The Reading Fire Department has won a grant of nearly $1 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer announced Thursday at his third-in-three-days public meeting about reopening the 2012 budget.
The office of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey called him late in the afternoon to announce the city had been approved for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant of $999,781, Spencer told about 50 people at the Historical Society of Berks County, 940 Centre Ave.
He said he was told it was by far the largest of 10 grants totaling $1.56 million awarded to fire departments in the state. Casey is a Scranton Democrat.
The company that bought the huge No. 1 building at the Reading Outlet Center gave the city a first glimpse Thursday of its plans.
Those include business and commercial space on the first floor, about 150 market-rate apartments on the second through fourth floors and penthouse office space on the top floor of the building at Ninth and Douglas streets.
They also include razing the northwest corner of the block-sized building to erect an attached parking garage with more than 250 spaces, an interior courtyard with playground equipment, lighting and fountains, and security guards monitoring the entire complex.
“Our plan was well received and we are excited to move forward,” said Bill Hynes, a Nazareth, Northampton County-based real estate developer who’s part of Think Loud Development.