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CASEY PRESENTS CITY WITH $1.3 MILLION TO RETAIN BUSINESSES ON AMERICAN STREET CORRIDOR; 126-ACRE INNER-CITY INDUSTRIAL PARK TO BE CREATED

 PHILADELPHIA, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- An infusion of nearly $1.3 million in state grants intended to jump-start a five-year, multimillion-dollar effort to make it more attractive for businesses to locate and expand in the American Street Corridor of lower North Philadelphia was announced today by Gov. Robert P. Casey at a news conference at American and Somerset streets.
 The governor made the award from the State Commerce Department to Mayor Edward G. Rendell and to William P. Hankowsky, president, PIDC, the city's economic development agency, which will manage the revitalization effort.
 The award reflects the governor's and the mayor's resolve to strengthen the city's neighborhoods, creating jobs and a needed tax base.
 "We intend to stem the tide of job loss," said the mayor. "If a business can't grow and expand where it is, it will leave. With this program we propose to make it possible, even attractive, for existing businesses to stay on American Street and for new ones to come," he added.
 The thrust of the five-year joint effort by the City of Philadelphia and PIDC, in consultation with the state Department of Commerce, is to create land opportunities for development and for business expansion. In effect, a 126-acre urban industrial park within the enterprise zone will be assembled over a five-year period.
 The establishment of the industrial park is intended to overcome one of the problems facing the city which is the lack of land of suitable size to offer for business development and expansion.
 The average land parcel in the inner city is under one acre, according to Hankowsky, while companies who may wish to construct a building with space adjacent to it for parking generally need a minimum of two acres or more.
 "This effort on American Street will make land parcels available to keep current companies from leaving the area, help them to expand and attract additional companies from outside the zone," said Hankowsky.
 Hankowsky praised the work of the American Street Corridor Business Association in working with the city and with PIDC to identify needs and to advocate for them. "These companies are the backbone not only of the area, but of the city itself," said Hankowsky. "A number of them have been doing business here for years; we want to keep them here and remove obstacles to their expansion and create a more conducive environment in which they can conduct their business," he added.
 Funds from the state will be used primarily for land acquisition, environmental remediation where indicated and preparation of sites in a move-in condition.
 The five-year effort is divided into five phases, each of one year's duration.
 Phase I would yield an estimated 11 acres of prime vacant land for development and expansion. It is projected that it will also yield in excess of 120,000 square feet of new building opportunities and potential new employment of 150 to 200 people.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/8/93
 /CONTACT: Kevin Feeley of the Mayor's Press Office, 215-686-6211, or Noreen Shanfelter, communications manager of PIDC, 215-496-8123/


CO: Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MJ-LJ -- PH002 -- 4087 04/08/93 09:07 EDT
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Date:Apr 8, 1993
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