Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Albert R. Boscov was excitedly making and receiving countless phone calls in his Exeter Township office Monday after getting word that the last of the financing for a downtown hotel and convention center was finally in place.
He immediately began making plans to break ground Friday at 11:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Penn Street across from the Santander Arena.
“It’s been a long wait but we got it,” Boscov said.
The renowned retailer has been working on the block-long, four-star hotel, which will cost at least $56 million, since 2007.
Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The long-planned Doubletree Convention Center Hotel downtown has hit a new snag, and its chief developer – retailer Albert R. Boscov – is asking the city for help.
Boscov told City Council and the administration Monday that the project has lost the $1 million commitment it was counting on from the Lancaster-based Community First Fund.
That fund last week announced it was giving $6 million in federal new markets tax credits to another city project – Shuman Development Co.’s plans for market-rate apartments in the old Big Mill outlets at Eighth and Oley streets – leaving none for the hotel.
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.