PA Secretary of Community and Economic Development Visits Blair County

by | Jun 22, 2018 | News

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Effective partnerships between the public and private sectors (or P3s) are a key part of our modern economic development efforts. Blair County has advanced several development projects that would not have been possible without them. This week Pennsylvania Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development Dennis Davin joined with Altoona Blair County Development Corporation leadership and Altoona Mayor Matt Pacifico in Altoona to visit several of these marquee P3 projects.

First stop was the Mishler Theater. In January Governor Wolf and Secretary Davin awarded a Keystone Communities Grant in the amount of $150,000 for the Mishler Theatre Seating Replacement Project. The grant will help to cover the first phase of the project, which includes the purchase and installation of 879 new seats in the theatre. The grant was applied for by ABCD who will serve as the administrator. This grant was matched dollar for dollar by a local benefactor and friend of the Mishler Theatre.

Next was a visit to the former Gable’s Department Store Building, constructed in 1884. Earlier this month Governor Wolf announced the award of a $2.5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant to help remove a brick façade which has encased the building since the late 1970s. The project will effectively “daylight” the building, exposing the windows once again making the spaces inside more viable for new businesses and their employees to work and greatly enhance the downtown streetscape experience.

Finally, the group stopped at the site of the former Puritan Silk Mill Building, which is about to undergo a partial demolition and full-scale renovation into a class A office, retail and residential use. In February Governor Wolf announced a Business in Our Sites (BIOS) $4 million grant and $6.2 million loan which will help defer some of the costs for environmental remediation, site preparation and demolition. The $13 million project is expected to be completed in 2020.

“We continue to work diligently to partner with the private sector on projects of all types  — business, arts, and community development. Pennsylvania and its current leadership wants to close financial gaps that may otherwise prevent a project from happening, especially in smaller market regions,” said Secretary Davin. “This is an important role for the commonwealth to play, getting key state dollars invested back into the local communities for long-term economic impact.”

“ABCD has such a strong working relationship with the Wolf Administration, Secretary Davin and his whole team,” said Stephen McKnight, ABCD President and CEO. “Their cooperation and response to key project needs has helped to spur additional confidence from the private sector. All of this ultimately helps to create jobs and attract new investment.”[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”6103,6104,6105,6106,6107,6108″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Managed By Cassus Media