Pashinski applauds approval of $2.5 million RACP grant for Gateway Center Project

WILKES-BARRE, Dec. 23 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, announced today the approval of a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant totaling $2.5 million to the Greater Wilkes-Barre Industrial Fund HUD Inc. for the Gateway Center II project in the city of Wilkes-Barre. 

“The approval of this funding is an important step toward the completion of the Gateway Center project helping the city of Wilkes-Barre overcome the loss of the Sterling Hotel in 2013,” Pashinski said. “This will be a huge advancement for the city of Wilkes-Barre, significantly improving our downtown’s quality of life by making our city more walkable, more shoppable, more beautiful and, indeed, more livable.” 

The project’s goals include: the creation of an active, lively pedestrian experience at street level; the reinforcement of key pedestrian connections along Market Street toward the Public Square office core, along River and Franklin Streets to the two college campuses and across River Street to the River Common; the incorporation of a mix of uses in order to help create an “18-hour downtown;” and an emphasis on design quality reflecting the project’s key role in the downtown cityscape. 

“I would like to thank Governor Tom Wolf for understanding how important this project is and approving this grant funding,” Pashinski said. “It’s also important to note that completion of this project will considerably improve the financial and economic stability of our city, as it continues toward achieving the goal of improving the quality of life in downtown Wilkes-Barre. For certain, this project will make these improvements, which is why I strongly supported and advocated for the approval of this funding request. This Gateway Project is the final piece of the puzzle to complete River Street from Ross to Union, which enhances the aesthetic beauty of the city of Wilkes-Barre. It highlights the historic county courthouse through the development and beautification of Wilkes University and Kings College – making River Street one of the most attractive and impressive streets in northeastern Pennsylvania.” 

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 revenues or other measures of economic activity.