$5.5 million tax credit to help fund residential, commercial development in Reading

Tax credit to help fund residential, commercial development

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania has added the final piece of the financing puzzle for the proposed redevelopment of a former Reading Outlet Center building.

Gov. Tom Corbett announced Thursday the completion of a $5.5 million "new markets tax credit" that will help fund residential and commercial construction at "The Big Mill" outlet building, 702 N. 8th St.

"The best way to navigate core cities like Reading out of fiscal distress and into prosperity is to attract new development and create new jobs," Corbett said. "We're proud to be a part of these revitalization efforts in Reading. We expect that these investments will create focal points to drive further growth and economic development in the city, benefiting its residents."

The $14.2 million project involves a complete renovation of the building to include 69 residential units and approximately 40,000 square feet of commercial space.

The commercial space is expected to include adult and child daycare, a medical outreach clinic and a farmers market, officials said.

Similar funding is being used to finance the current construction of the DoubleTree Hotel on Penn Street in center city.

"New markets tax credits have proven to be a powerful tool for stimulating revitalization in Pennsylvania, and it's our expectation their use on this project will spur additional community investment in Reading," said Brian Hudson Sr., chairman, Commonwealth Cornerstone Group and executive director, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

The Big Mill, abandoned in 2003, is the second largest building in the former Reading Outlet Center complex.

Development of the center's other buildings has already been completed or is underway, including a proposed $36 million redevelopment of the center's Building 1.

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