Longietti, Brooks partner with community to secure $2.5 million in funding for Hermitage
HERMITAGE, Aug. 1 – After working with the local community to help advance an exciting new collaboration in Hermitage, Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, announced the awarding of a $2.5 million state grant to Hermitage from the highly competitive Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.
The goal of the project is to implement a comprehensive strategy to revitalize the Shenango Valley Mall area, providing retail, commercial, recreational and housing opportunities for local families and visitors.
“I am so very pleased and optimistic at the news of this grant,” Brooks said. “With this vital funding, a proactive public–private partnership will be able to move forward, from the drawing board to reality, in creating a ‘Town Center-style’ development for today and future generations.”
Longietti agreed, saying, “"Establishing a Town Center where citizens from throughout the region can gather, recreate and enjoy retail, entertainment and culinary amenities is a key part of advancing our local economy. I am pleased that we were able to secure the necessary public funding to help implement this visionary project."
Longietti pointed out that similarly styled developments have been successful in cities such as Pittsburgh and Cleveland and help communities attract the next generation of workers and residents.
Brooks said the project will combine public and private funding for an innovative development that will allow the community to be more competitive with neighboring eastern Ohio.
Gary Gulla, Hermitage’s assistant city manager, said, “The redevelopment grant assistance is a critical component, necessary for the public-private partnership, to implement the Hermitage 2030 Comprehensive Plan vibrant town center vision. It is comforting to know that when it’s time to roll up your sleeves that your senator and representative are at the table working hard to make our community a better place.”
“On behalf of the city of Hermitage, we want to thank Senator Brooks and Representative Longietti for their work in securing these funds as well as their strong support for this project,” added Gary Hinkson, Hermitage City manager. “The vision of a vibrant town center is just a vision unless the means exist to implement it. This funding, along with the investments to be made by LRC and the commitment of support from the city, will bring this vision to reality and with it a significant impact on the regional economy.”