HERMITAGE City will borrow for commerce park

The planned technical park is expected to draw high-tech manufacturing operations.
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- The city will borrow up to $3 million to provide temporary financing for the development of Gateway Commerce Park on state Route 18.
Hermitage has formed a partnership with KAKE Development Co., which already owns part of the park site and also has been approved for a $2.5 million state capital budget grant to help finance the project.
That grant, however, is available only in the form of reimbursement for money already spent, so the city will have to borrow that money up front and then get it back from the state.
City Manager Gary Hinkson said the financing plan was outlined for city commissioners during a workshop Thursday and it will come up for a vote at Wednesday's regular meeting.
The city has to show that financing is in place before it files the formal application for the state grant, he said.
The grant document's final version as well as a formal agreement with KAKE Development are also on the Wednesday agenda, Hinkson said.
Partnership plan
KAKE already owns 48 acres on the 117-acre site, and the city will buy the rest as part of a partnership for the $5.8 million project.
In addition to the state grant, the city is seeking a $500,000 grant from the federal government and is putting in $800,000 of its own money.
KAKE is putting up $2 million, city officials have said.
It is hoped that the planned technical park will attract high-tech manufacturing operations such as computer hardware and software companies as well as offices.
City officials have estimated the project could attract $77 million in private investment and create 1,750 jobs.

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