Allentown projects receive $2.75 million in state RACP grants

ALLENTOWN, Aug. 1 – State Reps. Peter Schweyer and Michael Schlossberg, along with state Sen. Pat Browne, all D-Lehigh, announced today four projects within the city of Allentown have received funding approval from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, totaling $2.75 million.

All three lawmakers secured the funding for the projects. The four projects – Bogart’s Covered Bridge, of the Little Lehigh housing development, of the Historic Mansion property on 7th Street and Allentown Metal Works – received a total $2.75 million.

“Affordable housing, economic development and historical preservation are all vital components to Allentown's evolution," Schweyer said. “The fact that these projects are adjacent to center city will expand progress into our neighborhoods, creating jobs, community programming and affordable housing options."

“These projects will help to put people to work in Allentown,” Schlossberg said. “I am very happy to have worked with Senator Browne and Representative Schweyer to provide funding that continues the support of good paying jobs in Allentown.”

“This significant state investment of RACP funds will serve as a catalyst for several important economic development, historical preservation and civic improvement projects within the city of Allentown along with the continued redevelopment and transformation of the state’s third largest city,” Browne said.

“Each of these projects has the ability to not only transform the individual properties into productive and stable parcels, but also to promote improvements and growth in the surrounding communities,” said Browne. “I am pleased to have worked with my Allentown colleagues Representatives Schlossberg and Schweyer to secure this important funding for the city of Allentown.”

Bogart’s Covered Bridge was awarded $750,000 for the restoration efforts for the bridge in the Lehigh Parkway. The project aims to rehabilitate and reconstruct key parts of the bridge to preserve its historical value and structural integrity.

The Little Lehigh housing development project, through the city of Allentown’s Housing Authority, was awarded $1 million. The redevelopment will demolish 10 existing structures and replace them with 16 new buildings to better provide housing for the city’s low to moderate income families.

The redevelopment of the Historic Mansion property on 7th Street in Allentown was awarded $500,000. This funding will be utilized to create residential and commercial units in and adjacent to the existing mansion, along with renovation and restoration work on the building’s historical elements.   

The Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority was awarded $500,000 for the rehabilitation of the Allentown Metal Works site in south Allentown. Awarded funds will be utilized to begin the project’s first phase, which ultimately will renovate three of the existing manufacturing buildings. The first phase includes the renovation of a 52,000 square foot building, returning it to viability.

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.