State Funding Announced for Allentown Metal Works Site
By Colin McEvoy on August 10, 2018
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has announced new state funding to assist with the redevelopment of the former Allentown Metal Works site.
The Allentown Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) was approved for a $500,000 grant for costs associated with roof replacement, wall and ceiling insulation, and replacement of windows and doors at the 52,000 square-foot facility.
“We appreciate the Commonwealth’s award of additional funding for the project,” said Scott Unger, AEDC Executive Director. “It will help us to accelerate the next phase of redevelopment work.”
Allentown Metal Works, which has been vacant since January 2011, is comprised of seven buildings totaling over 260,000 square feet on 19 acres of land. The existing building was constructed in approximately 1903 and is significantly dilapidated.
“Investing in Pennsylvania’s economy to create good, middle class jobs, especially in manufacturing, is one of my top priorities,” Wolf said upon announcing the new funding.
“Businesses are expanding in the Lehigh Valley, and this funding will help to give new life to an important manufacturing site,” he said. “When combined with our well-trained and talented workforce, it will continue the efforts to strengthen Allentown’s growing economy.”
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation’s (LVEDC) redevelopment program, Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative (LVLRI), has previously been involved with that site, assisting with phase 1 and phase 2 environmental assessments.
Upon full occupancy after renovation, the Allentown Metal Works building is expected to provide up 50 to 75 new manufacturing jobs for the city.
“Urban industrial sites such as Allentown Metal Works not only provide much needed additional space for manufacturing but also provide ideal workforce accessibility,” Unger said. “Much of Allentown’s workforce can easily get to these sites by walking to work or by a short bus ride.”
The renovated building will be capable of supporting 25-ton overhead cranes, will provide a code-compliant shell ready for tenant fit-out by a heavy steel fabricator or similar manufacturing use.
“Renovation of the Allentown Metal Works will play a key role in the city’s continued economic redevelopment,” said state Rep. Peter Schweyer. “Moving forward with this project will open up job opportunities for our residents and I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Wolf, Representative Schlossberg and the Allentown Economic Development Corporation to develop this site.”
The Allentown Metal Works project has previously received about $3 million in funding, including a $2 million loan through state’s Business In Our Sites Loan Program, and federal environmental cleanup money from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“The Allentown Metal Works is at the heart of Allentown’s manufacturing history,” state Rep. Michael Schlossberg said. “I am thrilled to work with Governor Wolf and Representative Schweyer to help create jobs that pay at this location during these exciting times in Allentown.”
Developing pad-ready manufacturing sites will help business to the area, creating family-sustaining jobs and spurring further economic development in the area, Wolf said.
The newly-announced funding was supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), a state grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.
AEDC is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve vacant and underutilized properties within the City of Allentown in order to create an environment where manufacturers and other companies can flourish throughout their lifecycle, from launch to rapid growth, and on to long-term success and profitability. By doing so, AEDC can advance the economic vitality of Allentown and the Lehigh Valley through job creation and business growth.
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