The City of Reading Revitalization and Improvement Zone Authority – working fast to meet a Nov. 30 deadline – on Friday approved 250 parcels spread over 129 acres to be included in the zone.
At its next meeting Monday, the 10-member board will be asked to suggest three or four potential projects on three or four of those sites.
Board members said the projects are realistic but are not set in stone, and will be used as illustrations of how the state’s newest economic development program could help Reading.
That program, aimed at attracting new firms with new jobs, lets cities use the new state and local taxes the zones generate to finance property purchases, infrastructure projects, and even new buildings.
The region’s rich history and cultural heritage, they believed, could draw tourists whose dollars would strengthen the region’s economy.
The association has undergone several name changes and had several homes, but 50 years, later the founders’ vision still guides the Greater Reading Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“It’s still our history, art, architecture and the sheer beauty of our region that attracts visitors,” association president Crystal A. Seitz said Monday. “Tourism touches everybody’s life in Berks County.”
The Reading Parking Authority Board agreed Wednesday to sell the parking garage at The Abraham Lincoln hotel to Alan Shuman Development Group, Reading, for $1.05 million.
Authority Executive Director Lawrence H. Lee said the board wanted to sell the garage at North Fifth and Washington streets to whoever was purchasing the hotel, for which the development group has an agreement of sale.
Details on the hotel purchase were not available.