RECENT PROJECTS OF THE AUTHORTY:
RECENT PROJECTS OF THE AUTHORTY:
Below is a list of some of the many projects either completed or in process by the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Bucks in the past decade:
- Corell Steel - Bristol Township - 4 Acres are being rehabilitated with the balance to become part of a recreation, park open space area in the Township.
- Cloverleaf Estates - Morrisville Borough - After the removal of a vacant restaurant building the Authority is now actively accepting proposals for the redevelopment of this along with another 11 acres adjacent thereto.
- Vacant Acme Property - Newtown Township - Built for a specific use this as many other Bucks County Properties looms as an eyesore in an area being revitalized in a main street reconstruction soon to be underway in early 2004.
- Riverview Estates - Morrisville Borough - a vacant blighted home located on several acres of land that stretched to the Delaware Rivers Edge. Four building lots were developed by the Authority and sold to a developer who has built four single homes for homeownership in the Borough with the remaining portion of the parcel becoming open space with access to the Waterfront for the Borough Residents. This may become a main access to a future waterfront park area.
- Riverfront South Property - Bensalem Township - Located on State Road in Bensalem this Heavy Industrial Property has been home for chemical blending, storage and manufacturing for more than half a century. Once the environmental remediation is complete and the property is certified safe the property will be developed as a high density residential housing, retail, and commercial office with open space and recreation areas.
- Spread Eagle Inn - Northampton Township - This vacant building has been moved back from the intersection and placed on a new foundation, preserved in its original state and now being used as a commercial property.
- Port of Bucks County NOVOLOG Bucks County Inc., - A Deep Sea Port in Bucks County established originally by USS Fairless Works during the steel making days has now been revitalized as a bulk steel and other commodities destination including the import of salt being used by many of the Communities surrounding the Port.
- North Wilson Business Park/A.B. Murray - Bristol Township - Now home to the office of the Redevelopment Authority this 16 plus acre property now provides access for all traffic that originally entered the then Industrial Area through residential housing that effectively turned this into an 85 acre business park and all roads through these residential areas are now restricted and prohibit truck traffic. This project was completed with an $850,000 grant that was used to purchase the property and also used to install an industrial roadway to connect all the properties to Green Lane. This road is called North Wilson Avenue.
- Union Camp Property - New Hope - This paper manufacturing building sat vacant for more that a decade until the Authority in cooperation with the Borough of New Hope surrounded the property in a Certified Redevelopment Area. Once this process began the owner was motivated to sell and the rest of this redevelopment was completed with private funding with the exception of the parking area which did receive Federal assistance.
- George Washington Motor Lodge - Bensalem Township - Vacant more that a decade this property was acquired in cooperation with Bensalem Township. The Authority with grant funds from Pennsylvania Department of Community and Business Development demolished the building and had the property graded and seeded. This property is now under agreement of sale and should be redeveloped in the near future.
- Lockheed Martin Corporation - Newtown Township - Incentives to secure Lockheed Martin selected the Newtown site included a two Million ($2,000,000) Dollar grant for infrastructure improvements at this site that included roadways and water, sanitary and storm sewer installations which was made available through the Authority.
- Grundy Power House - Bristol Borough - In partnership with Bristol Borough and the County of Bucks, the Authority purchased the historic Grundy Powerhouse through eminent domain. Since acquiring the property, the Authority has awarded the contract to have the property environmentally assessed. Once the environmental information is available, a determination will be made to decide what the future use of this property will be. The property has been environmentally assessed and requires little remediation to be placed back into use.
This project is currently under agreement of sale. The developer is planning 26 upscale condominiums of one, two and three bedrooms. This residential property, located one block from the north-south passenger rail station in Bristol Borough will provide market level housing for the Borough. The final remediation is being planned and the Condo plans have been approved by the Borough Officials.
- Tullytown Revitalization Area - The Authority was asked by the Commissioners of the County of Bucks and the Borough Council of Tullytown to provide a study into certifying the Old Levittown Shopping Center and surrounding area as a Certified Redevelopment Area. It is the intention of the Partners in this project to provide assistance to encourage future development of the area. This old center celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2002 and all the partners desire to have this area revitalized and representative of its past.
For more than 15 months the Authority, along with residents of Tullytown appointed by the Council and along with other residents of the surrounding communities, met to discuss and recommend a direction for the Borough to follow in redeveloping the Levittown Shopping Center, originally known as the Levittown SHOPARAMA. During this study, the Authority accepted RFP's from consultants to develop a Certified Redevelopment Area that would include more than 144 acres of Tullytown Borough and include the Levittown Shopping Center. This Certified Redevelopment Area was approved by the Tullytown Planning Commission, the Bucks County Planning Commission, the Commissioners of Bucks County, the Tullytown Borough Council and the Authority.
With all the necessary documents in place, in early March 2002, Tullytown Borough Council voted to give the New York Developer control the Levittown Shopping Center site and begin the tear down of the existing buildings. The Authority did however, continue to inform the Borough of their options and urged them to keep control of the redevelopment of the site.
The Authority still searches for other business to locate in and around the Shopping Center and stands ready to apply for any grant funding that may be available for this worthwhile site.
- NOVOLOG Port of Bucks County Dredging - Because all ships that come North of the Philadelphia Port must either back down the river to Philadelphia, or continue to the Port of Bucks County to turn around, an application was made to the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge and maintain a turning basin just North of the Port of Bucks County. Years prior, most ships could turn anywhere in the river, but with the 700 foot plus cargo ships of today, they are not able to navigate the turn and must back into the Port of Bucks County to reverse direction. The Army Corps agreed to maintain the basin and to additionally pay 66% of the cost of building the turn around basin.
The cost of the construction was estimated at $1,000,000.00. This would require a public agency to guarantee the 34% of the cost. NOVOLOG Inc. asked the Authority to assist in this project as the Authority had in past projects at the Port of Bucks County. Final estimates indicated $300,000.00 would be the local agencies cost. With that in mind, an application was placed to the PA-DCED for a $300,000.00 grant to be used to cover the local agency cost. This grant was approved as a grant to loan with the first loan being made to NOVOLOG. They will repay these funds to the Authority with interest and the Authority will place these funds in a revolving loan fund to be re-loaned as needed for similar projects in Bucks County.
The $300,000.00 grant was received and all the loan documents were approved by the PA-DCED, County of Bucks, NOVOLOG, Inc., and the Authority. Once all the stakeholders agreed on the documents and all signed the loan documents, the funds were transferred to the First Service Bank, Radcliffe Street, Bristol, Pennsylvania in repayment of a $300,000.00 line of credit that was used to move the project forward.
Because the project needed to be done during a small window of opportunity when the Sturgeon are less apt to be disturbed, the Authority acquired a letter of credit at a cost of $1,500.00, paid by NOVOLOG Inc., and delivered it to the Army Corps of Engineers so they could proceed with the plans and drawings. Once the plans were completed and the dredging contractor was given orders to proceed in accordance with the plans and during the window of opportunity. Because the funding had not arrived from the Commonwealth, the Army Corps of Engineers exercised the letter of credit and drew down the entire $300,000.00 at the project beginning, because Federal Law required them to have all funds on hand prior to awarding any contract.
The dredging of the turn around basin was completed in 30 days and NOVOLOG, Inc. has begun to pay back the loan. As the loan receipts are collected, they will be added to the Authority's Revolving Loan Fund.
- 400 Mill Street - Bristol Borough - The Authority acquired this property in 2001, for the purpose of rehabilitation as a new construction project. Several stores were acquired amicably through negotiation and have been razed to make way for this new construction and an agreement of sale has been executed with Keystone Redevelopers, Inc. Presently, landscaping of the vacant land is taking place and is being paid for through a grant from the PA-DCED, the Grundy Foundation and the Borough of Bristol.
Keystone Redevelopers, Inc., have been granted an extension of time to settle allowing them additional time to market the property. All the landscaping has been completed and the park benches and walk ways are installed. Keystone Redevelopers Inc., has abandoned this agreement of sale and the property will now be handled as directed by the Borough of Bristol.
- Magnet Property - Yardley Borough - Titled to the Bucks County Economic Development Corporation, the Authority applied for ISRP funding and was awarded over $100,000.00 from the PA-DCED and the US-EPA to complete the environmental assessment of this 30 plus acre site that had been vacant for the most part for more than a half dozen years and suspected of hundreds of thousands of dollars of environmental contamination. Penn E &R Inc., was awarded the assessment contract and have now determined that the cleanup is much less than expected. Estimated at about $250,000.00, the remediation was expected to begin in the Spring of 2002 and soon thereafter Cold Springs Limited Partnership, had plans to rehabilitate the property as a light industrial site to include commercial, light industrial and retail space.
The environmental assessment has been completed and revealed that some very hazardous materials were stored on site in barrels. The emergency management division of the US-EPA responded to reports that these hazardous materials were accessible and not under proper lock and key. After a visit to the site, they were assured the chemicals were in fact secured and in a safe place awaiting removal during the environmental remediation of the site. Although secure, it was determined that during the early evening and midnight daily, a security guard should be posted at the site. A security company was commissioned for this purpose and provided security until the material was removed from the site.
Once the hazardous materials were removed, the security company was released. On a regular basis, the Authority's Project Manager checks on the site to ensure it remains secure. The balance of the environmental remediation was completed during the Summer of 2003.
The Developer, Cold Springs Limited Partnership, have agreed to come before the Authority Board, to discuss the reuse of this property for other than residential use by which standards the property was cleaned up. This is expected to happen in the Spring of 2004 and construction should begin within 60 to 90 days after Municipal and Borough approvals.
- Bucks County Brownfield's Program - Administered by the Authority, the Brownfield's Initiative Pilot Program meets one of the initial objectives of the Enterprise Zone, to seek out properties that are underused, blighted, or abandoned for reuse. This program provides funds to assess the environmental condition of the County's Brownfield sites and is being handled through the Enterprise Zone. The Authority has applied for and received nearly 1 million dollars through the US-EPA for the assessment and development of Brownfields. Presently the Authority has been awarded a $500,000.00 revolving loan fund that stays with the Authority forever. Two grants have been awarded the Authority, by the US-EPA, one for $200,000.00 and a second for $150,000.00 which is used to pay for consultants and Authority Staff to search out and identify Brownfield Properties in Bucks County. As of June 30, 2003, the Authority has identified some 22 properties which are listed on the Authority's internet site, as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Brownfield's Site Finder.
- Dial Riverfront North - Bristol Borough - Dial Corporation notified the Authority at the end of 2001, of its plans to shut down the manufacturing process at their Bristol Site. Bristol Borough was desirous of regaining the riverfront for open space and parkland when possible and they did not want to continue industrial use on the banks of the Delaware River. Through a cooperation agreement, the Borough of Bristol agreed to pay for all costs incurred by the Authority, and to authorize the Authority to apply for any grants available to get the Dial Property back to full use. Negotiations began and continued until the end of December 2001, at which time a deal was made. Dial agreed to allow the Authority to have an appraisal completed on the property and in January a specific purchase price would be consummated. After obtaining an appraisal in the amount of $1.8 million dollars for 9.9 acres and all the buildings, the Authority met with Dial Corporation Real Estate Personnel from Arizona at the Dial Property in Bristol, Pa.
At this meeting, the Dial Corporation was informed of the Authority's appraisal. Dial Corporation felt the property was worth considerably more. They had an appraisal for an amount over $3 million dollars. Dial disagreed with the land acreage. The appraisal had the property at 9.9 acres and their surveyor had placed the acreage at 11.6 acres or nearly two more acres. Taking this into consideration, Borough Personnel, the Authority's Consultant and Solicitor and the Authority, agreed to increase the appraised value to include the added acreage and raised the offer to $2 million dollars, a cash deal with only a due diligence period to do environmental assessment of the property. The offer was not readily accepted and Dial Corporation Personnel returned to Arizona, after they had countered the offer at $2.5 million cash deal with no contingencies.
Within several days Dial Corporation agreed to a $2 million dollar offer as is where is. The Authority reviewed the environmental report and agreed to the deal. A settlement date was scheduled for April 6th, 2001. The Authority borrowed $1.5 million dollars from the County's CDBG Funds at 3% for thirty (30) months and $600,000.00 from the First Service Bank in Bristol, Pa at 4.8% with interest only payments for up to thirty-six (36) months. In addition, the Authority applied for a $720,000.00 revitalization grant to remove the existing manufacturing buildings and demolish the interior of the 183,000 square foot office, three (3) story warehouse building.
An environmental assessment was completed with PA-DEP and US-EPA contributing along with the Commonwealth providing 75% of the assessment cost and US-EPA supplying 25% of the cost. The Borough of Bristol through the cooperation agreement agreed to reimburse the Authority for any administrative costs incurred during the project.
The property was immediately marketed to several large property developers. Preferred Real Estate made an offer of $2.5 million dollars to purchase the property and remaining building on June 17, 2001, and asked for settlement on January 17, 2002. Preferred placed $100,000.00 escrow deposit that became at risk after a sixty (60) day do diligence period.
During the summer of 2001, all of the manufacturing buildings located on the Dial Property, were demolished and removed from the site. Additionally, all the contents on the inside of the main building were removed and hauled away. All partitions were demolished and removed from the site as well as all lighting fixtures, water pipes, facilities and non-essential items located within the main building.
Request for proposals for the environmental remediation of the Dial Property were received. Remedial action has begun in early 2003. During 2002, the County's Community and Business Development Department notified the Authority that there was Section 108 funding available. Preferred Real Estate LP was awarded a $2.5 million dollar Section 108 Loan for a period of four (4) years. This is an interest only loan and will be fully recovered at the end of year four (4). The Borough of Bristol was successful in obtaining an additional $2.3 million dollar EDA Federal grant for site improvements. These EDA funds have been used to install the infrastructure along with matching funds provided by Preferred Real Estate, LP. The infrastructure work is underway and the Dial North Main Building has begun renovations. The Dial Building, the only remaining building of the original Harriman Shipyards constructed in the early 1900's, has been declared and designated a historic site and has been placed on the National Historic Register of Historic Buildings. This designation provided for a $2.1 million dollar historic tax credit funding to assist in the rehabilitation of this structure.
Once completed, this building will become a first class office space for approximately 900 employees. Several businesses are in negotiation with Preferred to lease the building and it is expected to be fully leased by the Fall of 2004.
- USS Fairless Works - Falls Township - Several projects on the USS site have received loans and grants through the Enterprise Zone and the RDA directly. The Authority owns a 40,000 square foot warehouse located at USS and is leased to NOVOLOG Bucks County Inc. This building was part of a grant to loan program from the Commonwealth's Department of Community and Economic Development that provided funding to assist new business growth in the Enterprise Zone Area. The lease payments are deposited in a special Revolving Loan Account that funds small loans to small businesses to assist them in growth or stabilization and is provided at low interest.
- River Front North Project - Bristol Borough - The Authority entered into a Cooperation Agreement with the Bristol Borough to acquire, redevelop and dispose of the property in the River Front North Development Project Area.
In cooperation with Bristol Borough, the Authority acquired two (2) properties on Radcliffe Street. One owned by Dial and the other owned by Superior Zinc, both of which were not in operation at the time of acquisition. The River Front North Development property has been assessed for environmental conditions existing at the site through a grant from the PA-DCED and US-EPA. The environmental remediation is in process, along with the demolition and the removal of remaining concrete, macadam, underbrush, wood and other debris. Proposals were received from prospective developers and an agreement of sale for 13 acres was accepted for age restricted housing on the north end of the property with an option to purchase another nineteen (19) acres by June 30, 2001, was negotiated. The balance of the property, some 7 + acres may be held for public use as parkland and possible river access for boaters.
Fifty-six (56) residential homes have been constructed on the 13 acres of the residential portion of the property and the balance of the property is being environmentally remediated and as of June 30, 2001, was under an agreement of sale to McGrath Developers. On June 30, 2001, the majority of the remediation was completed on the remaining 19 acres.
All of the fifty-six (56) age restricted homes were built and sold within one year from start of ground breaking. Although the developer held an option on the remaining acreage, after paying $15,000.00 for a sixty (60) day extension on the agreement of sale, the developer opted to let the property go. With the property back on the market, the developer, Preferred Real Estate who was selected to purchase the Dial Property made an offer that was accepted for the remaining 19 acres on the waterfront.
With all the concrete removed from the portion of the property that was used for the housing on the 13 acre portion of the property, the Authority with a grant from PA-DCED requested proposals to crush the remaining concrete and pile the remaining debris for future removal and to grade off the complete site to ensure the storm water is not trapped on site. This concrete demolition and grading of the property was completed in the Spring of 2003.
Preferred Real Estate LP plans to develop three (3) pad sites for future office users. They expect to build an additional 120,000 square feet of class "A" office space.
This project was sold in June 2003 to Preferred Real Estate LP and site work has begun. The entire 19 acres will become a parking area for the expected additional Class "A" Office Space as well as, parking for the residents of Bristol and Bucks County who wish to visit the riverfront area along the waterfront of this property.
Preferred Real Estate LP has approved plans for all of their projects and has agreed to contain all the environmental materials in a deed restricted area on the site, either in a berm or under the paving areas to ensure it meets PA-DEP standards as it was when the properties were turned over to them. This and the Dial Property is expected to provide 2,000 plus employment opportunities
Bristol Borough was awarded a grant of $100,000.00to install the Rail Spur Park Walk along Radcliff Street from Mill Street at the Northwestern part of the Borough. The contract was awarded and the walk and landscaping has been completed and is subject to a one year maintenance bond. Preferred Real Estate LP has agreed to continue the Rail Spur Park walk on their properties. The expected total cost of the Rail Spur Park Walkway is approximately $350,000.00.
- County Housing Rehabilitation Program - The Authority administers a County-wide Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program for eligible participants. Funding was provided by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds awarded by the County Commissioners. Eligible Bucks County homeowners, of fixed, low and medium income, may apply for assistance in making major repairs to their homes and any health or safety hazard will be addressed during this rehab. A maximum of $15,000.00 is available for these qualified homeowners. The Authority provides specifications and plans for the work required and additionally inspects the work during the project implementation. This Owner Occupied Housing Program has assisted over 1,600 Bucks County Residents since its inception.
The County Housing Rehabilitation Program is funded through CBDG money and therefore must comply with the Federal Lead Safe Housing Practices, which include homeowners leaving their homes during the remediation of any lead paint found in their homes. Any home built prior to 1978 must be tested for lead paint since it is considered to contain lead paint. If the project is less than $5,000.00, lead safe practices require only the immediate area where the work will be performed. If it is over $5,000.00, the whole home, inside and out, must be tested for lead paint and providing the project is less than $25,000.00, lead safe practices may be utilized, but if the project is over $25,000.00 the entire home inside and out must be completely lead paint remediated prior to any work being performed in those homes. In addition to the Lead Safe Housing Program, the Authority administers and manages the County's Owner Occupied Housing Lead Paint Remediation. This program provides up to $15,000.00 in grant funds and an additional amount up to $15,000.00 at zero interest through a Mortgage similar to the regular Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation. These programs, as all housing programs, require the homes to be brought up to local and national codes.
- Stainless Property - Perkasie Borough- In 1998, the Authority began to review the possibilities of acquiring the Stainless Property, once used to apply the stainless process to pipe and steel used in large towers. Prior to the building being used for the stainless process it was in fact a silk works and operated for many years in the center of Perkasie Borough around the turn of the 19th century. The Authority was able to acquire the property for a donation of $325,000.00, which was acceptable to the present owner because of the condition of the building and environmental conditions existing at the site. Since acquiring the property, the Authority has obtained $51,000.00 in grants to do the assessment of the environmental conditions. The Authority now has obtained a $147,000.00 grant from the Commonwealth of PA as 75% of the environmental remediation and the Authority's partner, Perkasie Borough, has agreed to provide the 25% match required. In addition, the Authority has applied for and been granted a $25,000.00 grant towards storm water control at the site. Perkasie Borough has signed a cooperation agreement to reimburse the Authority for any costs incurred for the project.
The Authority was successful in obtaining the $25,000.00 grant from the PA-DCED as a match for funding to correct the storm water conditions at the Stainless Property. Because the storm water flooding conditions are so intense, it has been decided that the Authority will need to acquire the neighboring Wispese Property adjacent to the Stainless Site which are separated by a drainage ditch that causes the flooding conditions at both properties.
Presently Penn Environmental and Remediation Inc., are providing the environmental remediation in accordance with Pennsylvania Act II and as approved by the PA-DEP. Prior to beginning the remediation process, the US-EPA, was questioned by a local newspaper as to why they had not addressed the environmental concerns at this site previously. A review of the site brought up a few questions regarding the approach to the remediation and with some concerns from a neighboring property on the other side of the elevated Septa tracts, Delbar Corporation insisted additional off site wells be installed. After meeting with all the stakeholders, the US-EPA decided to conduct the additional investigation without further cost to the Authority. That testing has been completed and has not at this time changed the PA-DEP approved cleanup plan for the Stainless Inc. Site.
Penn E & R has injected the property ground water with a chemical that will reduce the TCE to a lesser non-toxic matter. It is expected that the new test of the existing wells will be retested in 2004 to determine how successful this approach has been. Further environmental cleanup is underway that will require 8 quarters of testing once the TCE reaches a level determined by the PA-DEP, which is expected to begin in early 2005. This environmental cleanup will not prevent the rehabilitation of the property for reuse.
The First Savings Bank of Perkasie has entered into an agreement to purchase this property for $325,000.00 on or before May 31, 2004. The bank plans to renovate the building and use it as their main administrative offices and is presently having the plans approved by the Municipality. They are expected to occupy the building in the winter of 2004 or early Spring, 2005
- Holiday Inn Express - Morrisville Borough - The Redevelopment Authority a decade having earlier acquired the former Rubber Plant located on Bridge Street in Morrisville demolished the buildings and completed redeveloping a large portion of this property. Three (3) acre parcels remained undeveloped and in the rear of a new strip shopping center for nearly 10 years. After environmental remediation and clearance the hotel was constructed on pilings with significant difficulty. Because of the property location and with the need for specialized foundation requirements the property was transferred to the new owner with an allowance to cover some of this added expense.
- Red Lion Inn Property - The Authority is cooperation with Bensalem Township acquired the Red Lion Inn by Eminent Domain at the appraised price of $80,000.00. This property contained a portion of the original restaurant that had burned down several years prior. Since acquiring the property, the Authority had the balance of the funding remaining at the George Washington Motor Lodge, transferred to the Red Lion Inn Project. The property is now vacant and is being marketed for use as a commercial office or retail space acceptable to the Township of Bensalem. The mortgage holder has challenged the appraisal and a hearing is being scheduled. The property owners have appealed the decision of the Board of View to the Bucks County Court. This hearing is expected to take place in the Spring of 2004. This court decision is not expected to change the decision of the Board of View. A great deal of discovery has been completed on the site which brought to question just how much of this property is actually available to develop because more than 30% of the total property falls in the 100 flood plain, which precludes development.
- MANAGEMENT SERVICES (Construction Management) - This service offered by the Authority, was initiated by the Executive Director, to assist the County non-profit organizations when requested of the Community Development Office in making major repairs to either their own office building or buildings the agencies are using. The Authority is reimbursed per hour for the Executive Director time as well as for secretarial and inspection cost. This program provides $15,000.00 annually towards the Administrative Costs. This program was very instrumental in assisting the County in meeting the HUD requirements in converting the Johnsville Naval Station back to private use. The Authority provided Management Services to the NGA Inc., (New 5,000 square foot building), The Bucks Montgomery Center for Human Services, the conversion of the previous medical building, and the Conversion of the Barn into Office and recreation, as well as the main house into a housing facility for the Bucks County Mental Health-Mental Retardation Agency. Many other non-profit agencies benefit from this program. A new roof for the Bucks County Latino Leadership Alliance, conversion of a blighted apartment building is underway to assist the Penndel Mental Health Agency in providing housing for clients in need of independent housing. Roof and HVAC system for the Head Start Program in Morrisville Borough and many other projects around the County of Bucks.
- Bristol Borough Housing Acquisition Program - In view of a very successful housing rehabilitation project on Bath Street in Bristol Borough completed by the Authority, the Borough Council has elected to purchase homes that are in a run down condition in neighborhoods that need to be revitalized with the Authority as their partner. The BCRDA purchases these homes from banks or people who own them. We then do a complete revitalization of the homes back to full usefulness with a minimum of maintenance problems for the new homeowners. Initially these houses are remodeled in accordance with local and national codes. The idea is to then sell the home to someone who will not use the home as a rental or investment property. These new homeowners can also obtain a zero interest loan from the Borough, similar to the first time home buyers program with the exception of there are no income limits. This project consists of continually acquiring, rehabilitating, and selling the homes to owners for their use and has 3 to 5 homes always in some manner of rehabilitation, with a goal of finding a new owner during the process. Most of these homes are now being sold before the rehabilitation is completed and sometimes before the work ever begins. These rehabilitated homes provide excellent opportunities for first time homebuyers at prices from $75,000.00 to $115,000.00 up, and require very little down payment for the qualified buyer.
- Bristol Township Revitalization Area - At the request of the Township of Bristol, the Authority is in the process of designating several smaller tracks of property as blighted under the short form certified redevelopment area. This program provides for single properties that have been abandoned, fallen into disrepair and meet at least one of the conditions spelled out in Pennsylvania Act #385 as amended. The Authority has provide blight reports for several projects that are now ready for acquition by the Authority and rehabilitated for new uses. Most of these properties are not current with real estate taxes and have been allowed to become severely blighted. Although, several properties were targeted it was only necessary to take two (2) of these blighted abandoned properties because the owner's began to make the necessary repairs or became motivated to sell these properties and have the blight removed.
- LOWER BUCKS HOSPITAL - The Authority is administering a five (5) million dollar grant awarded to the Hospital to renovate and expand their Cardiac Care, emergency care and other areas of the hospital.
- PORT OF BUCKS - NOVOLOG BUCKS COUNTY INC., - RIVERSIDE: The Authority is developing and preparing the necessary documents to administer a Four (4) Million Dollar capital grant awarded for development and improvements at the Deep Sea Ports of Bucks County.
- Blighted Properties Inventory - The Redevelopment Authority is searching out blighted, vacant properties that are referred to as "Brownfield's". Properties that are underused or vacant because of a REAL or PRECIEVED Environmental Contamination. Once all of the properties are identified they will be inventoried and characterized in accordance with their rehabilitation value. Their closeness to major highways and access to utilities. The final report is expected to be completed in early 2004.
- Bucks County Communities Delaware River Waterfront Study - The Commissioner's of the County of Bucks and Six of the Waterfront Communities, Bensalem, Bristol Borough, Bristol Township, Tullytown Borough, Falls Township and Morrisville Borough have commissioned a study of the River Waterfront property from the Poquessing Creek in Bensalem to the Trenton Makes the World Takes Bridge in Morrisville Borough and from route 13 to the waters edge. The Bucks County Enterprise Zone Committee has been selected by the Commissioners as the Agency to steer the study. The study is expected to be complete in the Spring of 2005 and is expected to provide the participating communities should they decide to adopt the findings a comprehensive report to ensure properties that become underused or go out of business a direction for the redevelopment of their property. For more information on the Waterfront Study return to the home page and you can click on the Waterfront Study link on the home page.
- Bucks County Enterprise Zone - The Enterprise Zone was established in 1996 and is better defined in a section of its own. Please return to the home page and click on Enterprise Zone.
There have been many projects completed by the Authority since it was established in 1962. The original use of the Authority occurred when the Commissioners of the County of Bucks needed to clean up a blighted housing project in Warminster Township and from there the Authority continued to be able to work in areas local government and private business could not. The Authority was instrumental in removing properties located in the flood plane in Bensalem Township along the Neshaminy Creek.
Any Municipality of the County of Bucks is welcome to use the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Bucks in any blighted project. The Authority is the conduit the Community may use to clear and rehabilitate improper developed, blighted, underused and possibly abandoned properties located in their Municipality.
It all starts by a contact and Penndel Borough can attest to that. With several properties blighted, abandoned, tax delinquent, attractive hazards that affect the property values for those who are in the immediate vicinity, an invite brought the Authority and Act 385, "The Urban Redevelopment Law" of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Appointment of a "Vacant Blighted Property Review Committee" and with several months of meetings and negotiations, three of the Borough's concerns have been or are being rehabilitated by Private Business at very little cost to the Borough.
Once the process begins, it is much like shining a bright light on a specific area. The present owner's do not want to have their property taken and therefore begin the process of bringing their properties up to code or find a buyer willing to bring the properties back to full use.
Muncipal Grant Program