Friday, August 28, 2015

PA funds $270M for Corbett developer grants

General Assembly votes to borrow money to fund Center City hotels, the Gallery mall, museums, colleges, drugmaker offices, and other projects Rendell approved and Corbett endorsed

PA funds $270M for Corbett developer grants

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In Harrisburg the General Assembly has voted to borrow another $1.67 billion to fund prisons, state college buildings, roads, railroads and bridges. The deal includes $270 milllion in "redevelopment assistance" for private for-profit and nonprofit developers' projects, already in progress, through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).

The senators and reps voted without knowing exactly what projects the peoples' money will subsidize, since they're not listed in the bill (Senate Bill 1054, read it here.) "The governor’s office decides" who'll get the money, Greg Jordan, aide to bill sponsor Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre, told me. "They have a plan. This money is not for new projects."

Corbett's office wasn't ready with a list of what he plans to do with the people's money. But his officde has improved on Gov. Rendell's practice by listing 503 projects for which he's agreed to "re-release" RACP funding since June. Read it here (click on RACP Grants Re-Released by Gov. Corbett). Examples below.

Note: the RACP grants approved by Corbett total to $1.04 billion, nearly four times the new authorization. Some may be funded from previous borrowings, some might not get funded anytime soon. Under RACP, grantees have to do the work, then they get reimbursed for half or less of what they spend.

Among the grants, previously voted by the General Assembly and ex-Gov. Ed Rendell, and approved by Corbett since the start of June:
- $30 million for the American Revolution Center in Philadelphia:
- $10 million for the Flight 93 National Memorial at the 9/11 plane wreck site in Somerset County
- $9 million for Ron Rubin's Gallery at Market East renovations, plus $7.5 million for the nearby proposed Pavilion at Market East (leased by Peter Soens' SSH from Griard Estate)
- $9.25 million for the Franklin Institute
- $8.5 million for the Audubon Centers in Montgomery County and at Strawberry Mansion
- $8 million to expand the Fox Chase Cancer Center
- $7 million for developer Robert Ambrosi's Franklin Place Hotel at 401 Race St.
- $6 million for the William Way Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgenendered senior housing center in Philadplehia
- $6 million for the Grays Ferry Corridor near Penn's new South Philadelphia property, and $1 million for the Bartram Gardens trail nearby
- $6 million for the planned hotel conversion, by Mosaic Development and Orens Partners, of the Legendary Blue Horizon boxing venue
- $5 million for the National Constitution Center, and $1 million for the neighboring Independence Visitor Center
- $5 million to redevelop the Franklin Mint property near Media
- $5 million to the Norris Square Civic Association, which wants to redevelop the former St. Boniface Parish site, and $5 million to the nearby Taller Puertorriqueno cultural center

- $2.5 million for Millenium business Park in Montgomery County, plus $2 million for "revitalization" at Valley Forge Corporate Center- $3.9 million for Brandywine Realty Trust's University City Gateway at the University of Pennsylvania
- $3.5 million for the Haverford Township YMCA
- $3.25 million for the African AmericanMuseum in Reading.
- More than $3 million for Aria Health hospitals in Northeast Philadelphia
- $2.75 million for a privately-owned supermarket in West Philly's Mantua neighborhood
- $2.75 million for the Juniper Hotel in Center City
- $2.5 million for West Pharmaceuticals in Chester County
- $2 million for a privately-owned hotel in Swarthmore
- $2 million to builder Bart Blatstein's Piazza at Schmidt's
- $2 milion for Philadelphia's Race Street Pier park

- $1.5 million to improve Union Square in Chester
- $1.5 million for a Holocaust Memorial on Ben Franklin Parkway
- $1.1 million for Christ Church Neighborhood Center
- $1 million for Pintzuk Brown Realty Group's 300-unit apartment complex near Temple at 1220 N. Broad St.
- $1 million for Philadelphia nursing home operator New Courtland Life Center
- $1 million for the Bensalem Township golf course
- $1 million for the Library Compnay of Philadelphia
- $1 million for development on King Street in Malvern
- $1 million for Tinicum Township (Delco) municipal building
- $900,000 for Valley Forge Military Acadmey
- $500,000 for the Self Help Movement in Philadelphia
- $500,000 for the Suldan J. Ahmad Community Center in Philadelphia

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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

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