Hotel deals are a new way to grant corporate welfare.
Building new hotels is being talked about in the Strip District and possibly as part of a city slots casino.
Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato wants to take another look at the need for the 500-room hotel planned next to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Downtown.
Onorato said it makes sense to re-evaluate the $104 million convention center project.
- PG reports the County Chief Executive is thinking again. 
GOP Editor's NoteEdit
Are we back in the USSR? Can anyone explain to me why the City of Pittsburgh government is planning and funding a hotel? This kind of central planning stuff and government involvement in the private sector would make the old Politboro Members proud.
Senator Santorum and Representative Gerlach Announce Federal Funding for Reading
June 23, 2006 For Immediate Release – June 23, 2006 Contact: Robert Traynham (202) 224-0610 http://santorum.senate.gov
SENATOR SANTORUM AND REPRESENTATIVE GERLACH ANNOUNCE FEDERAL FUNDING FOR READING
Pittsburgh, PA – U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and U.S. Representative Jim Gerlach (R-6-PA), today announced $1,500,000 in Section 108 Guaranteed Loan funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the City of Reading.
Section 108 is the loan guarantee provision of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Section 108 provides communities with a source of financing for economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities, and large-scale physical development projects. This funding allows local governments to transform a small portion of their CDBG funds into federally guaranteed loans large enough to pursue physical and economic revitalization projects that can renew entire neighborhoods.
The City of Reading will lend the Section 108 funds to Reading Hospitality Group, LLC, a for-profit organization, who will acquire land and construct a 200-room Crown Plaza Hotel. The total project cost is $29,000,000. The City was also awarded a $1,000,000, FY 2005 Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) grant to be used in conjunction with the Section 108 financing to complete this project.
“The economic development project will result in an influx of brand new jobs into the City of Reading,” said Senator Santorum. “This combination of public and private investment allows federal dollars to go further and provides stability and incentive for private partners. I am pleased with HUD’s commitment to continued economic development in Pennsylvania’s communities.”
“This is wonderful news for the city of Reading as it works to turn one of its former blighted, brownfields sites into a shining example of economic growth and prosperity,” said Congressman Gerlach. “This significant investment in our community will ensure that Reading and Berks County continue to prosper and grow.”