State Rep. Amen Brown secures $11.5 million in RACP grants for district improvements

HARRISBURG, Dec. 14 – State Rep. Amen Brown was instrumental in bringing numerous grants to his district that will create a stronger workforce; provide infrastructure updates to improve access to programming; increase access to public health services by establishing a West Philadelphia site; and expand STEM-related efforts.

“It’s important that we invest in our communities and seek funding that will improve the overall quality of life for our constituents,” Brown said. “I am grateful and appreciative of the opportunity to be able to bring much needed dollars back to the place that raised me.”

Brown supported a grant for Work to Ride Inc. for Chamounix Stables’ refurbishment and an indoor riding arena. The $500,000 grant will be used to help construct a 45,000-square-foot building, including a connector building and renovation of the existing Chamounix Equestrian Center.

Brown said that Chamounix will be a model for sustainability. By having solar panels and a rainwater harvesting tank, it will be self-efficient. Classrooms are going to be added for people to expand their knowledge of all things equestrian.

“On behalf of the Work to Ride community, I want to express our gratitude for Representative Brown’s support for our RCAP grant request,” said Ruth Schemm, chair of Work to Ride. “This generous award supports my belief that the horses and riders initially attract our attention…years pass, but we stay connected and WTR becomes a home away from home.”

Another grant in the amount of $2 million will be used by University Place Associates 3.0 LLC to build the Ben Franklin Innovation and Community Impact Center. It’s planned to be an over-29,000-square-feet co-working building used for laboratory, office space and a workforce development center.

“We are very appreciative of State Representative Amen Brown for his support and vision for our 3.0 project,” said University Place Associates CEO Scott Mazo. “Having the state of Pennsylvania directly invest in the success of 3.0 University Place will be a tremendous catalyst to the life sciences industry.”

“The ongoing support for our life sciences LEED Platinum building, 3.0 University Place, is a result of our ever-growing network of partnerships and the unified strategic vision of our dedicated elected officials, including Pa. State Representative Amen Brown and Governor Wolf,” said Anthony Maher, University Place Associates president. “It has been Representative Brown’s steadfast support and commitment to our shared vision for true community impact around life sciences that is allowing us to compete with the major life sciences clusters in the United States.”

The Public Health Management Corporation also received $2 million from the state to create a Public Health Campus. The former hospital will be renovated, including major utility upgrades and new office suites and conference rooms. The building will also add general ADA compliance work and additional exterior work.

“PHMC is thrilled to be a RACP grant recipient for our work with the PHMC Public Health Campus on Cedar project, and we are grateful to Representative Amen Brown and his colleagues for their advocacy and support in this process,” said Richard J. Cohen, PHMC’s president and CEO. “We look forward to a continued strong collaboration as we work with our partners and the community towards realizing the vision of an integrated health and wellness campus serving the needs of West and Southwest Philadelphia communities.”

Another grant was awarded to the Business Association of West Parkside for $1 million. This project will upgrade the Philadelphia Stars Negro League Memorial Park. Repairs will include landscaping, fencing, new furniture, electrical work and other repair projects. Additionally, it will bring a craft fair and farmers’ market to the former bus turnaround at 49th and Parkside.

The Islamic Cultural Preservation and Information Council/New Africa Center also received a $1 million grant to construct a five-story, multi-use facility. The project totals four commercial units and 45 apartment units; the latter will help alleviate Philadelphia’s housing crisis.

District One Community Education Center will be fully renovated from new electrical work to being ADA compliant and everything in between, with a grant of $1 million.

One million dollars was awarded to Wexford Development LLC for the Square at uCity for the creation of spaces that will provide for regular daily use and scheduled programs such as concerts and farmers’ markets, and plant 20 trees in the square.

SUPRA Enterprises LLC received $1 million for the West Parkside Industrial Park III. This plan includes construction of a brand-new facility which will be a “certified clean facility,” meaning it can provide storage for vaccines and other pharmaceutical products. 

The Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation was awarded $2 million to buy the former Citizen's Bank building to modernize it for a community gathering space. 

“This funding is vital to Philadelphians reaching their true potential,” Brown said. “It will help invigorate an entirely new workforce to be prepared to work in the real world, thus improving the lives of all who use it.”

Brown hosts a form on his website for local organizations to request support for grants. It can be found here.