|Pittston lands $2.5M grant for condominiums|
Just days after receiving $3 million to help develop the downtown, the City of Pittston landed another large grant to help build condominiums next to the Susquehanna River.
"We're thrilled," said Joe Moscovitz, the city's administrator. "This condo development is really a game changer for the future of the city. It has so many attractive components."
Gov. Tom Corbett awarded the city $2.5 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds Tuesday to help developers Rob Grimm and Dan Siniawa and Associates finance the $9 million condo project, which began when Mike A. Lombardo was mayor and was victim to a down economy and lack of funding.
Now that it's moving forward, city officials are stoked by the project's potential.
"From my standpoint, I think it's going to be great," said Pittston Mayor Jason Klush. "We have a chance to get some young people to stay in our area."
Klush - who thanked state representatives Michael Carroll, D-Pittston; John Yudichak, D-Nanticoke; the governor and others on behalf of the city - said the modern housing options could help attract younger professionals to the city's downtown.
The complex will be six stories tall and include 41 units. Moscovitz estimated that each unit would sell for more than $100,000.
In addition to drawing more people to the downtown, Moscovitz touted the projects potential to help clean up the Waterfront Park, which has fallen prey to vandalism.
"This condo development will help us with those sort of issues," he said. "More activity on the riverfront means vandals and the less attractive elements will not be there."
The project would also help generate revenue for the city and increase the average assessed value of homes in the city.
"The city is trying to identify a strategy where we can build higher-end homes that will have higher assessed values," he said. A higher average assessed value in the city would help keep the millage rate at the same level or even lower it.
"We realize how scarce this funding is and how lucky the city is to be awarded this funding," Moscovitz said. "These additional developments are a real shot in the arm for the city."