Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Will Rendell's last PA stimulus lift suburbs, state?

Suburban projects make the last RACP giveaway lists

Will Rendell's last PA stimulus lift suburbs, state?

UPDATE: Readers have been flooding my box with complaints about the cost, the lack of public scrutiny. But the projects' many supporters ask: If these projects aren't started, what projects will get built in Pennsylvania this year?

EARLIER: The lame-duck administration of PA Gov. Ed Rendell today listed the final round of General Assembly-approved Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) giveaways to developers and nonprofits distributed all over the state, from Pittsburgh and Erie to Philadelphia and its suburbs, with plenty of projects in small cities and rural counties in between. 

These projects will be funded from the state's recent $600 million bond issue, and from expected future bond sales under new Gov. Tom Corbett, says Rendell spokesman Gary Tuma, who called them "investments" in the Commonwealth's economic development. (He notes that, per person, Philadelphia ranked around the middle among the 67 Pennsylvania counties, for per-capital spending "during the Rendell Administration.")

I wrote earlier about last-minute projects in the City of Philadelphia here and here.

Here's some of the larger projects in the suburbs, and links to the statewide lists, which includes smaller suburban projects as well as larger ones in Philly:

New RACP grants awarded, pending matching funds (hit link, see all):

$6 million for River Station at Downingtown
$5 million for renovations at the Cheltenham Shop-Rite
$2 million for St. Mary's Medical Center, Langhorne

New RACP funds released (hit link, see all):

$5 million for the Lansdowne Theatre and Central Business District
$4 million for Springfield Road Plaza and Plaza II in Delco
$3 million for a Widener University Academic Facility in Chester
$2 million for the Valley Forge Corporate Center "revitalization"
$2 million for Godiva factory in Bucks County
$2 million each for township athletic facilities in Darby and Lower Makefield
$2 million for the developers of the former Franklin Mint site in Delaware County

Two suburban projects not on the current list: millions the General Assembly approved for developer Dennis Maloomian's Village of Valley Forge shopping center proposal, and for developer Albert "Moose" Greenfield's Valhalla luxury housing development in in Wallace Township, Chester County. Greenfield declined to comment.

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.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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