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HARRISBURG, PA-The state has handed $47 million in matching-fund loans to nine real estate development projects. The funding comes from the Commonwealth Financing Authority and is the opening component of Gov. Ed Rendell’s Building PA program.

In all, Building PA will provide $150 million to be matched by private investors and foundations in order to create a $300-million pool to serve as mezzanine capital for real estate developers, particularly in mid-size communities. The goal, according to Building PA guidelines, is to “close the funding gap” in facilitating projects in these areas, once developers have lined up a portion of the funding. Terms and rates vary by project.

The largest of the loans, $12 million, was awarded to Pittsburgh-based PenTrust Real Estate Advisory Services Inc. for establishment of Development Capital Investors Inc. It will focus on commercial real estate construction in underserved areas of the Southwestern counties. PenTrust operates Employee Real Estate Construction Trust Funds, which invests in projects using only AFL-CIO labor.

Bethlehem-based Ashley Development Corp. obtained $6 million to establish the Revitalization of the Lehigh Valley, which will focus on urban revitalization with special emphasis on life science and healthcare industries. Another $6 million went to Impact PA Fund Inc., primarily for multi-use development in North Central areas with fewer than 50,000 residents. Keystone T Ventures, an affiliate of the Fourth River Development and Radnor Property Group, also obtained $6 million to invest in areas outside first- and second-class cities in the state’s central counties.

A partnership between York County Economic Development Corp. and the Community Campus Fund received $4 million to create Codorus Corridor Fund, which will invest in the City of York. The fund has identified more than 12 potential projects. Three additional county economic development corporations also received $4 million each. They are the Lancaster, Altoona-Blair, and South Third EDCs. The latter serves Dauphin County and is an affiliate of Harrisburg-based Harristown Development Corp.

The remaining $1 million went to Huntingdon County Business and Industry Inc. for multi-use projects in Downtown Huntingdon. This funding is primarily targeted to the preservation of historic buildings and conversion into rental residential properties.

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