Loan to help further development of Chain and Cable site

20,000-square-foot multi-tenant building planned

HARRISBURG, Pa. - More jobs could soon be on the way to a site that was once one of Reading's biggest eyesores.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday a $1.125-million low-interest loan to the Greater Berks Development Fund.

The money will help cover the cost of acquiring 4.4 acres of land and building a 20,000-square-foot multi-tenant building on the site of the old American Chain and Cable company off Buttonwood Street.

The once-abandoned site was troubled for years by fires and decay before redevelopment began about a decade ago.

Sun Rich Fresh Foods, headquartered in Canada, opened a food processing facility on the site, now known as the Buttonwood Gateway Industrial Park, in 2008. That was followed by Hydrojet relocating its operations there.

The new building will be leased to industrial or manufacturing tenants, officials said.

The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan, which carries a two-percent interest rate over a 15-year term, is one of several across the state that were announced by Wolf on Monday.

"These fiscally responsible investments support a broad array of private-sector enterprises that reflect the formidable strength and diversity of Pennsylvania's economy," Wolf said. "Through these investments, we are securing a better future for Pennsylvanians who are working in manufacturing, energy, electronics, logistics, agriculture, and other businesses that provide family-sustaining wages and help our local communities to grow and thrive."

So far this year, PIDA has approved $57.5 million in low-interest loans that have resulted in $200 million in private investment and supported 2,359 created and retained full-time jobs, officials said.

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