HARRISBURG, PA-Dollars continue to flow from the $640-million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program passed by the state legislature in July as part of Gov. Ed Rendell’s economic stimulus package. Checks totaling $18.7 million for projects in four Eastern Pennsylvania cities follow by days the governor’s dispensing of $95 million across the commonwealth.

The latest funding targets the Northeast for specific projects in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and Reading. Easton is the biggest beneficiary with $9 million to support redevelopment at the Bushkill Creek Corridor and Village. Lafayette College is partnering in the public-private initiative to revitalize the area between Route 22 and College Hill, which includes acquiring land and buildings along the corridor, razing buildings and beautifying existing facades. It has invested nearly $4.4 million.

Reading received close to $4.3 million in RACP funding. Of that, $3 million will be used to convert the former Dalloz eyeglass factory into a regional arts center for 40 artists’ studios, a theater and five galleries. Sovereign Bank received $500,000 for construction of a new office building in Reading. With another $758,000, the City of Reading will buy the 2.6-acre former Garden State Tanning Inc. site and clear it for sale to Fleetwood Industries for construction of a new plant.

The largest share of a $2.7-million grant to Bethlehem went to the City’s parking authority for construction of a $5-million parking complex at the Lehigh Riverport. A new, 76,000-sf office and retail complex in Allentown will utilize $2 million of that city’s $2.5-million RACP funding. Local contractor Alvin H. Butz Inc. will construct the building and lease space for its headquarters there.

The Allentown Economic Development Corp. will acquire 20,000 sf in the structure as a small business incubator. The remaining $500,000 goes to the Allentown BrewWorks redevelopment project, which includes construction of a microbrewery, restaurant and banquet facility.

The lion’s share of the earlier RACP funding, $73 million, went to projects surrounding Pittsburgh, and another $32 million funded six projects in Lancaster, Gettysburg and York.

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