HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 00-219
Further Information: For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685 Friday
Or contact your local HUD office August 11, 2000


WASHINGTON – The economies of 28 communities around the country just got a welcome financial shot-in-the-arm from Uncle Sam, thanks to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which today said that it is providing about $119 million in grants and guaranteed loans to help revitalize distressed areas and create nearly 9,000 new jobs.

The funding is also expected to leverage an additional $600 million is private funds that will reenergize the economies of these communities.

HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo said that funding will go to: Baldwinsville, NY; Bangor, ME; City of Commerce, CA; Grays Harbor County, WA; Hartford, CT; Hudson Valley, NY; Huntington, WV; Kennewick, WA; King County, WA; Lynchburg, VA; North Adams, MA; Oklahoma City, OK; Penns Grove/Carneys Point, NJ; Reading, PA; Rochester, NY; Sacramento, CA; Shreveport, LA; Tulsa, OK; Visalia, CA; Wilmington, DE; and Yuma, AZ.

Cuomo said that the $119 million in funding is in two forms: $26 million in Economic Development Initiative (EDI) grants, which helps communities to fund activities that create jobs, primarily among lower and moderate income residents; and $93 million in Section 108 guaranteed loans, which enable communities to borrow money at reduced interest rates to promote economic development, expand the mount of housing or improve public facilities.

"Jobs, jobs, jobs; that’s what these two HUD programs are all about," Cuomo said. "Nationwide, we expect that the awards that we’re making now will create about 9,000 new jobs and stimulate hundreds of millions more dollars in additional investments. At HUD, we want to rejuvenate America’s neighborhoods so that people who live and work there will have brighter futures."

HUD’s EDI grant program, which was established in 1994, helps communities in a number of ways. For example, Wilmington, DE, will receive a $2 million EDI grant and a $13 million Section 108 loan for its Renaissance Centre project, a $88 million project.

The hotel, office, retail and parking complex will help to revitalize Wilmington's lower Market Street and King Street areas, as well as provide an estimated 800 construction and 300 permanent jobs.

When finished, the project will include a 225-room luxury hotel; a 240,000 square foot office building; a 650-car underground parking garage; an atrium between the buildings; personal service and specialty shops in the atrium; and a public plaza and major pedestrian access-way. EDI funds will help with site acquisition, and the Section 108 loan will go to site improvements and construction.

Following are summaries of the projects of other communities that received funding from these two HUD programs.

Bangor, ME - The City of Bangor will receive a $2 million EDI grant and $5.7 million Section 108 loan to continue its redevelopment of the Penobscot Riverfront near the downtown area. The assistance will support the substantial front-end investment (infrastructure, utilities, demolition) required for the overall project that is expected to cost about $184 million. Included in the overall development plan will be a hotel, retail, office space, residential, and public space, including an amphitheater. Approximately 600 jobs will be created by the project.

Hartford, CT - The City of Hartford will receive a $300,000 EDI grant and a $1.5 million Section 108 loan for the development and construction of a neighborhood mall located in one of the most blighted neighborhoods of the city. The mall will consist of a community grocery store, bank and bakery along with separate facility which will contain additional retail and office space. The project is expected to create 125 new jobs in the community. Key partners include a non profit developer, Public Housing Residents Going Places which represents the neighborhood.

Huntington, WV - The City of Huntington, an Empowerment Zone, will receive a $500,000 EDI grant and a $5 million Section 108 loan to construct on 95 acres a 400,000 square foot Business and Technology Park. It is one of the projects identified in the City’s EZ Strategic Plan. It is anticipated that over a 10-year period the Park and an adjacent retail complex will provide up to 2,500 jobs. The West Virginia Infrastructure Council and the West Virginia Economic Development Council are participants in the $17 million project.

Kennewick, WA - The City of Kennewick will modernize and expand a major food processing plant located within the approved Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area. The improvements will increase the plant's economic productivity and the owners will invest additional capitol to expand the plant and create additional jobs. The proposed project will create 85 additional jobs, and will retain 168 jobs, which includes 35 jobs for developmentally disabled individuals now employed by the company.

Lynchburg, VA - The City of Lynchburg will receive an $800,000 EDI grant and a $3.2 million Section 108 loan for the Bluffwalk Center Project. The $8.5 million Bluffwalk Center Project includes: a 54 room hotel, conference and performance space, a Virginia wine center café, a family restaurant and micro-brewery and retail space. Two historic industrial buildings, along the James River waterfront, will be renovated to become the anchor in the City's Master Plan to renew both downtown businesses and the riverfront. The project is anticipated to result in 130 new jobs. The Riverfront Development Limited Liability Corporation of Lynchburg is a participant in the project, which is expected to attract $4.5 million in private investment.

North Adams, MA - The City of North Adams will receive a $2 million EDI grant and a $3.2 million Section 108 loan for MASS Museum of Contemporary Art Cultural Development Commission to build MASS Museum of Contemporary Art Phase II. This project includes the conversion of three 19th century buildings into 67,000 square feet commercial and non-profit space; the rehabilitation of a tenement complex into low-mod income housing; and expansion of 100,000 square feet of public galleries. The project will create an approximately 400 jobs.

Oklahoma City, OK - The City of Oklahoma City will, as part of its comprehensive economic development plan, will receive a $1 million EDI grant and $4 million Section 108 loan to provide access to capital for small businesses and micro-enterprises located within the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area or the City’s Foreign Trade Zone. The project will capitalize a Revolving Loan Fund with the Section 108 loan. The proposed project will create 100 jobs to benefit low and moderate income persons.

Penns Grove/Carneys Point, NJ - Penns Grove Borough and Carneys Point will receive a $650,000 EDI grant and $2.5 million Section 108 loan to finance a regional economic development project named "The Riverwalk at Penns Grove" project. While the largest components of the project will be carried out in Penns Grove, the activity requires the joint efforts and the combined resources of both communities for completion, a basic requirement for funding under the regional economic development category. The two communities will undertake this mixed used project, with Fenwick Commons LLC the project developer, to construct a major hotel and restaurant, each building to be located on vacant waterfront property connected by a restored 800-foot long by 30-foot Riverwalk with docking facilities. Carneys Points’ complementary activities will include the development of a marina and boat ramp. The project is expected to created 205 jobs to benefit low and moderate income area residents. EDI funds will be partially used for payment of interest on the Section 108 loan and a loan to the developer for project costs.

Reading, PA - The City of Reading will receive an EDI grant to assist in the development of 42 acres of land for the future Morgantown Road Industrial Park. The city will assist Brentwood Industries with its expansion by providing EDI funds for infrastructure improvements and access to the site for economic development purposes. Brentwood Industries has committed to remaining in the area, by retaining 135 jobs and creating 35 new positions to low and moderate income persons.

Sacramento, CA - The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency will receive a $150,000 EDI grant and $450,000 Section 108 loan to assist in commercial revitalization in the Auburn Boulevard Redevelopment Area of Sacramento County. The funds will be used to purchase two substandard, crime-ridden motels, provide relocation assistance, and site clearance activities. The cleared parcels will be integrated into a large commercial development devoted to the music industry. The project will allow for the retention of 72 jobs in the area and the creation of 60 new jobs, the majority of which will be available for low-to-moderate income residents. Total cost of Phase I of the project is estimated to equal $6.2 million and be completed in 2002. Phase II is estimated to be complete in 2003 and cost $2.5 million. The project is expended to serve as a catalyst for revitalization of the Auburn Boulevard Redevelopment Area.

Shreveport, LA - The City of Shreveport will receive $1 million EDI grant and a $2.5 million Section 108 loan to assist in the revitalization of an area plagued by vacant and blighted properties. Through the Shreveport Inner City Economic Development Initiative, the city will partner with area lending institutions to create a business development loan fund targeted to commercial strips along Greenwood Road and Jewella Avenue. The fund is designed to provide increased access to capital and credit for businesses and provide employment and business opportunities for low to moderate income area residents. The grant and loan fund will be partnered with more than $750,000 from private lenders, $300,000 in general obligation bonds and $375,000 of Community Development Block Grant funds. More than 1,000 full time jobs are anticipated to be created and retained through the initiative.

Tulsa, OK - The City of Tulsa will receive a $2 million EDI grant and a $8 million Section 108 loan for the restoration of a downtown historic landmark, the Mayo Hotel. The project will create 160 new jobs targeted for low to moderate income persons, additional rooms will be created attracting increased visitors and boosting the city’s convention capabilities, a historic hotel on the National Register will be returned to service and a cornerstone of the downtown revitalization effort will be achieved. A key partner to the project is The Holtze Co., a construction and development firm that has more than 15 years experience in preserving and redeveloping historic sites.

Visalia, CA - Visalia will receive $675,000 EDI grant and a $3.7 Section 108 loan to assist with the construction of public improvements within the Industrial Park area and for the expansion of the city waste water treatment facilities. These improvements will allow for much needed new manufacturing and industrial development. The project will create 1,250 new jobs and is expected to leverage $3.8 million in other public funds and $142 million in private funding.

Yuma, AZ - The city of Yuma will receive a $250,000 EDI grant and $500,000 Section 108 loan for housing construction and rehabilitation project in the Carver Park Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area, which will result in homes to be sold to low-moderate income families. The funding will also provide for the "Building Economic Development" initiative: the development of an Entrepreneurial Training Program, the establishment of an Entrepreneurial/Micro Loan Program, Special Economic Development Activities, and a Labor Survey and Market Analysis.


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