Striving & Reviving

Sharon, PA is a small Rust Belt town being given a second chance at life. Our mission here at JCL Development is to lead the charge to restore and reenergize our town. Every day we are collaborating, creating, striving, and reviving to help polish this hidden gemstone.

Courtney Costa: In Sharon, It Takes a Band

Meet Courtney Costa, a community member with a passion for transforming properties who believes in hard work and working together.

Author: Jeff Coleman | March 20th, 2023

Courtney Costa has roots in Sharon, but the decision to buy a home and anchor a property management business here wasn’t nostalgia. It was the city’s welcome and vision for the future that made the difference. “Sharon is business friendly. They seem interested in getting unsightly businesses and properties cleaned up. And they’re helpful but hands off. They let you do it,” she said.

Courtney doesn’t brag, but she could. Maybe it’s the influence of Wilmington’s 32-year high school band director, Gary Taylor, drilling the values of humility and discipline—no tolerance for showboating. The glory came from working together.

Perhaps it’s the thought of outshining someone more deserving or becoming the center of attention. But whatever keeps her from blowing her own trumpet, also makes Courtney a good entrepreneur, co-worker, and neighbor. “I’m not a professional musician, but I like being part of a group—the camaraderie of being in a band,” she says.

Chapter by chapter, Courtney’s life has been a series of long collaborations leading to respect and results.

For 22 of the 76 years Mark’s Music in Hermitage has been in business, Courtney has been helping customers find their instrument of choice. “I definitely enjoy performing and listening to music, but I’m just more inclined to the repair aspect of the business.” Like a longtime barber or family doctor, these are durable, inseparable relationships.

Transforming Her Passion in Sharon, PA

Courtney Costa loves fixing. When she’s not at the music store, she’s tending to one of her meticulously maintained rental properties around town or breathing life into a fixer upper—often with the help of her other mentor, her beloved grandfather, James Thompson. Like her, Thompson is modest. The retired steel worker and Korean War veteran doesn’t give much advice. At age 90, he’s graduated to “supervisor,” overseeing quality control from a folding chair.

Details matter. Curb appeal is essential. Everything in place and in good repair. These are the pieces that make reputations and build trust.

If high school band taught her the value of collaboration, it was a grandfather who showed Courtney how to work. Not from talking, but by doing. “He’s a doer. He’s very, very consistent. You show up and you do it. If there’s work to be done, you’re not sitting at home and watching TV,” is how she describes his approach. “I cannot begin to tell you how blessed I am that I still have him.”

This summer, when the bands are playing at Buhl Park, Courtney Costa won’t be up front. She’ll be somewhere out of sight—probably at Cabin Café— making sure the .50 cent hotdog tradition continues. After all, music is always better on a full stomach. In some ways, she’s still playing her part in the band.