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NEW CASTLE Business park set for Grant



Published: Tue, February 12, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Some professionals already have contacted the city about moving to the spot.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- An area marred by vacant lots and rundown homes is set to be part of a new professional business park.

City Administrator John DiMuccio said he will outline plans created by the Greater New Castle Community Development Corp., a nonprofit group created by the city to help economic development, for a block of Grant Street, between Highland Avenue and East Street, at tonight's city council caucus meeting.

The CDC originally considered moving four historical homes, which are being demolished as part of the New Castle School District's plans for a new high school, to that spot, but that plan was later found to be too expensive.

The CDC, however, still had options to buy almost all of the 10 properties on that block and decided to look at other alternatives, DiMuccio said.

Historical area: Council will be asked to adopt a set of covenants that would require any new buildings to fit the historical look of the neighborhood, he said. That portion of New Castle's North Hill is listed as a historical district by the National Register of Historic Places.

DiMuccio said lawmakers plan to develop the area as a professional business park.

"We want the doctors and lawyers back in the city," he said.

The CDC has about $400,000 of grants from the city Enterprise Zone and Renaissance Fund to use to buy the property and make improvements. DiMuccio said they are considering making the street a cul-de-sac. City officials also previously had talked about making improvements to roads and utilities in the area, too.

Any money the CDC makes from developing the property will go back to the organization for other projects intended to spur economic development in the city, he said.

The city business administrator noted that officials already have received letters of interest from professionals wanting to locate in the area.

cioffi@vindy.com




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