Reading submits Community Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) application ahead of schedule

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Published: Nov 27 2013 05:10:48 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 27 2013 06:33:54 PM EST
READING, Pa. -

Reading has formally applied to the state for approval to create a special zone that would aim to revitalize the city.

Reading submitted its application Wednesday for part of the city to be designated as a Community Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ).

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development will award designations to two of the state's cities that apply for it.

The goal is to increase economic development and create jobs by giving tax breaks to businesses within the zone.

The D.C.E.D is expected to announce its decision in mid-December. In the meantime, Berks County state lawmakers and other elected officials will spend the next few weeks lobbying for the city in Harrisburg.

"By working in a bipartisan manner, the Berks House delegation is behind this monumental and historical effort to develop a thorough and strategic CRIZ application for our city," said Pa. Rep. Tom Caltagirone, a Reading Democrat.

"Reading is on the road to recovery and the CRIZ designation will help us get there faster," said Pa. Sen. Judy Schwank, a Ruscombmanor Township Democrat.

Reading's proposed zone includes recently acquired properties in the 400 block of Penn Street, the Abraham Lincoln (Wyndham) Hotel on North 5th Street, the former
Baldwin Brass facility, the former Luden’s candy factory, the Interstate Container
industrial property, and the Rockland Plaza shopping center and additional
commercial/industrial properties near Albright College.