Wolf Administration Announces Funding for Cleanup of 11 Former Industrial Sites

October 18, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced 11 new approvals through the Industrial Sites Reuse Program (ISRP) that will clean up former industrial sites in Allegheny, Berks, Blair, Cumberland, Erie, and Montgomery counties to prepare them for occupation by businesses and residential properties.

“These projects will not only protect the environment and remove harmful contaminants from these sites, but will also prepare them for development into residential or commercial property where people can live and work,” Governor Wolf said. “Eliminating blight is a crucial component of growing local economies and improving quality of life in these areas.”

Because no redevelopment can occur at these properties if they still contain environmental contamination, developers must first undergo extensive environmental cleanup before the property can be put into productive reuse. The ISRP provides loans and grants to help offset the costs of environmental assessments and remediation to foster the cleanup of the contaminated material at these industrial sites.

The 11 approved projects:

  • Allegheny County: RIDC Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Fund was approved for a $300,000 grant to perform environmental remediation on a three-story building located at Mill 19 in the city of Pittsburgh. RIDC is redeveloping the massive, long-abandoned mill that sits on the 12.6-acre Hazelwood Green site. Mill 19 is one of three existing structures that remain standing from when the site was used for steel production.
  • Allegheny County: The Pittsburgh Trust For Cultural Resources was approved for a $297,750 grant to perform environmental remediation on the former Duff’s Business Institute in the city of Pittsburgh. Once developed, the site will be prepared for the development of a 400,000-square-foot office building.
  • Allegheny County: North Side Industrial Development Company was approved for a $154,500 grant for a Phase II environmental assessment study located in the Lower Hill District of the city of Pittsburgh. The property is 12.4 acres and comprised of six tax parcels that were assembled and cleared in the 1960’s to become part of the former Civic Arena development, and will be developed for residential, office, hotels, and retail/recreational use.
  • Berks County: Fleetwood Borough was approved for a $285,443 grant to perform environmental remediation at the former Garden State Tannery site in Fleetwood. The borough plans to develop the 2-acre lot into a public parking facility for businesses on Main Street.
  • Berks County: Berks County Convention Center Authority (BCCCA) was approved for a $138,750 grant for environmental remediation costs at the Pearle Building site located in the city of Reading. BCCCA plans to remediate the contaminated building and construct a multi-level bar/restaurant totaling 33,000 square feet.
  • Blair County: Altoona Blair County Development Corporation was approved for a $14,581 grant to assist with an environmental assessment at a former auto dealership located at 2300 North Branch Avenue in the city of Altoona. Once the site has been assessed, the site will be converted into a 35-bed shelter and 6 apartments for low to moderate income residents. Additionally, the developer will construct a new building which will provide administrative and support space for the Blair County Community Action Agency and Classrooms for Blair County Head Start.
  • Cumberland County: REC DC, LLC was approved for a $48,855 grant to perform environmental remediation at the former Domestic Castings site in Shippensburg Township. Once remediated, REC DC plans to redevelop the property into a mixed residential, office, and retail property with five structures.
  • Cumberland County: Real Estate Collaborative, LLC was approved for a $231,709 grant to perform environmental remediation at the former Tyco manufacturing facility in Carlisle. Once remediated, the site will be redeveloped into commercial, retail, and entertainment space.
  • Erie County: Corry Area Industrial Development Corporation was approved for a $667,345 grant to perform environmental remediation work at the former Thermo-Fab Inc. site located in the Corry. The former 31,750-square-foot industrial building was built in 1953 and has sat vacant since 2008.
  • Montgomery County: Renaissance Land Associates II, L.P. and Renaissance Land Associates III, L.P were approved for a $885,289 loan and a $415,510 loan for environmental remediation work of more than 20 acres on the site known as the former Alan Wood Steel Company coking facility located in Upper Merion Township. Once the site is remediated, the developer intends to redevelop the site for residential multi-family purposes.
  • Montgomery County: The Municipality of Norristown was approved for a $31,500 grant for environmental assessment of the former Howie Corporation site located in Norristown. Once the site is remediated, the Municipality of Norristown will partner with the current owner to create a residential/mixed use property.

“Assisting with the cleanup of these brownfield sites is vital for attracting business investment and job creation,” Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin said. “When brownfield sites sit vacant, they become eyesores, they lower property values, and hold back economic development in the area. These projects will ensure these sites become valuable properties that truly improve the communities in which they are located.”

“Revitalizing brownfields and restoring them to productive use is critical to having strong vibrant communities,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We’re pleased to collaborate with DCED on these brownfield redevelopment projects, and thousands more statewide.”

For more information about the Industrial Sites Reuse program, visit the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

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