Williamsport is right in the middle of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale natural gas boom. The city is looking to build a compressed natural gas fueling station on W. Third Street, at the River Valley Transit headquarters. The fueling station would become a destination for vehicles that run on compressed natural gas. Currently a gallon of compressed natural gas is about a 1/3 the price of gasoline.
Williamsport is working with Lafayette, LA. Lafayette has already converted their fleet vehicles to natural gas. Williamsport would like to convert all city vehicles to natural gas. Lafayette is sharing information with Williamsport, at no cost, as an educational tool. In addition to county vehicles, school district vehicles and businesses could benefit from gas-powered vehicles.
Williamsport has applied for many grants to make this fueling station a reality. Williamsport has the infrastructure for natural gas transmission to the new facility, if constructed. The fueling station would cost about $4 million. Depending on usage, the operator of the fueling station could even receive a percentage of the natural gas used.
Lycoming County Commissioner, Jeff Wheeland, also on the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Commission, Williamsport Mayor, Gabriel Campana, Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce CEO, Vincent Matteo and River Valley Transit GM and City Director of Administration Williams Nichols are all proponents of Williamsport looking for ways to benefit from the natural gas industry.
Business is booming for a Lancaster IT firm in the city’s KOZ. One2One is going to build a larger facility to enhance future growth. Their current 7,000 square feet building is too small. The firm is designing a new building, up to 10,000 square feet. They have purchased the lot next to their existing building for $150,000 and hope to break ground on the new structure this fall, with occupancy in 2012. One2One will spend $1 – $1.5 million to build their new facility.
The new facility will allow One2One to have a larger network operations center and more amenities for their employees. One2One is a computer services and technology consulting company. They offer computer repair, offsite data backup, website design, web hosting, business and consulting IT services in addition to their network operations center.
One2One was originally drawn to their current location because of the benefits of being in a KOZ. Their decision to expand next door was based on a recent extension of the KOZ tax breaks until 2020.
A factory building on North Mulberry Street in Lancaster will hopefully be turned into 27 apartments. The building, most recently the home of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lancaster, was purchased by a holding company owned by Sam Beiler (the former owner of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels) in January for $275,000.
Plans for a total renovation of the structure include a roof-top garden and patio. This is dependent on a structural analysis to determine if the roof could support the added weight.
The project has been approved by City Council and the Lancaster Historical Commission.
Ironing out parking, performing a structural analysis and a cost-benefit analysis are the next steps. The building has been significantly damaged by a leaking roof. The structural analysis results will determine if the project can move forward.
The studio and one-bedroom apartments (600 – 800 square feet) will be marketed towards young professionals looking to live near downtown Lancaster, Lancaster General Hospital or Franklin & Marshall College.
In downtown Newville, a former bank and a Lutheran Church are being developed into a mixed-use commercial and residential project. The Cumberland/Perry Housing and Community Partnership received $460,000 from the Department of Community and Economic Development toward this project, which will help fund the $1.75 million renovation. The project will feature commercial space on the first floor and nine apartments on the upper two floors. The idea behind projects like this is to increase foot traffic in the downtown business district and add to the tax base.
In Carlisle, the Cumberland/Perry Housing and Community Partnership received $248,000 from the DCED toward a $400,000 renovation project in the 100 block of High Street. This project will also feature first floor commercial space and upper floor residential space. Carlisle has undertaken a project to reduce traffic in the downtown by making streets one-way and adding bike lanes. The hope is to create a more pedestrian friendly atmosphere. Carlisle is a walkable community and these improvements should help attract downtown residents.
The DECD’s Housing and Redevelopment Assistance Program has received zero funding in the proposed 2011-2012 budget.
This is exactly how revitalization should work. A community institution, in this case York College, is supporting the City of York’s efforts to revitalize their business district.
The old Fraternal Order of Eagles building in center city York is being rehabilitated. York College just signed a lease to be the anchor tenant of this new adaptive reuse project. The building is being transformed into an arts center!
The York County Industrial Development Authority purchased the building for $290,000 and is investing $2.5 MILLION into the project, which is a mix of private funds, the York County Development Authority’s funds and a grant from the Commonwealth Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.
One floor of the building will be transformed into gallery and studio space for senior painting students at York College. We think this is awesome and give all involved parties two Roy’s Rants thumbs up on a job well done AND hold this up as an example of cooperation between multiple entities for the common good of York City!
Spirit Airlines has found unexpected success flying out of the Arnold Palmer Airport in Latrobe. The airline started air service to Ft. Lauderdale, FL from Latrobe on February 12th of this year. Since then more then 10,000 passengers have flown out of Latrobe.
Golf legend Arnold Palmer was on hand to cut the ribbon for the inaugural flight to Myrtle Beach, SC last week. Now there are two destinations for travelers to choose from when flying out of Arnold Palmer Airport.
Passengers using Spirit Airlines at Latrobe can expect to fly on an Airbus 319. The aircraft has a capacity of 149 passengers and flights are generally 95-100 percent full. No puddle jumpers here folks. Fares are extremely competitive which has prompted passengers to come from as far away as New York and Canada. There is also free parking and the airport has easy access.
The Westmoreland County Airport Authority received an $8,000 grant from the Laurel Highland Visitors Bureau to advertise in Florida and North Carolina. The Visitors Bureau is looking to attract travelers from the South to the Laurel Highlands for the regions many outdoors activities and resorts.
Findlay Township supervisors approved the expansion of the Clinton Commerce Park by the Allegheny County Airport Authority on Wednesday. The expansion will include six new buildings, totaling nearly 1.5 million square feet of commercial and industrial space.
The Allegheny County Airport Authority will be preparing the land, roads and utilities using $8 million in state funds.
There are three buildings in the Clinton Commerce Park. This expansion will greatly increase the number of jobs in the park.
Additional information on the Clinton Commerce Park can be found here:
A blighted block in the Central North Side neighborhood will be undergoing a much-needed and long-awaited transformation by the end of the summer. Twelve parcels around the Garden Theater will be turned into retail, office and residential space. The investment in this project is expected be $17.5 million according to developer Wayne Zukin and his Allegheny City Development Group. Mr. Zukin is from Philadelphia.
Zukin said his team is also seeking an expansion of the Mexican War Streets historic district in order to benefit from historic tax credits. Buildings will be demolished and replaced or reused. The former Masonic Hall, the Garden Theater and the Bradberry Apartment Building are some of the buildings to be transformed by the project.
The Central Northside Neighborhood Council and the Northside Learning Conference are working with the developer to make this project happen. We applaud this effort to stabilize the neighborhood, which will benefit the entire North Side.
A variety of projects, in numerous locations throughout Luzerne County, were awarded $12 million from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The money comes from an account funded by a percentage of money gambled at Mohegan Sun Casino in Plains Township.
Wilkes University and the City of Wilkes-Barre were awarded $2 million to build a new science center. Wilkes University has been an active partner with the City of Wilkes-Barre for downtown revitalization. The new science center will help make Wilkes more attractive and competitive.
The City of Wilkes-Barre is also receiving $706,000 toward the stabilization and rehabilitation of the First National Bank Building on Public Square. The building has been vacant since 1974! This work will make the building more attractive to developers for adaptive reuse projects. The building sits in the central business district in Wilkes-Barre and would normally be attractive for development except for cost of the rehabilitation work is prohibitive. This grant will enable development of the property when the work is completed.
A complete list of funded projects can be found here: