Gov. Rendell this week announced the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) has approved its first 15 projects, totaling over $16 million in grants and loans, through the “Business in Our Sites” program. The projects will work to create shovel-ready sites for businesses through land acquisition, construction and feasibility studies.
The Business in Our Sites program was created to provide funding to communities for the development of ready-to-build sites for new and expanding businesses. A $300 million funding pool of grants and loans is available to municipalities and redevelopment authorities for the acquisition, and development of these sites. The program puts special emphasis on communities that lack the resources necessary to invest in site preparation and on renovating brownfield sites in order to prevent urban sprawl.
Here’s a sampling of the projects approved so far related to brownfield site redevelopment:
Adams County: The Borough of Gettysburg will receive a $175,000 BOS planning grant for redevelopment efforts on three blocks along Railroad Street in the downtown area. The funds will cover environmental assessment costs, engineering costs and consulting fees.
Beaver County: The Redevelopment Authority of Beaver County will receive a $175,000 BOS planning grant for restoration of a blighted area in Ambridge. The project will be a mixed-used development of industrial, commercial, business services, residential and recreational uses. The funds will be used for an environmental remediation plan, infrastructure design consisting of site excavation, a demolition plan, the development of geotechnical assessments, and a financial feasibility and market study.
Blair County: The Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation will receive a $175,000 BOS planning grant for redevelopment of the former Hollidaysburg Car Shop facility. The funds will be used for an engineering feasibility study, an environmental investigation, mapping, wetland delineation, concept plan development, storm water management design, and an infrastructure improvement plan.
Carbon County: The Carbon County Commissioners will receive a $175,000 BOS planning grant for renovations to Packerton Yards in Mahoning Township and Lehighton Borough. The funds will be used for a Phase III environmental assessment and engineering designs, which will include roadway and utility plans. The development of this park is expected to bring 200-300 new jobs to the community.
Clearfield County: Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership, Inc. will receive a $35,000 BOS planning grant for the development of a 47-acre brownfield site in Morris Township. The funds will be used for an overall feasibility and planning analysis, specifically focused on geotechnical testing, engineering design work and a market analysis.
Forest County: BVK, Inc. will receive a $175,000 BOS planning grant to redevelop the former Knox Glass Container Corp. site into an industrial park. The funds will be used to create engineering designs of infrastructure improvements, as well as an environmental assessment for Phase II of the project.
Lackawanna County: The Scranton Redevelopment Authority will receive a $175,000 BOS planning grant for the redevelopment of a 26-acre brownfield site into the Mount Pleasant Corporate Center. The funds will be used to conduct site feasibility, planning, design, and engineering studies.
York County: The York County Economic Development Corporation will receive a $175,000 BOS planning grant for development of the Codorus Creek Corridor, which covers six municipalities in York County. The funds will be used for a master plan, market study, financial plan and economic impact analysis for the York Technology Park component. An additional $25 million in private investment will be leveraged to create 800-1,200 new jobs.