New Bristol Townships Breathe Life Into Blighted Property

Two Bristol Township businesses have opened their doors on the 6400 block of McPherson Street. Keen Compressed Gas Co. and Home Healthworks, Inc. held a ribbon cutting ceremony in their new locations Thursday morning.

Bristol Township condemned the property in 2017 after a business manufacturer circuit boards went bankrupt in 2011. For years, the building sat vacant and spiraled further into disrepair.

Then, the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority secured a $100,000 state grant. The BCRDA contacted developer Mnop Inc. for a public-private partnership, and work began.

(From left) Brian Keen thanks local officials for their help. BCRDA Chairman Sean Schafer and Executive Director Jeff Darwak listen to the side. Photo by Rick Rickman.

Brian Keen, the third generation owner of his family business, thanked all of the officials who helped make the day possible. Founded in 1919, the business is celebrating its centennial year.

In addition to earning taxable revenue, Keen’s new location will also be giving back to the community in other ways.

“20 or 30 years from now, that’s what we want to be,” Keen said. “We want to be well known., we want to be involved in the community. We want to be part of the process. We want to support the little leagues, support the schools, and support the charities. That’s the way we go to market.”

State Sen. Tommy Tomlinson also applauded Keen for offering his time to vocational students.

Clean, stocked shelves mark a far cry from the disheveled property blighted in 2017.

“I want to thank the owners because they said they were going to host the Bucks County Technical High School students who are welding, which is a great profession. You can make a lot of money as a welder today.”

“This to me is what the enterprise zone was all about,” Loughery said. “Small businesses, older properties that needed a new injection of life. A renewal of sorts, a redevelopment, and that’s why the Redevelopment Authority got involved.”

Bob White, former BCRDA executive director, attended because of his role in identifying the site for redevelopment.

The property on McPherson Street before redevelopment. Image via BCRDA.

“Clearly, a hundred dumpster loads of trash came out of this place. The whole roof had to be replaced,” White said. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you it’s been a pleasure working with Bristol Township officials. They really are business oriented, they get behind you, they make decisions.”

Current Executive Director Jeff Darwak, Chairman Sean Schafer, and Solicitor Allen Toadvine joined Pat Wandling for Speak Your Piece Thursday at noon. The full conversation is available on here.