possible seizure under eminent domain. The announcement came at the same time the Gardens opened to the public and whipped up a firestorm.

“The Lower Merion School District still hasn’t taken Stoneleigh off the table and until and unless they do so, it’s still at risk,” said Oliver Bass, who is with Natural Lands, the non-profit organization responsible for preserving Stoneleigh.

On June 18, CBS3 filed an open records request with the Lower Merion School District for all emails about Stoneleigh between the superintendent and school board. A month later, the district responded.

It’s unknown how many emails traveled back and forth, but Lower Merion decided to keep virtually all of the electronic correspondence secret, based on attorney-client privilege and a real estate exemption, the denial read.

“Any time in the USA when we hear of government taking property, it strikes right at the core of our fundamental principles.”

Terry Mutchler, former head of Pennsylvania’s Open Records Office and a national transparency lawyer said Lower Merion has an obligation to be open — especially given the Stoneleigh uproar.

“I would think the district would want to be more in the sunshine than behind the curtain on this,” Mutchler said.

CLICK HERE TO READ EMAILS OBTAINED BY CBS3

Here are the emails released by CBS3:

The released e-mails are naturally not earth shattering (but still interesting) , nor am I shocked that Lower Merion School District finds itself above sunshine. They have always flet themselves collectively superior to everyone.

Soooo, how would more people like to submit Rights to Know on Lower Merion School District? (Follow this LINK to files a right to know on super secret and unpleasant Lower Merion School District.)

Stoneleigh is NOT safe although Lower Merion School District bought or is buying the Clothier Estate. Don’t be lulled into complacency. They are greedy snakes in the grass and until there is a public and irrefutable statement that Stoneleigh is off of the table, it’s just not.

Governor Wolf signed the Stoneleigh eminent domain bill into law because he’s up for re-election , BUT again, Stoneleigh is NOT off the Lower Merion School District dining table.

If you live in Lower Merion Township, it’s time to dump the latest bad school Superintendent (Copeland) and it’s time to dump Dr. Melissa Gilbert and her merry band of Stepford Board Members off of the school board.  Once upon a time I had high hopes for Melissa, but now she just believes her own press.

Support Natural Lands. #SaveStoneleigh

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