Isaacson applauds $5.7 million in state grants for district

HARRISBURG, Aug. 2 –State Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Phila., today announced just over $5.7 million in state funding is being invested in her district for five economic development projects.

The state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program awarded funding for the following:

  • $1 million to the Philadelphia Bar Association for the Equal Justice Center, an energy-efficient 160,000-square-foot office building that will contain 14 legal services organizations providing nonprofit legal services to low-income residents. Housing these organizations in one place will also reduce rent and additional operating costs.
  • $702,000 to WHYY Inc. for the finishing stages of the HVAC replacement LED work light installation, a studio LED wall replacement, and window treatment.
  • $1.5 million to the Pennsylvania Ballet Association for a 15,000-square-foot dance facility that will include 50,000 square feet of studios, offices and support spaces; and renovations to the current building.

  • $1.5 million to Yards Brewing Co. for renovations to the 70,000 square-foot space to accommodate the brewery’s production and entertainment spaces, the purchase and installation of brewing equipment and improvements to the facility’s foundation.

  • $1 million to the Parents United for Better Schools Inc. for Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia to construct a two-story gymnasium that will include a basketball court, overlapping cross-courts and proposed bleacher seating that will accommodate 295 people.

“These grants support an array of projects, consisting of recreation, criminal justice, news media, the arts and business. Investing in these diverse components will not only improve the 175th District, but also the entire city of Philadelphia,” Isaacson said. “I have supported these projects because it’s important for state government to aid these entities in continuing their varied contributions to the community. It is also important to ensure that the 175th continues to grow and further develop as an economic engine for the Commonwealth.”

Tom Kehoe, president of Yards Brewing, stated, “This award is a win for the employees of Yards, the city of Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of PA. It helps us to stay in the city and state we love and continue to focus on growing high quality jobs in Philadelphia and giving back to the community that has been so loyal to us over the years.” 

“We are grateful that these funds are available to fuel a host of capital improvements to our facilities, helping to ensure that WHYY maintains a high-quality work environment for its employees who provide news, entertainment and vital services to people across the Delaware Valley. These improvements will also allow WHYY to maintain its busy schedule of events that are open to diverse audiences throughout southeastern Pennsylvania,” said William Marrazzo, WHYY president and CEO.

“In Philadelphia, only 20 percent of low-income residents have access to legal services. The Equal Justice Center will be especially vital because it will be the one-stop source to connect Philadelphians to nonprofit legal services,” Isaacson said.

RACP is a grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects.

RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenue or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs.