HERMITAGE City seeks grant for technical park

The city is putting up $1.3 million, and its development partner will put in $2 million.
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- City commissioners voted Thursday to apply for $2.5 million in Pennsylvania capital budget grants to help develop Gateway Commerce Park along state Route 18.
The planned technical park, designed to attract high tech manufacturers such as computer companies, is a joint project between the city and KAKE Development Co. of Hermitage which already owns 48 acres of the 117-acre site.
The city received preliminary approval of the state grant in September but had to show it had matching local money to put into the project before filing a formal application for the state funds.
The plan calls for KAKE to kick in $2 million, while the city will put up about $1.3 million. When combined with the state grant, this creates a total project cost of about $5.8 million.
Because the state grant comes in the form of reimbursement for money spent on the project, commissioners also voted to borrow up to $3 million from First National Bank of Pennsylvania for up to 42 months at 60 percent of the prime interest rate to provide temporary project financing.
Finally, commissioners approved a formal development agreement with KAKE.
The city will buy the remaining 69 acres targeted for the park from FIC Associates at $25,000 per acre and then sell 10 of those acres to KAKE at the same price so both partners will have an equal share of the park property.
The project is expected to bring in $77 million in private development and create 1,750 jobs.

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