Reading Redevelopment Authority Minutes 10/11/17

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The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Reading held the regular Monthly Meeting at 815 Washington Street, Room 2-53 in the City of Reading, County of Berks, and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, on 11th day of October, 2017.


The meeting was called to order at 3:04 p.m. by Mr. Luckey, Vice- Chairman and on roll call, the following were present:


Mr. Chris Heinly, Chairman

Mr. James Radwanski, Member

Mr. Dan Luckey, Vice-Chairman      Via-conference  call

Mr. Melvyn Jacobson, Member

Mr. Juan Zabala, Member


Also present were:


Mr. Adam Mukerji, Executive Director

Mr. Dennis Witwer, Executive Assistant

Mr. Keith Money, Barley, Snyder

Mr. Glenn Worgan, Delaware Valley Development Corp.

Mr. J.D. Krafczek, City of Reading Solicitor

Mayor, Wally Scott

Ms. Cindy Castner, City of Reading

Upon roll call, Mr. Witwer declared a quorum.

The consent agenda was approved unanimously.


Buttonwood Gateway Housing Development


Mr. Mukerji introduced Mr. Glenn Worgan, Vice President and Principal of DVDC. In brief, Mr. Mukerji explained that Mr. Worgan was the developer of the new housing development located on Weiser Street and that Mr. Worgan would propose a new housing development at Buttonwood Gateway. Mr. Mukerji explained that the area to be developed is made up of land owned by the RRA, County of Berks Redevelopment Authority and Our City Reading. He mentioned that ownership of some properties by O.C.R. had already been conveyed to Habitat for Humanity and some properties once owned by the County had been conveyed to RRA.


Mr. Worgan displayed a development rendition of what the townhomes would look like and how the development would be laid out.


Mr. Worgan also explained how his company would incorporate housing tax credits into their plan, which would be applied for in mid- October 2017.


It was explained that the planned called for 46 units and a managers unit. The complex would have an onsite manager 24/7.


Mr. Mukerji discussed the history of the Buttonwood Gateway site, including DEP clean-up for a previous development. The clean-up was based on industrial use. Mr. Mukerji stated that he would request DEP to reopen their files on this site so that the site could be cleaned up for residential development. He stated that there will be no subterranean basements and all environmental approvals would be made by DEP.


Mr. Worgan discussed some of the intricacies of the development. He noted that there will be a 35 year tax credit on the development. The Delaware Valley Development Corp. will maintain ownership and management of the properties for this time period.


In the short-term, Mr. Worgan explained that he, along with the help of the city administration would like to help the current neighborhood with façade improvement grants.


At this time, the board members asked various questions and discussed any possible options for commercial development in the area.


After board discussion, Mr. Luckey made a motion to authorize the Executive Director to negotiate and execute a sales agreement between the RRA and Delaware Valley Development Corp. for all of the properties owned by the RRA in the Buttonwood Gateway development area. Mr. Radwanski made a second to the motion. At roll call, Mr. Heinly, Mr. Radwanski and Mr. Luckey voted in favor, Mr. Zabala and Mr. Jacobson voted against. The motion was approved with 3 yeas, 2 nays.


Greening Penn Street

Mr. Mukerji gave a brief update on the ongoing project. He stated that there is currently no match funds to move forward with implementation of the EPA study, however he stated that he would be discussing funding with City Council, who seemed to be very interested in the project.


212 S. 8th Street – Penn Optical building


Mr. Mukerji gave an update on this project. He stated that the EPA study had been completed and submitted for review. The 800+ page report had been given to Liberty Environmental for their review.


Mr. Mukerji told the board that there is an interested investor.


There being no further business to be brought before the board, Mr. Radwanski made a motion to adjourn the meeting; all members were in favor.


The next monthly meeting of the Reading Redevelopment Authority will be held on 15th November 2017.


Respectfully submitted by:

Executive Assistant