TAMAQUA – A long awaited effort to renovate and restore the Berwick House and two neighboring buildings on West Broad Street in downtown Tamaqua is underway, according to Senator David G. Argall and Representative Jerry Knowles. The renovations planned for the Berwick House will upgrade thirteen existing apartments and will modernize the elevator, HVAC system, and roof of the building. The rest of the project will include rehabilitating four additional units located in blighted nearby buildings which have remained vacant for decades.
“A key component in any healthy downtown is quality housing for people of many different income levels,” said Argall. “This project is just another example of the incredible effort made by Tamaqua and many of its private citizens to breathe new life into a community that we are proud to call home. Day by day, week by week, year by year, since the day we began the restoration of our 1874 train station three decades ago, Tamaqua is making real progress.”
“I’m happy to see quality housing available in our neighborhoods,” said Knowles. “Housing assistance can make a significant difference in the economic well-being of our families. Our mission should be to help people to live comfortably. I am in total support of this funding.”
Tamaqua Mayor Nathan Gerace stated: “As our community grows, housing is an important factor in a downtown. I’m thankful to Senator Argall and Representative Knowles for fighting for funding for these projects. Tamaqua has an abundance of hard-working citizens and groups that help Tamaqua grow and thrive every day. This is a great example of the projects that continue to help Tamaqua take the next step of continued revitalization.”
The total of seventeen apartments will be made available when completed. The project will aim to restore the Berwick House to resemble the historic Tamaqua National Bank from decades ago. This project is the latest in a series of revitalization projects undertaken by the Alliance for Building Communities including the successful conversion of a long-vacant shoe factory on Hazle Street and an abandoned textile factory on East Broad Street into housing.
The estimated total development cost for this project is $5.7 million. The project received a $350,000 Affordable Housing Grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, a $500,000 grant from the PennHOMES program, and $485,000 in low income tax credits from the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Authority. The remainder of the funding comes in the form of equity from Riverview Bank.
Contact: Jim Brugger