$3.5 million in RACP funding announced for projects to enhance economy, infrastructure

WILKES-BARRE, Aug. 2 -- State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, announced today the approval of three Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants totaling $3.5 million toward projects that will enhance Luzerne County’s economy, boost tourism and preserve historic structures.

“Each of these projects will improve Luzerne County’s quality of life by, preserving and rehabilitating a historic landmark, creating new opportunities to live and stay in the city, and assisting a major employer locally,” Pashinski said. “These are exactly the types of efforts the RACP was created to support and I look forward to seeing the impact of these grants for years to come.”

These organizations in the 121st Legislative District were awarded funding in the following amounts for the listed purposes:

  • Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund – $2 million toward the Gateway Center (Wilkes-Barre) project, a mixed-use urban development, comprising: a four-story building containing an 83-key select-service hotel, and an 8-story mid-rise building with 33 market-rate residences above the hotel's conference/banquet facility.
  • Irem Temple Restoration Project Inc. – $1 million toward the Irem Temple Restoration Project, Phases One & Two. These phases will include site security that will secure all doors and windows and install security and fire alarm systems; masonry repairs that will remove plant growth and repaint the building; roof repair and water drainage that will repair the roof and interior gutters. Once the building is stabilized, then the main auditorium can be repaired and restored.
  • McCarthy Tire Service Co. – $500,000 toward the McCarthy Tire Wilkes-Barre HQ 901, through the conversion of the historic structure located at Conyngham Avenue and Wilkes-Barre Boulevard to Corporate Office/HQ.

“Congratulations to each applicant for pursuing these grants and thank you to Senator John Yudichak for joining me in supporting these applications,” Pashinski said. “Thanks to these projects, when completed, Wilkes-Barre and our region will be able to: utilize an event space like no other in the Irem Temple; encourage more tourism with a new hotel with conference and banquet facilities; and enjoy living in conveniently located urban residences – all while keeping a 93-year old family business – McCarthy Tire – anchored in our community.”

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenue or other measures of economic activity.