An old silk milk in Kutztown being converted into a toothbrush manufacturing plant was among 21 projects across Pennsylvania that were awarded $3 million in state historic preservation tax credits, Gov. Tom Wolf announced.
Three historic preservation projects in the Greater Lehigh Valley were awarded $550,000.
• Railroad & Peach LLC was awarded $150,000 in tax credits toward the nearly $3 million rehabilitation of the former 19th century Kutztown Silk Mill, 40 Willow St., Kutztown, for Radius Corp. The company, which makes ergonomic, environmentally friendly toothbrushes and oral care products, outgrew its space at its plant at 207 Railroad St. Some production and distribution operations have already moved into renovated parts of the 40,000 square-foot former silk mill.
• Bethlehem-Adams LP was awarded $200,000 in tax credits toward the $8 million cost to convert the former Lehigh Valley Cold Storage Co., 321 Adams St., Bethlehem, into 30 loft apartments and retail space called Brinker Lofts. Lehigh University owns the property. Jefferson-Werner is the developer.
The five-story warehouse was built in 1893 by Adam Brinker, president of Lehigh Valley Cold Storage. The warehouse manufactured ice and was used for cold storage, primarily for eggs. The building has been listed on the National Register and is in the South Bethlehem Downtown Historic District.
• Silk Development 2 LP was awarded $200,000 in tax credits toward the $7.6 million cost to rehab the former R&H Simon Silk Mill, 13th Street and Bushkill Drive, Easton, into a complex of apartments, offices, restaurants and other commercial spaces. About a dozen businesses have opened, while 39 of 122 apartments opened in June. The building is listed on the National Register.
Historic preservation is viewed as a way of not only saving significant cultural features but repurposing structures and revitalizing local economies.
“The Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is one of the most effective investment tools for strengthening Pennsylvania’s local economies. When we revitalize historic sites, we create jobs for more Pennsylvanians across the commonwealth,” said Dennis Davin, secretary of the Department of Community & Economic Development.
The historic preservation tax credit program is administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development and the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission.