Restoration Economy: 13 building renovation and brownfields projects get $32.85 million to help revitalize Pennsylvania communities

On April 22, 2022, thirteen projects designed to help revitalize communities in Pennsylvania received $32.85 million.

Every one of these projects funded will make a real, meaningful difference in our communities and the lives of those who live there,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “It’s an honor to support Pennsylvania’s future success through these investments.

The funding, through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), will support critical expansion projects, provide opportunities for job creation and employment training, and community development and revitalization.

The award approvals include the following projects:

Allegheny County

Esplanade, $10 million
Esplanade is a mixed-use redevelopment of several brownfield and under-utilized industrial parcels. Phase 1 will include destination-based attractions, experiential retail and restaurants, rental and for-sale housing, expansive public open space, a marina and public pier, all surrounding the Esplanade’s centerpiece Pavilion. It will feature a welcoming courtyard/open space, restaurant, and a fresh food emporium. The exterior will feature areas for seating and gathering, an outdoor performance amphitheater, a splash park, ice skating trail and other amenities.

Astrobotic Capital Expansion – Phase II, $2 million
The project will repurpose a former post office into a new state-of-the-art headquarter building for lunar logistics. The building will house the company’s spacecraft integration cleanrooms, test facilities, lab spaces, rover test labs, payload operations room, dedicated mission control, and museum. The facility will have 15,000 square feet of cleanroom and lab space, and will feature a space mobility and lunar simulant lab, where mobile rovers can test drive in synthetic lunar regolith.

Veterans Place Housing Upgrade and Expansion, $2 million
The project will upgrade current infrastructure and townhomes, and construct a stand-alone, multi-purpose building that will include vital behavioral health services, recreational and activity spaces, and eight new townhomes. As Veterans Place has the only transitional housing program for homeless vets in the region, the additional townhomes are a vital component to serving more veterans as they complete their journey from homeless to home.

Dauphin County

Bridge – Harrisburg J.E.D.I.I. Center, $4 million
The project will undertake complete renovation of the first floor of the former Bishop McDevitt High School for The JEDII Center. The Center will contain flexible spaces and facilities for a multitude of life-changing educational programs and events. It will contain a community concert/lecture hall, a library, co-working space, maker space, a rooftop garden, a community kitchen and fresh foods cafe, and a full-service medical clinic.

Erie County

Shearer’s Waterford Industrial Building Expansion, $1.75 million
Shearer’s Foods Waterford, LLC will construct a building to house and enable the production of a baked chip line. It will include such interior build-out projects as plumbing, mechanical HVAC, and electrical.

Lawrence County

IBEW S712 Solar Training Facility, $1 million
The project will construct a state-of-the-art alternative energy training equipment for the electrical apprenticeship training center on a six-acre parcel. The project will also entail other alternative energy training equipment with vehicle charging stations, wind turbines, a welding and charging building, and energy dashboard.

Lehigh County

St. Luke’s Hospital – Sacred Heart Sigal Center Parking Garage Accessibility, $1 million
The construction project will connect the Sigal Center with the St. Luke’s Parking Garage next to it. Parking garage improvements include a new vehicular access ramp from the parking lot at the Sigal Center and a new pedestrian bridge from the second floor of the parking garage into the Sigal Center. The project includes utility relocation/coordination, a new pedestrian bridge, the relocation of the parking garage entrance/ramp, and new lighting.

Luzerne County

Domestic Violence Service Center Shelter Expansion, $1.1 million
The project will add an expansion to the existing DVSC facility. Work associated with the expansion shall include: site demolition; demolition relative to the existing building tie in; structural frame; means of egress stairs; six client bedrooms; men’s and women’s toilet and bathing facilities; interior framed partitions; expansion of existing kitchen area; roofing system; ceiling systems; plumbing systems; HVAC systems; electrical power and lighting systems; and alarm and security systems.

Montgomery County

Variety Campus Master Plan Implementation, $2.5 million
The project will construct a new, modern, ADA-accessible cabin, as well as a new headquarters facility for VarietyWorks vocational programs. A flexible, large open space will allow for multiple uses, such as adaptable classrooms and vocational training sites. The new building will also serve as a welcome center and safe drop off and pick up location.

Northampton County

The Mill at Easton – Phase II, $2 million
RACP funds will be used for site preparation, construction and related costs to complete the redevelopment of the former silk mill site into commercial area, including a Dollar General DG Plus Marketplace (featuring perishable and non-perishable groceries and dry goods), a health clinic, and other retail uses.

Philadelphia County

Kensington Avenue Redevelopment (New Kensington Community Development Corporation), $1.5 million
This project will acquire 8 properties in a 0.75-mile stretch of Kensington Avenue and transform them into avenue “anchors.” Plans include vacant lots to be used for outdoor programming, plazas for artists and entrepreneurs, and an access point to the future Richmond Industrial Trail.

William Way LGBT Community Center Renovation, $2.5 million
This project will improve ADA access to the front portion of the existing building, as well as demolishing and replacing the rear wings. It will create a highly flexible event space, catering kitchen and cafe for job creation and training, rentable meeting facilities, flexible private and spacious coworking areas, a new dedicated art gallery, expanded archives and reading room, and a computer lounge suitable for hybrid programs.

York County

York County Food Bank – Building Hope and Fighting Hunger, $1.5 million
The project will expand the York County Food Bank warehouse to a new facility on King Street and renovate the Hunger-Free client-choice pantry on West Princess Street. A new warehouse space will enable the Food Bank to acquire, store, and distribute a greater quantity and better variety of fresh, nutrient-rich foods. Additionally, the project will renovate the client-choice food pantry in the City of York.

Photo of historic building in downtown York, Pennsylvania by Storm Cunningham.

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