Midday Headlines: Montco Considers Spending Millions on Norristown HQ

The County considers its options.

Montgomery Plaza office buildings, courtesy of Google Street View

Montgomery Plaza office buildings, courtesy of Google Street View

The Inquirer’s Jessica Parks reports that Montgomery County, after selling off much of its property over the last year, is reconsidering what to do with its headquarters and central offices in Norristown. The county is hiring a consultant to study the options, “including rehabilitating One Montgomery Plaza, building atop the county courthouse plaza, replacing an underground parking garage, renovating or tearing down the old stone prison, or even expanding the county footprint by buying the Post Office building behind the courthouse.” The 10-story One Montgomery Plaza alone needs at least $17 million in repairs.

One of the goals of such redevelopment could be the revitalization of central Norristown. The Inquirer points to the example of Delaware County’s seat Media:

A core demographic of county workers, lawyers, and people seeking county services helped woo upscale businesses such as Trader Joe’s and Iron Hill Brewery to Media in the 1990s. Crime fell. The economy grew, and downtown Media has a mix of eclectic local businesses, and the good kind of nightlife surrounding its quaint, walkable center.

Should Montco sell or rehab its old county buildings? [Inquirer]

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