Swing Kat In Spring City PA

Swing Kat In Spring City PA

It has been a long time since my last post on our moving process.  However what you need to know is that it may now just be a matter of time before you find Swing Kat in Spring City PA!  I have been quiet on this subject for awhile as things have been moving so slowly that there has been nothing much to say.  Also, it looked so bad for so long I didn’t want to put out a post saying we were not going to be able to find a new home.  However, it got so bad at one point that I did announce at our 8th Anniversary we would not be able to buy the building at 123 Hall St in Spring City.  But that was a few months ago.  Now for the past 3 weeks we have been riding a wave of good news that just might put Swing Kat in Spring City PA after all!

If you read some of my older posts on our moving process, you might have found a list of hurdles we needed to overcome in order to relocate Swing Kat to Mechanics Hall.  Well, around 3 weeks ago that list lost it’s biggest hurdle.  As it stands now, Swing Kat Entertainment has the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s full blessing to proceed forward on the issue of EDUs concerning Spring City’s outdated sewer system.  The fact that our usage will not at all be what the DEP would expect from a building this size has made the difference and gotten us over this hurdle.  The DEP’s concern was that we would use over 800 gallons of water in a given day.  First off our average usage will be around 285 gallons a day if we double our current usage at the new location.  The only night we would even get close to 800 gallons by their calculations is on our live band nights.  According to their calculations, we would go over 800 and up to 1000 gallons on that night.  Now you and I both know that wouldn’t happen, but we have to go by their calculations.  So, they have restricted our turnouts to 159 persons on any given day.  Getting average turnouts this fall of 200 persons or more this may seem like a problem.  However, it won’t be as we can use other facilities on nights we believe our numbers will be greater than 159.

The main point here is that only a few hurdles remain for seeing Swing Kat in Spring City PA.  The biggest one at this point is the variance hearing for our proposed parking lot.  We will need to seek relief at the variance hearing on many little issues concerning our parking lot.  The most major of which is the fact that we will not be able to create enough parking spots in our lot for the square footage of the building.  Others include driveways not being of sufficient width, requirement of paving which we can’t afford and needing tighter parking spots.  However anyone who tries to buy Mechanics Hall will face these same issues.  Thus, the hearing board has got to give somebody relief on these issues or the owners will never sell this building.  The other hurdle at this time is a requirement for full blown land development plans.  This is a very costly issue at $30-40K just to get permission to proceed.  Requirement of full blown land development plans would end our pursuit of Mechanics Hall.  However, we have a really good chance of not being required to go all the way with land development.  Requirement of partial land development would drop that bill to $7-10K.  This decision will be up to the Spring City borough council.  Council members have had some face time will me at borough meetings and have expressed a desire to see Swing Kat in Spring City PA.  That should help us make our dream of having a permanent home in Spring City a reality!

Swing Kat from Pottstown PA

Moving Swing Kat from Pottstown PA

Moving Swing Kat from Pottstown PA to Spring City is proving to be a knock down drag out fight.  However it is a fight we will endure to its end.  I had a  big meeting this week with the Spring City Borough Manager, their Engineer, their Codes Enforcer, their Lawyer, my Lawyer and my Architect.  As you can imagine, it is costly to bring a group like this together and Swing Kat is paying the bill.  Needless to say moving Swing Kat from Pottstown PA to Spring City is getting more expensive by the day.  At this meeting I learned that the cost for a yes or no answer on whether or not we can proceed with our plans is now going to cost between $10 & $15k.  I also learned about a number of more obstacles that are standing in our way.  This thousand dollar meeting has left me with more questions than I had before we had the meeting.  However, we are getting closer to the answers.

I know it has been awhile since my last update on moving Swing Kat from Pottstown PA.  The reason is that it took nearly a month to put together this meeting which finally happened yesterday.  As I said we now know about more obstacles that stand in our way.  Each one of these obstacles unfortunately has the power to stop our move of Swing Kat from Pottstown PA.   However for the first time I feel like we have clear direction on how to proceed from here.

Here are the obstacles that currently stand in our way…

1.  Because it has been 100 years since this building was last sold, the buildings zoning is listed as Un-Certified.  What we were told this could mean is that even the slightest change in Use could cause us to have to comply with much greater code issue such as elevators & sprinkler systems.

2.  Spring City has an unofficial moratorium on EDU’s right now from the Department of Environmental  Protection.  This is due to their sewer system needing to be upgraded.  They have begun this process however it will not be complete for a few years which doesn’t help us.  If the DEP requires us to have more than 1 EDU for our building it will end our ability to move forward.

3.  Because we will need parking and have plans to put in a parking lot, we need to find out if the Planning Commission will require us to submit formal plans or not.  If they do require this, the cost of preparing these plans, fees related to the process and time this process takes will all end this process for us.  The only way around this would be for us not to put in a parking lot.  However that would hurt us in our bid to get over the final obstacle.

4.  Lastly, we need to get through a variance hearing as even with our new parking lot, we won’t have the required amount of parking.  We will have roughly half the parking required by the codes book.  This is no small matter and will be a tough road.  There are more issues than just the number of parking spots.  There is also the fact we can’t provide a driveway wide enough to meet the code.  As well as the fact we can’t afford to pave the lot which is also required along with other issues.

At this point we have spent over $4,000 of the $5,077  we raised for our move this past summer.  So, I am now starting to pull money out of my own pockets, the money we were going to use to take care of the codes issues and parking lot once the borough gave us the go ahead.  So, we need to continue raising money through 50/50’s, tea shirt sales and whatever else we can think of.

Here is one more important note.  Spring City is in favor of us moving Swing Kat from Pottstown PA into their borough.  I have received nothing but kindness and well wishing from the community, the borough employees and borough council.  Many have asked how they can help and others have already helped.  Hopefully the obstacles don’t stop us.

I will continue to follow this lead to it’s end (rule #2 in partner dancing) and see where it goes.

Mechanics Hall 123 Hall St Spring City PA 19475

Mechanics Hall 123 Hall St Spring City PA 19475

Mechanics Hall 123 Hall St Spring City PA 19475 currently the home of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon is to become our new home!  This is where Swing Kat Entertainment will reside around the new year.  After months of waiting, 2 weeks ago we finally signed the paper work.  This is closer than we have ever gotten to securing a place that can be our permanent home.  At this point the only things that can stop us from realizing this dream are a parking variance hearing & the cost of code improvements that will have to be made.  Both of these issues could stop us however I believe we should get past both and realize our dream!

In the process of securing Mechanics Hall 123 Hall St Spring City PA 19475 I have learned that the cost of just simply getting the answers as to whether or not we will even be allowed to consider purchasing/moving to Mechanics Hall is going to be more costly than first imagined.  It looks like we are now looking at $8-$10K just to find out if we will be allowed to proceed as planned.  This is an awful price to pay, but to hold our dance community together I am moving forward.  There is no other option that will work for our complete calendar of events.  If we were just doing swing dances and classes, I would be able to find a place to make that happen.  However we do swing, ballroom, salsa, milonga, and more.  We need a place we can have all month long.  More importantly, we need a place that is affordable & sized correctly for the small crowds we normally get each night.  Mechanics Hall will hold roughly 125 people for swing dancing on it’s main ballroom floor.  The Ballroom On High would hold 25o.  With our highest average for DJ dance nights being around 55 for swing/ballroom dances and 85 for our monthly salsa dance, there is no need for a building the size of the Ballroom On High.

Be looking for more information on our future move to Mechanics Hall 123 Hall St Spring City PA 19475.  I will have information at our dance events starting this weekend.  However for now you can take a look at pictures of Mechanics Hall by following this link… Click Here!

Spring City Dance Community to become a Reality?

Spring City Dance Community

As we take each step forward in the process of trying to find our new home, a Spring City dance community is looking more and more like a reality!  Since my last update everything has been moving very slowly.  Mainly we have been waiting on important information from codes officials.  However after our long wait for answers we are no more sure of where we stand in regards to code issues than we were a few weeks ago.  Will there be a Spring City dance community?  It is a good question.

Here is what we do know.  We are now one step closer to a Spring City dance community being a reality.  In the past few days we and the sellers have reached agreement on the price and terms of the sale.  Furthermore financing has also been arranged and is no longer a hurdle!  With that said, though financing has been arranged, we still have to come up with the moneys needed to close the deal. On top of this we will need the money to deal with the code issues that will arise.  Now, this is where things get a bit hazy.  Like I said earlier, we have not been able to get answers on what code issues we are facing here.  If the building is zoned A-3 (which we can’t even get an answer on) our code issues will be few requiring $25,000 or less to close and get into this property.  However if this building is not A-3 or if they will not grandfather it as such, the costs could be $50,000 or more.

In either case here is where we stand.  By this weekend it is likely that our deal with the sellers will be signed and in writing.  This is a great step forward!  Our next step has to be applying for a parking variance hearing, submitting architectural drawings and paying for the review of those drawings.  We will also need to hire a lawyer for the variance hearing. In the end we are probably looking at $5,000. just to get an answer as to whether or not the building is A-3, will be grandfathered in as A-3, if they will allow A-3 at all or what they will require of us to get it there.

As I have shown over the past 8 years, I am dedicated to our Pottstown dance community not just surviving, but thriving.  This past year has been very hard me as we have faced disappointments and trials I never could have imagined.  However, I am dedicated to see this through.  It just so happens that $5,077. is what we have left from the moneys we raised last summer for our moving process.  I will use this money to get our answers now since this is what is required.  Hopefully at the end a Spring City dance community will be our reality!

Dance Spring City PA? Maybe Just Maybe!

dance spring city pa

Dance Spring City PA?!?!  What is this about dancing in Spring City?  Where is Spring City?  These are all good questions.

Dance Spring City Pa

Well, as I have been saying we have set our sights on a building just south of Pottstown PA.  If you go to the intersection of rt100 & rt724 and head towards Phoenixville you will be in Spring City in just 10 short minutes.  Spring City is where we would like to make our new home out of an old building.  As the picture suggests, we are hoping to make our home in Spring City PA!

This Wednesday, we met an architect at the building.  He looked through the building and talked with us some.  Again, right now the biggest hurdle we are facing is a variance hearing to change what is required of us in regards to parking.  This hurdle is sizable and is big enough to throw a wrench in the monkey works.  However, we learned more this Wednesday with the architect.  For people to dance Spring City PA, we learned that the Use of this building has to currently be Assembly.  If it is, this parking issue will likely be our biggest issue.  However, if the current Use of the building is not Assembly with the state of Pennsylvania we will be in for more than we can handle.  A change of Use would cause us to have to do many things to this building that we simply cannot do.  The good news is that though we do not yet have an answer as to what this buildings Use has been for the past 100 plus years, it is likely Assembly.  On top of this bit of good news is that if it is not categorized as Assembly, it is likely that we can make an argument to prove that Assembly is indeed what it was used for over these many years.

I should have an answer by next Tuesday on what the current Use of this building is.  Pray for Assembly 🙂  Here is hoping that next week I give you good news on the Use of this building.  So, dance Spring City PA?  I want to dance Spring City PA, do you?!  Stay tuned!