Poconos Coal

Historic store must erase part of past to save its future

Historic store must erase part of past to save its future

Since the mid 1800's Pike County's Bushkill General Store has sat on Route 209, but the historic structure has been empty since 2005.

Ironically, part of the building has to be torn down to restore the store.

"I don't like it, I didn't like it but I have no choice," local contractor and owner Anthony Palma said.

Palma and his wife bought the place last fall to either sell it or turn it back into a general store. However their plans didn't initially check out with the township.

"Township clearly stated if we didn't figure out a way to do parking, we could only list it as a residential house," he said.

The property doesn't have any parking spaces, a problem Palma never expected to see.

There is a giant parking lot next to the store but it's owned by the National Park.

Cars are allowed to park there, but for legal reasons the township says the store has to have its own spaces.

So Palma, who would visit the store as a kid, is spending $25,000 tearing down part of the building to make 20 parking spaces.

Palma isn't deterred. He says plans are to have the store up and running by next Summer with plenty of spaces to park.

"I'm paying $14,000 a year in taxes on this place. Have to come up with something," Palma stated.

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