DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE RECEIVES DONATION FROM MINERS/MID-PENN BANK
Miner's/Mid-Penn Bank made a $100,000 donation to the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress in 2017, which was part part of a larger $232,000 DCED (2016-2017) Neighborhood Assistance Program, Special Project Priorities (SPP) tax credit award. Other donors to the program include Wells Fargo, First National Bank, Luzerne Bank, FNCB Bank, and DHD Realty.
“We truly appreciate Mid Penn Bank’s generosity and commitment to serving the Greater Hazleton community,” said Krista Schneider, Executive Director of the Alliance. “This project, which will result in the renovation of a key downtown property,” would not be possible without their support.”
“We are pleased to support the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress as part of our commitment to community reinvestment,” said Mid Penn Bank President and CEO Rory G. Ritrievi. “As a locally based community bank, we make every effort to support revitalization efforts that directly impact the areas we serve. The funding that we are able to provide through the Neighborhood Assistance Program is key to this continued revitalization.”
The Alliance will be dedicating the donated program funds to the Phase One renovation and adaptive reuse of the property located at 13-15 West Broad St., which has been vacant for more than a decade and has fallen into disrepair. Due to its location within the downtown’s core revitalization zone, the building has been identified as a high priority renovation project in order to remediate its blighted conditions. Architectural work is already underway and the Phase One renovation, which will include structural repairs, environmental remediation, and a new roof, is scheduled to begin this summer.
DHD Realty, who stabilized the building until a use could be determined, has recently donated the property to the Alliance for the purpose of creating a small business incubator or technology center that will encourage small business entrepreneurship within the Greater Hazleton Area. By doing so, “the Alliance will be furthering Hazelton's revitalization efforts to rebuild the downtown and create family sustaining jobs," said Senator Yudichak. According to Schneider, a more detailed plan for the incubator will soon be underway, which will involve several educational institutions, economic development organizations, and other partners.
The DCED Neighborhood Assistance tax credit program is designed to encourage private businesses to invest in projects that improve distressed areas. For approved DCED Special Priority Projects (SPP), the tax credit is awarded at 75%. Downtown Hazleton qualifies as a distressed area due to its recent designation as a PA “Main Street” community. “We applaud Mid Penn Bank and the other donors for their contributions to our community revitalization,” said Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne). “These efforts are a commendable step in a new direction.”