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State awards tax credits to 3 local businesses

Pennsylvania has awarded three major business and building expansion projects in Blair County with more than $950,000 in State Enterprise Zone and Special Priority Program tax credits.

The EZP program provides state tax credits to businesses or industries investing in or making physical improvements to properties located within designated enterprise zones. The SPP program supports specific priorities of community economic development: disaster or economic recovery, integrating weatherization and housing rehab, mortgage foreclosure prevention, blight elimination, diversity issues, rural issues and affordable housing.

Altoona Blair County Development Corp. provided technical assistance and support for the following projects:

ö The Saint Francis University Blair Commons project received $258,750 in tax credits through the SPP program for a targeted revitalization effort to deliver science and technology education to underserved populations, offer free clinical rehabilitative services to low-income cancer patients and promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and health science-related careers. The funding will be used to build out educational outreach and health care clinical space in the Curry Building (the former Vipond building) on 11th Avenue in Altoona. The project is part of a total $3.39 million renovation of the building.

ö Kranbros LLC received $214,170 in Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Program. The project included the demolition and site prep of the former Wick Copy Center and construction of a new 2,329-square-foot building adjacent to the current building property at 505-515 E. Plank Road. This project eliminated the blighted property and provided a sound barrier from the main road to the residential neighborhood behind the property. The development is now home to Jersey Shore State Bank, which is new to the area creating approximately 10 full-time jobs.

ö Dazzling Realty LLC was awarded $500,000 through the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit program for redevelopment of a vacant tract of ground in the Juniata section of Altoona for a mixed-use residential commercial development. This is part of an overall $2.2 million investment that will create nine market rate apartments on the second floor and commercial space on the first. The majority of commercial space will be used by Mama Randazzo’s to grow its catering business. A micro-brewery will also be located in the first-floor space. Two smaller store fronts will also be created. Eleven new jobs will be created/retained.

“We deeply appreciate both the significant investments being made by our private sector partners and the support and guidance we consistently receive from our regional state economic development partners led by Regional Director Johnna Pro and her team,” Stephen McKnight, ABCD Corp. President and CEO said in a statement.

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