Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Pa. bill funds O'Neill, Barnes, Comcast grants

Corbett's signature will send more RACP taxpayer funds to private developers

Pa. bill funds O'Neill, Barnes, Comcast grants

Gov. Corbett's budget office has sent me a list of Philadelphia-area projects "that will likely receive funding from the bonds authorized" by Pa. State Senate Bill 1054, and a second list of projects that "will likely" win state approval "within the next two months," says budget spokeswoman Susan Hooper.

As I noted yesterday, the newly passed law authorizes $1.7 billion in new state spending and borrowing, largely for state facilities, also including $270 million for Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) money, a matching-grant reimbursement fund for pre-approved development projects.

Philadelphia-area projects, already approved, that will "likely receive funding" under SB 1054 include:

- $6.6 million for developer Brian O'Neill's Worthington Steel development near Exton, currently stalled in a fight between the builder and his lender, Citizens Bank
- $4.5 million for work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
- $1.7 million for the Barnes Musuem (part of nearly $50 million the program has pledged for this controverisal Philadelphia project)
- $1.4 million for the Bensalem Community Center in Bucks County
- $1.4 million for Philadelphia's Skyline Performing Arts center
- $1 milion for Thomas Jefferson University's new research buidling


Also lesser sums to the Christian Street YMCA, Haverford Community Center, International House, Cranaleith Center, West Oak Lane Plaza, Wesley Enhanced Living, the Union League Heritage Center, Valley Forge Military Academy, Michener Museum, Churchville Nature Center, and Janney Montgomery Scott (part of a $10 million new-headquarters grant for the brokerage)

Among previously approved local projects for which the state "will likely approve payment" by Februrary:

- $12.3 million for the Barnes Museum project
- $3.2 million to finance work at the former Liddonfield Homes public housing project near Holmesburg
- $3.1 million for the Salvation Army in Philadelphia 
- $3 million for the Coatesville hotel plan originally drafted by developer Oliver Tyrone Pulver
- $2.9 million for the Darby Town Center development
- $2.2 million for the Beech International office complex
- $2.2 million for Comcast Center, part of a $30 million grant announced in the mid-2000s
- $2 million for a loading dock at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

And sums below $2 million to the Lutheran Seminary Brossman Learning Center, Union League Heritage Center, House of Umoja, Sbarro Health Research, Northeast Neighborhood Community Center, Doylestown Cultural District, Indian Valley YMCA (Franconia), landscaping at Independence Mall, Port of Bucks County, Kimmel Center, Doylestown Parking Garage, redevelopment of the old Tasty Baking site, the Cheltenham Shop Rite, Franklin Towne Charter School, the Hatboro Firehouse, neighborhood improvements around Ogontz, Lancaster, Chelten, Hunting Park and West Cheltenham Aves. and North Fifth St. (Centro de Oro).

Also to Thomas Jefferson Hospital's Kimmel Cancer Center (should it be the Kimmel and Taxpayer Cancer Center?), Settlement Music School, developer Jeff Rotwitt's Sun Center Studios near Chester, the Curtis Institute of Music, Community College of Philadelphia, a hotel in Univeristy City, Chestnut Hill College, the Mercer Museum in Bucks County, the Bensalem Township community center and police buildings, the Union League, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, the Frankford Arsenal development, Wellness Community of Philadelphia, Drexel's Papadakis Science Building, libertarian Flyers owner Ed Snider's Youth Hocky Foundation, the Prince Hall Masonic lodge, West Oak Lane Plaza, the Cranaleith Center, the theater workers's union Local 8 training hall in South Philly, and the University of the Arts; and to some of the organizations in the previous list.



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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