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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-599
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Saturday
Or contact your local HUD officeNovember 14, 1998


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced $26.4 million in assistance for Philadelphia to help the city create new retail and entertainment facilities that will provide 700 permanent jobs and 370 construction jobs.

Cuomo said Philadelphia will receive a $2 million Brownfields Economic Development Initiative Grant and $24.2 million in Economic Development Loan Guarantees, under a HUD program that transforms polluted and abandoned commercial and industrial sites known as brownfields into productive businesses, housing and recreational developments.

Cuomo participated from Washington via TV satellite in a Philadelphia news conference with Mayor Edward G. Rendell and Congressman Chaka Fattah to announce the assistance.

"The assistance we're announcing today is an investment in a cleaner environment and a brighter future for Philadelphia and its people," Cuomo said. "Around the nation, we are taking polluted sites once given up for dead and bringing them back to life. They will be reborn to provide new jobs for workers today and for our children tomorrow."

"Working in partnership with neighborhood residents, businesses and other government agencies, we are proving that the best days of these brownfields are not in the past, but in the future," Cuomo added. "Brownfields can be cleaned up, they can be made safe, and they can once again become powerful engines for job creation and economic growth."

Mayor Rendell said: "Since the beginning of my Administration, I have advocated support for Brownfields Initiatives that help cities like Philadelphia reclaim commercial land and compete for businesses and jobs, and this grant is a tremendous help in that regard. Once again, HUD and Secretary Cuomo are championing the cause of cities, and their efforts will help cities level the playing field in economic development."

Congressman Fattah said: "I can think of no programs better suited to the economic development needs of American Cities than HUD's Brownfields Initative and the Section 108 Guaranteed Loan Program. I am very pleased with the Administration's commitment to investing in Philadelphia, and I look forward to working with them to expand the investment opportunities available in all American cities."

The HUD assistance will be used for these two projects being redeveloped by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation:

  • A partnership between Grid Properties, Ltd and the City that will acquire a two-acre site in the Philadelphia Empowerment Zone to develop a mixed-use retail and entertainment complex called Jump Street USA. The complex will house a three-level structure with retail stores occupying the first two levels. A multiplex movie theater with up to 12 screens, along with restaurants, will occupy the third level. The project will contribute 540 full-time permanent jobs to the Empowerment Zone and 200 construction jobs. The total project costs are estimated at $52.7 million.

  • The West Park Side Shopping Center, which will be located on about eight acres in the Empowerment Zone. The West Park Side Shopping Center will include a supermarket, 30,000-square-feet of retail space, and a community center and day care facility. The project will create approximately 170 construction and 160 permanent full-time jobs. The shopping center will bring needed retail and job opportunities to the Empowerment Zone and eliminate a blighted, environmentally contaminated site from one of Philadelphia's most underprivileged communities. The total project costs are $15.9 million.

Brownfields include abandoned factories and other industrial facilities, gasoline stations, oil storage facilities, dry cleaning stores, and other businesses that dealt with polluting substances.

Mayors across the country have made brownfields redevelopment a top priority. Dee Dee Corradini, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Mayor of Salt Lake City, said: "This HUD program is a unique effort to help cities economically revitalize and reintegrate formerly contaminated urban properties into their communities. Mayors look forward to working with HUD to implement the FY99 round of this key program."

Since 1993, the Clinton Administration has taken a series of actions to clean up and redevelop brownfields and return them to productive use, including: providing seed money to communities for revitalization; removing regulatory barriers to redevelopment; and providing a targeted tax incentive to businesses that purchase and clean up these sites.

In May 1997, Vice President Gore announced the Clinton Administration's Brownfields National Partnership, which brings together the resources of more than 20 federal agencies to address brownfields cleanup and redevelopment issues in a coordinated approach. Through the National Partnership, HUD is working closely with other federal agencies to provide communities with the financial and technical assistance necessary to revitalize brownfields.

Federal Housing Finance Board Chairman Bruce A. Morrison said that two weeks ago the Board adopted a regulation expanding the authority of Federal Home Loan Banks to make advances for economic development targeted to brownfields. "We look forward to continuing to work with HUD to bring the nation's cities together with the Federal Home Loan Banks and their community bank members to develop brownfields as productive economic assets in our urban areas," he said.

More information about brownfields redevelopment activities is available on HUD's web site or by calling 1-800-998-9999.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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