Lancaster Businesses Find CRIZ Paperwork Cumbersome, Time-Consuming

Downtown business people say they support Lancaster’s City Revitalization & Improvement Zone, or CRIZ.

But boy, they sure wish the paperwork were less of a hassle.

“The process is very painful,” said David Leaman, senior manager of finance for the Isaac’s restaurant chain, which has its headquarters and one of its restaurants in the CRIZ.

Moirajeanne FitzGerald, who owns Here to Timbuktu on North Prince Street, says, “The CRIZ paperwork is cumbersome. The directions are difficult to understand.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/city-businesses-find-criz-paperwork-cumbersome-time-consuming/article_f9428c5e-f5cf-11e4-a572-83e1416c6222.html

Bethlehem’s CRIZ Not Living Up To ‘Shovel-Ready’ Billing; Officials Explain Why

Bethlehem received a coveted City Revitalization and Improvement Zone because its application for the state economic development tool was chock-full of shovel-ready projects.

The incentive was expected to allow for plans for a Bass Pro Shops, convention center and second hotel at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to be approved by the middle of last year. Plans for the long-stalled redevelopment of Martin Tower also were supposed to be completed by mid-2014.

But now 16 months after Bethlehem’z CRIZ designation was awarded, most of the projects the incentive was supposed to springboard are still stalled.

Officials say anticipated redevelopment has been slowed by having to start a new city authority, getting answers from the state and by the fact that the CRIZ economic development benefits pale compared to Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2015/04/bethlehems_criz_so_far_not_liv.html

South Bethlehem Complex Of 110 Luxury Apartments, Offices And Stores To Start In Spring With Authority Approval

The developer of Bethlehem’s first City Revitalization and Improvement Zone project got approval Thursday to proceed with a second project.

BethWorks Renovations’ three-building complex of 110 luxury apartments, offices and retail space will flank its first project, a distillery called Social Still slatted to open on East Third Street as early as this weekend, the developer said.

Construction on Greenway Commons, as the three-building complex is called, will follow starting in March, said Rob de Beer, the development director for Peron Development, a BethWorks-affiliated company. The company plans to start construction on the two retail-and-apartment buildings in March with the retail-and-office building starting as soon as a nearby garage the complex plans to use for parking is underway, de Beer said.

The complex will be built atop three parking lots across from Northampton Community College. BethWorks bought the lots from the former Bethlehem Steel Corp. in 2004, de Beer said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/12/south_bethlehem_complex_of_110.html

Tax Baseline Set For Lancaster CRIZ Program

After gathering tax information from business owners this summer, Lancaster now has a starting point for for a program it hopes will jump-start downtown development.

Known as the CRIZ for short, the City Revitalization & Improvement Zone program will allow Lancaster to redirect some state and local tax money toward redevelopment within the zone’s boundaries.

Lancaster identified 736 businesses in its CRIZ. All of them were required to file CRIZ tax reports by June 15.

Just under half did so: 366, to be exact, according to the state Department of Revenue.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/tax-baseline-set-for-lancaster-criz-program/article_adf6ae9c-80c2-11e4-a79f-97b4bba5b725.html

Social Still In Bethlehem Set To Open As The Lehigh Valley’s First Distillery Next Month

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adam Flatt’s mother, Elaine Pivinski, opened the Lehigh Valley’s first winery in 1981.

Flatt is now on target to open the region’s first distillery next month.

Flatt, who co-owns Franklin Hill Vineyards in Lower Mount Bethel Township with his mother, is just weeks away from opening Social Still distillery in Bethlehem.

“It’s cool we have that pioneering tradition continuing,” he said.

Social Still is on target to have a soft opening the first week of December, Flatt said last week during a tour of the new operation. Work on the building is about 80 percent complete and the company is planning its first batch of vodka and gin later this week, Flatt said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/11/social_still_in_bethlehem_set.html

South Side Bethlehem Complex, Including 110 Luxury Apartments, Gets First Approval For Economic Incentive

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three new buildings with 110 apartments in addition to stores and offices along Bethlehem’s East Third Street got its first approval for the city’s powerful economic incentive Thursday.

The Bethlehem Revitalization and Improvement Authority voted unanimously to approve Greenway Commons as a qualifying project in the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone. The designation allows state and local nonproperty taxes from new businesses in the zone to help finance new development within it.

Developer BethWorks Renovations, which is headed by attorney Michael Perrucci, hopes to start construction on the two apartment-and-retail buildings in March, according to documents submitted to the authority Thursday. The 63,000-square-foot office building would be built once construction starts on a parking garage the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority plans to build at Third and Fillmore streets, the documents say.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/11/south_bethlehem_complex_includ.html

Bethlehem Looking To Spice Up South Side With New Mexican Restaurant And Microbrewery

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A vacant parking lot on South Side Bethlehem could see new life under a $6.7 million plan for a Mexican restaurant and brewpub under one roof.

Ashley Development Corp., based in the city, proposes transforming the 0.38-acre plot at 404 E. Third St. from a former Bethlehem Steel Corp. parking lot into a multi-restaurant space owned by Bethlehem 21st Century, according to Alicia Miller Karner, director of community and economic development for Bethlehem.

Ashley Development Corp. President Lou Pektor says the project would complement and be within walking distance of the entertainment venues that have been developing in that area of the city.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2014/10/bethlehem_looking_to_spice_up.html

Bethlehem Distillery Gets OK For State’s First New Economic Development Incentive

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Bethlehem-based distillery to be opened by the owner of Franklin Hill Vineyards received approval today to be the first business in the state to use a new economic development incentive.

The Bethlehem Revitalization and Improvement Authority gave its unanimous approval to grant the distillery — which will be called Social Still — funding through the state’s City Revitalization and Improvement Zone. The designation allows state and local nonproperty taxes from new businesses in the zone to help finance new development within it.

Authority members debated today over how much of those taxes the business should get. The authority’s guidelines say the authority “strives” to give the developer 80 percent of the funding, an amount board member Ann McHale said is too low for such a unique project.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/09/distillery_gets_ok_for_bethleh.html

New Director Steering York City Economic Development

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of York’s newest residents is a father of three and the type of customer local restaurants might want to please.

Since starting in his new role as York City’s economic and community development director last month, Leonardo McClarty said he’s used some of his free time to discover the beauty of Kiwanis Lake and the Springdale neighborhood. He’s taken in a York Revolution baseball game.

But he remains on the hunt for kid-friendly restaurants that can accommodate the needs of his twin little girls.

“I’ve got to have double high chairs and that kind of deal,” he said with a laugh.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26101997/new-director-steering-york-city-economic-development

Lancaster City Alliance Moves Toward New Phase Of Revitalization

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stadium: Check.

Arts district: Check.

Convention Center: Check.

Tourism: Check.

Sixteen years after business leaders tried to revive Lancaster city with an economic development plan, many of the plan’s major components have come to pass.

Lancaster is a very different city than it was in 1998.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lancaster-city-alliance-moves-toward-new-phase-of-revitalization/article_0c4d62e2-ecee-11e3-a77e-001a4bcf6878.html

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