Groundbreaking Set For Reading Hotel And Convention Center

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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.

Read more:

GoggleWorks Apartments Tax-Exempt, Judge Rules

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

A Berks County judge has ruled that the GoggleWorks Apartments are completely tax-exempt, a decision that will save the five-story complex at Second and Washington streets $29,500 a year.

The order, handed down this week by Judge Scott E. Lash overturned the Berks County Board of Assessment Appeals, which decided in December that 80 percent of the building is taxable since 80 percent of the 59 apartments are being offered at market rate.

Built by the nonprofit Our City Reading, the complex is owned and managed by the Reading Housing Authority.

In a 26-page opinion, Lash said the market-rate apartments are tax-exempt because they fall within the scope and purpose of the housing authority’s operation, in this case to develop and revitalize a local community.

Read more:

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:

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: