Longietti: $400K tax credit will help finance downtown Sharon revitalization

Funds will support student housing, event center serving Penn State-Shenango

HERMITAGE, April 9 – Tax credit funding of $400,000 will help finance a project to bring an affordable student housing and multipurpose event facility to downtown Sharon, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today.

Longietti said that the award to JCL Development, which was made under the Community Revitalization Fund Program administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, will help JCL pay to repurpose a vacant warehouse into The Flats Center – a mixed-use facility that would provide affordable apartments and an athletic event center serving the Penn State-Shenango community.

“News of today’s funding is truly exciting because it will help launch a project that promises to reinvigorate a vital area of our community that is finally starting to emerge from years of declining industrial activity and population loss,” Longietti said. “Downtown Sharon is seeing seeds of renewal, thanks to a dedicated redevelopment plan and the development of new retail and dining opportunities in the corridor.

“A new student housing and event center for Penn State’s Shenango campus would build on that trend by bringing students, staff and visitors – a natural consumer base – to a campus that has been a community anchor for more than 50 years. It’s the perfect complement to the school’s recent efforts to attract more students to live on or near campus.”

Longietti said that while Shenango has primarily been a commuter campus, the school has recently established athletic teams to attract more students from outside the area.

He said that JCL would rent apartment space directly to Penn State students while leasing the athletic portion of the building to the university.

Longietti added that the project – which is still in the planning phases – has a total projected cost of approximately $5.2 million and could receive additional financing from a combination of private investments and state funding.