Saturday, December 27, 2014

PA votes billions for developers, dredging, Family Court

Our legislators keep adding new projects to be funded with the people's money

PA votes billions for developers, dredging, Family Court

The more-or-less final version of Pennsylvania’s capital budget bill, House Bill 2291, which passed the Republican-run Senate Wednesday and is pending in the Democratic House, swells the proposed new wish list of "public improvements," transportation and redevelopment assistance to more than $12 billion, from the original $4 billion.

Those projects, built with borrowed money, won’t all get funded, and they won’t all be built soon. Most will need matching funds from other sources, plus final approval from Gov. Rendell or his successor. But lawmakers are rushing to get them all approved before Rendell ends his term in January.

Below are some of the projects most recently added in the Philly area. There are hundreds more here and across the state. Read the bill here (version 4386)

DEVELOPMENTS
-  $250 million for “consolidation and relocation of Family Court and the Police Administration Headquarters,” presumably to West Philadelphia, where the bill also proposes to spend $25 million to buy 4601 Market Street  in West Philadelphia “for use as a police headquarters.” West Philly politicians like Sen. Vincent Hughes and city councilman Janine Blackwell have been pushing this plan.
- $50 million to buy property, rebuild and “revitalize East Market Street between City Hall and Independence Mall.” Would help developers like Ron Rubin’s PREIT, which owns the worn Gallery shopping center.
- $50 million “to revitalize the Lower Schuylkill Are from Grays Ferry Ave. to 70th St.”
- $50 million to support “mixed-use projects” (shopping, offices, homes) near unnamed “universities in Philadelphia”
- $35 million (up from an original $15 million) for a new Elmwood Commons shopping center in Southwest Philly
- $31 million (up from an original $12 million) for music producer-turned-developer Kenny Gamble (Luqman Abdul-Haqq)’s Royal Theater and Universal Commercial Complex on South Street
- $24 million for a new supermarket at 37th and Haverford in West Philadelphia; and $20 million for other, unnamed supermarkets
- $20 million for “acquisition” and  “redevelopment” of an unnamed building “adjacent to Independence Mall” for “academic and historic preservation purposes”
- $20 million for “a transit-oriented development” in North Philadelphia between N. Broad and 17th, W. Glenwood and W. Indiana Aves.
- $20 million to redevelop the former Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute at Henry Ave. and Roosevelt Blvd.
- $20 million for redevelopment in West Parkside
- $15 million for “streetscape enhancements” on North Broad St. between Spring Garden and Norris Sts.
- $15 million for upgrades at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard
- $15 milion for a retail-office-residential development in Newtown Square
- $15 million for new unidentified “economic development projects” in Montgomery County
- $12.5 million for an unidentified builder at the former Phoenix Steel Co., Phoenixville
- $12 million for expansion of the Valley Forge Corporate Center, Lower Providence Township
- $10 million for unidentified "economic development projects" in Chester County
- $10 million for construction at West Pharmaceutical Services, Chester County
- $10 million for a "Town Center" development in Middletown, Delaware County
- $10 milion for "rehabilitation" at the Pennsylvania Convention Center
- $10 million for the Hunting Park Revitalization Project
- $10 million, each, for Philadelphia Housing Authority’s Norris Apartments and Queen Lane projects
-  $10 million for a new unidentified economci development projects, $10 million each for unidentified college and hospital projects, and millions more for unidentified parks, all in Delaware County
- $9.7 million for development at the Juniper Hotel
- $8.5 million for Gray’s Ferry Gateway retail and medical offices
- $7.5 million for a hotel and stores on Pier 34
- $7 million for Cobbs Creek Shopping Center, West Philadlephia
- $6.5 million for the Sanatoga Springs development in Montgomery COunty
- $6 million for an unidentified company's "research and development and related incubator facility" at Bridge Business Cdenter, Bristol Township
- $6 million for boathouse and other repairs at F.D. Roosevelt Park (“The Lakes”), South Philadelphia
- $5.8 million for work at the former Eastern State Penitentiary
- $5 million for an unidentified "retail development" in Upper Darby
- $5 million for an unidentified “solar and other energy products manufacturing plant” in Philadelphia
- $5 million for the Allegheney Commons development in Nroth Philadelphia
- $5 million for the “National Comprehensive Center for Fathers Project for manufacturing” at an unnamed location in Philadelphia
- $5 million for the Falls Center for a “mixed-use” development
- $5 million for a redevelopment project between 13th-15th St.s. and Fairmount-Wallace Aves., in a gentrifying section of North Philadelphia
- $4.5 million for the developer Brian O’Neill’s Milennium Redevelopment, Conshohocken
- $4.3 million for construction at Deerfield Corproate Center, East Whiteland
- $3 million for expansion at Nature Soy Inc., Philadelphia
- $3 million to redevelop the "Church Road Area" near the former Wyeth Laboratories in East Whiteland Township
- $2 million for "construction and related costs for the Fibrocell (formerly Isolagen) Project in the City of Exton." There is no City of Exton; maybe they mean West Whiteland.
- $2 million for the Chester County Bio Science Park, also in West Whiteland.

RAILROADS
- $130 million for Norfolk Southern Railroad projects in Greencastle, Philadelphia, and Upper Merion
- $67 million to build railroad connections for Petroleum Products Corp.'s terminals near Harrisburgh, Pittsburgh, Reading and Wilkes-Barre. ("We already have rail connections," a puzzled employee at PPC's MiddletownDauphin County terminal told me. He referred me to chief executive Robert G. Bost, who didn't return my call Friday.)
- $20 milllion more for improvements to the Ardmore Septa station
Plus more than $100 million for new Septa projects, including "restoration of railservice from Elwyn, Delaware County, to a new terminus at Wawa."
- $1.5 million for the Marcus Hook Septa station

RECREATION
- $20 million to buy and build "the Chester County Stadium"
- $20 million for unidentified "park facilities", 10 million for an unidentified "community revitalization projects", $10 million for a "multipurpose event center", and $5 million more fror construction at an unidentified "performing arts/multicultural facility prjoect" in Chester County|
- $16 million to restore Landsowne Theater
- $15 million for the Haverford Township Area YMCA, plus $4 million for new Haverford Township "recreation/environmental facility"
- $15 million for Pennsylvania Ballet building projects
- $15 million to improve the Mann Center in West Philadlephia
- $10 million for Arden Theater Co., Philadelphia
- $7 million for Yeadon Swim Club

SCHOOLS
- $160 million for a new Temple University library and expansion of the current Paley Library, plus $33 million to renovate a building for the "Honors Program Project"
- $76 million for "replacement or renovation" of Cheney University's Cope Hall and other Cheney projects
- $74 million to replace West Chester University's Main Hall, and for other West Chester University projects
- $60 million for buildings at Penn State's new, federally-subsidized "Energy Efficiency and Operability" complex at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Penn State also gets hundreds of millions more for dorms, game facilities, classrooms and labs its State College campus, including $204 million for a "New Mid-Campus Education/Research Center"
- $70 million for “acquisition , clearing, demolition, renovation” by Drexel University and its Hahnemann University Hospital
- $30 million for “land acquisition” by Thomas Jefferson University
- $22 million for University of the Sciences’ McNeil Science and Techology Center in West Philadelphia
- $15 million for new classrooms at Swarthmore College
- $10 million for Chestnut Hill College
- $7.6 million for Performing Arts Charter School
- $6 million for the "Chester County Technmical College Brandywine Development Project"
- $5.5 million for "the Stratford Friends School Project"

WATERFRONT
- $150 million for "general improvements", rail and security systems at the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority
- $90 million "to improve energy efficiency" in buildings at the Philadelphia Navy Yard "to stimulate private investment and quality job creation". Plus $60 million to Penn State for its work at the Yard (also see Schools).
- $70 million for dredging the Delaware River to 45 feet off Marcus Hook, Chester and Philadelphia, and dredging Philadelphia ship berths
- $50 million to buy and improve riverside properties for the Delaware River Waterfront Corp.

PRISONS
- $55 million for a new 2000-bed "medium security" prison and a 2,100-bed "close security" prison and an access road at the Graterford state prison complex
   Plus millions for new underground "perimeter security" systems and "modular housing" units (trailers) at prisons around the state

HOSPITALS
- $54 million for Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia “including the construction of a community medical center and a clinical research and support operations facility” and expansion at its West Philadelphia complex
- $20 million to expand St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Northeast Philadelphia
- $14 million for renovation at Roxborough Hospital
- $10 milion for St. Luke's Quakertown Hospital
- $15 million for work at veterans' facilities in Coatesville and Phoenixville

PARKS, CREEKS, HISTORIC
- $10.6 million for sewage and geothermal systems and other projects at Washington Crossing State Park near Yardley
- $9 million to buy and renovate the Old Chester Courthouse and courtyard in Chester
- $5 million for work at Philadelphia’s Glen Foerd Mansion
- $4 million for work on Schuylkill River Trail at Bartram’s Garden, Southwest Philadelphia
- $3 million for the Brandywine Battlefield near Chadds Ford
- $3 million to "rehabilitate (the) historic Delaware Canal from Easton to Bristol"
- $0.8 million for the Pearl S. Buck House, Hilltown Township

THE DEAD
  $5 million for "construction and restoration of the historic Eden Cemetery," Collingdale 

 

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

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