Reading City Council Approves Loan Tied To Hotel Project

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the request of retailer Albert R. Boscov, City Council on Monday approved adding a $1 million city loan to the financing package for the $59 million Doubletree Hotel that Boscov’s nonprofit agency is trying to bring downtown.

Boscov’s Our City Reading is planning the 200-room hotel to be built in the 700 block of Penn Street opposite the Sovereign Center.

The city loan would not come from local tax revenues but from federal funds – so-called Section 108 money – that the city gets to fund development projects.

Boscov’s nonprofit has borrowed millions of dollars in Section 108 funds in the past.  Boscov noted that it’s always paid off the loans early, never taking the allowed 20 years, and this year will make a $1.5 million early repayment of another Section 108 loan.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=434432

Art Lives At GoggleWorks; Artists To Live At GoggleWorks II

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Entertainment Square at Second and Washington streets is about to get another boost, this one aimed at combination apartment/studios for professional artists.

Retailer Albert R. Boscov this week said his nonprofit Our City Reading is ready to start on a $4.5 million renovation of a still-unused portion of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts on the square’s northeast corner.

That five-story building, also called GoggleWorks II, is connected to the main building by overhead walkways.

It will get 20 to 25 so-called live-work spaces, ranging in size from 1,200 to 2,800 square feet, with roughly a third of each to be living space in the interiors, and two-thirds to be studio space next to the big windows of what had been a safety equipment factory.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=433907

Boscov Asks Reading To Take $1 Million Loan For Proposed Hotel

Retailer Albert R. Boscov, whose nonprofit Our City Reading is trying to get financing for a four-star Doubletree Hotel along Penn Street, asked City Council on Monday to approve a $1 million federal loan as part of the package.

“If you can help us here, I promise you a hotel,” Boscov told council members.

Council is slated to vote on the deal Monday.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=432953

Open House At GoggleWorks Apartments This Weekend

After years of planning and more than a year of construction, the $16.7 million GoggleWorks Apartments are far enough along that its sponsor, retailer Albert R. Boscov, plans an open house Saturday and Sunday.

The open house will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Second and Washington streets complex named after the late state Sen. Michael A. O’Pake.

Essentially, it will be just one apartment.  The furniture is being set up this week.

And it won’t be handicap accessible, at least not yet.  The two elevators are off-limits to the public because the building is still under construction; visitors will have to climb a flight and a half of stairs.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=391320