Every year, the Pennsylvania’s Office of the Budget releases news about its Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). RACP funds are issued by the state to help with the “acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects,” perhaps more bluntly stated as “free development money.” The 2022 RACP recipients were recently announced, with the sum of grants issued totaling nearly $670 million across the state. Today, we are going to cover our Top Ten Philly-based projects, starting with the smallest recipient ($1 million) and counting down (up?) to the largest ($10 million). Please note that these represent just a fraction of the projects in Philadelphia that received RACP funds this year, with the entire list available here.
So, let’s dive in! Today we are hitting up everywhere from Frankford to Bartram’s Garden as we tackle spots 10 through 6 on Naked Philly’s RACP Funding Top Ten Countdown.
10. Louis Kahn Barge and Infrastructure ($1.0m received out of $2.2m asked)
Coming in tenth on our list is a project we actually visited in-depth earlier this year. The Battery is a reimagining of the former PECO station just north of Penn Treaty Park. Developers Lubert-Adler received $1 million to restore the Louis Kahn barge and the accessways north of the former power station at 1325 Beach St. as part of this massive reimagining of the former industrial space. This barge will serve as the center of a new music venue and waterfront destination as things move forward for this mixed-use project which will include apartments, office and shared workspace, and a Cescaphe-managed event space.
9. Frankford Transporation Center – Transit Oriented Development ($1.5m received out of $3.5m asked)
In ninth is $1.5 million for a mixed-use development next to the Frankford Transportation Center in the aptly named Frankford neighborhood. This will be a transit-oriented development consisting of several parcels directly next to the throwback arches of the former Penn Fruit building, though not the building itself. A supermarket is planned as part of the development, so perhaps this building will be repurposed after all? We’re crossing our fingers that’s the case. A health center and mixed-income housing are also part of the plan, and SEPTA has also expressed interest in providing land for future phases of development.
8. Pennsylvania Ballet Dance Center III ($1.5m received out of $2.0m asked)
In eighth is another project we covered, this time just a month or so ago. The Philadelphia Ballet is building an addition to its Center for Dance at 323 N. Broad St., where world-class studios, performance space, wellness centers, office space, and many other uses will be added to the modern design from Varenhorst Architects. A public space with gallery areas are also features for this project, which received $1.5 million.
7. Schuylkill Banks Bartram’s to Passyunk Phase II ($1.925m received out of $3.0m asked)
We’re sliding into Southwest Philly in seventh for the next phase of the southern extension of the Schuylkill River Trail from 61st St. to the Passyunk Avenue Bridge. This $1.925 million grant will help supplement a previous $2.5 million federal grant to rebuild and upgrade infrastructure and trails along this area just south of the gorgeous Bartram’s Garden. Lighting will also be part of the project, along with a park planned at the southernmost end at the base of the bridge. A final design is expected next summer, with an early 2024 start date and a summer/fall 2025 completion date.
6. Bartram Village ($2.0m received out of $2.0m asked)
We don’t have to go far for the sixth and final entry on today’s list. Right near the path extension is the Bartram Village Apartments, which was also the recipient of a federal grant not too far back. This apartment complex at 5404 Gibson Dr. was built back in 1942 to house workers during World War II, but is now in need of a serious update. WRT has been helping with the planning for this project. This $2 million grant will help affordable housing developer Pennrose construct additional mixed-income housing, along with amenities, public space, and retail.
Again, this is just a small sample of the projects receiving funding in the city. Be on the lookout for the exciting conclusion of our Top Ten in the coming days.