City council to hear more on housing development

City Council is expected to sign an agreement Thursday with one of the three private industry partners in the development of a multi-housing project to be built once the former Brodart warehouse on Memorial Avenue is razed next month.

Council will hear from representatives of Arbor Housing and Development, also known as Memorial Homes LP of Bath, N.Y. Council previously had worked out agreements with the builder, NRP, and P&L Investments Inc., the property owner.

P&L Investments is leasing the property to Memorial Homes, a non-profit partner for tax credit purposes, according to John Grado, city engineer and city director of community and economic development. Council will be asked to pay Memorial Homes $300,000 in what’s known as Home Funds, which are federal Housing and Urban Development allotments given to the city each year for housing projects. The typical amount is $260,000 or more.

The funding will free up use of natural gas impact fee funds to be used on the project for off-site improvements, Grado said. There is $100,000 in natural gas impact fee money from the city and $200,000 in gas impact fee money from Lycoming County, he said.

Additional state funds have been applied for by the county and will be passed through the city to the developer.

“This $20 million project will improve the above neighborhood,” Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said. “A blighted warehouse will be transformed to taxable residential components.”

The overall scope of the project includes the demolition of the warehouse, the creation of 40 apartments, 32 townhouses and interior and exterior improvements to half of the rental and have of the single family houses in the neighborhood, he said. Additional improvement to the curbs, lights, accessibility and weatherization of existing property owners is part of the project funding, Campana said.

“The named area will see a positive change,” he said. City Finance Committee Tuesday gave a positive recommendation of the cooperative agreement for the full body of council to review.