Pennsylvania Awards Funds to Assist New Castle Projects

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development awarded $550,000 to assist businesses in the city. 

DON Enterprises Inc., which advocates for and provides services to individuals with disabilities, received $500,000 to assist its restoration of the Wright Building on East Washington Street. DON also will administer $50,000 for a façade program targeting businesses in the Elm Street-designated Lower East Side neighborhood.    

The funds were a share of the $6 million in Keystone Communities Program grants announced Monday for 34 projects in 22 counties across Pennsylvania. Lawrence County also received $50,000 to implement a residential facade program in Union township.  

“This is great news,” said Linda Nitch, director of community development at the Lawrence County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Lawrence County Economic Development Corp. The money comes on top of a $1 million multimodal grant for Enterprise Park. 

Redevelopment of the Wright Building as a mixed-use space is part of a larger community revitalization program in the business district, said Court Hower, CEO of DON Enterprises. The $500,000 will be used to restore the 26,000-square-foot building’s exterior, a project that he expects to take up to two years. 

Overall plans for the building include commercial space on the ground floor and apartments on the upper levels, Hower said. Work done to date on the building, which DON acquired a year ago, includes precautionary repairs to the exterior and installation of a new roof.

Plans call for deconstructing the existing apartments on the upper floors. DON had considered using the existing floor plans, but updating utilities and making the units universally accessible would have been “extremely difficult,” he said. The total project will take about three to five years and cost about $4.5 million. 

The façade program will allow businesses on East Washington to “spruced up and revitalize” their storefronts, he said. 

Pictured: The Wright Building on East Washington Street in New Castle, Pa.

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