NEW CASTLE Planning a place for professionals

Anyone building in the new professional park would qualify for a five-year city tax abatement.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- City council is looking at creating small pockets of the city where professionals can locate.
The first spot will be a professional business park on Grant Street between Highland Avenue and East Street. It is being developed by the Greater New Castle Community Development Corp., a nonprofit group dedicated to improving economic development in the city.
Mayor Timothy Fulkerson outlined proposed plans for the professional park, which will replace a blighted area marred by vacant lots and run-down homes.
Fulkerson said the CDC has options to buy 10 properties on the street and is negotiating for others.
What's planned: Preliminary plans call for moving the entrance to that portion of Grant Street south of its current location and creating an S-shaped street that connects to East Street. This would eliminate a steep hill on the east side of Grant Street.
The mayor said the city plans to create the street, parking, sewage and sanitation lines and underground utilities in the proposed professional development.
Fulkerson said there is space on the property for at least six buildings that could each be about 5,000 to 6,000 square feet.
John DiMuccio, city business administrator, said they have received two letters of interest in the property from three doctors who have outgrown their current building on Wilmington Road, and another business.
Anyone building on the spot would qualify for the city's five-year abatement on city taxes, the mayor said.
Those interested in the property should contact the mayor's office.
The mayor also asked city council to consider adopting a set of covenants that would ensure any new buildings fit into the historical flavor of the neighborhood. That section of the city is listed as a historical district by the National Register of Historic Places.
Elsewhere: City officials said they are looking at designating similar spots for professional development in other parts of the city through rezoning.
Councilwoman Patricia May said some of the spots being considered include Wilmington Avenue from Grant to North Jefferson streets and near Wallace Avenue.
Those areas would allow offices for attorneys, medical offices, accountants, consultants, engineers, architects and other types of professional occupations.

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