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North Broad, Market East and Upper Darby projects get Pa. redevelopment grants

Upper Darby's 69th Street retail corridor, the East Market mixed-use project in Center City, and a large North Broad Street apartment complex are among the biggest winners in the latest batch of awards from Pennsylvania's redevelopment assistance program.

Other projects on the list of Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants, posted to the state Budget Office's website Wednesday, include a new headquarters complex for Broomall's fire department and a plastic-to-oil facility in Marcus Hook.

The awards bring total grants for projects in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties this year to $91.3 million, out of $287 million statewide. Included are grants applied for during 2015.

The largest awards announced since Gov. Wolf began naming grantees in September have been $10 million each for the Gallery at Market East  renovation project in Center City and the redevelopment of the Yorktowne Hotel in York.

Wolf spokesman Mark Nicastre said the awards announced Wednesday will be the last from the 2015 application pool.

Among them is $3 million for the 1300 Fairmount Ave. development on a large vacant lot just south of the Divine Lorraine apartments on North Broad Street. New York-based developer RAL Cos. & Affiliates plans 486 apartment units, a supermarket, and a 6,000-square-foot public plaza.

The grant "is clearly a critical component to making this happen," RAL president and chief executive Robert Levine said. The company is negotiating with a supermarket tenant, and aims to break ground in about eight months, he said.

Another $3 million grant is going to help complete part of the East Market project being built by National Real Estate Development of Washington between 11th and 12th Streets. The award is targeted at the former Family Court building at 34 S. 11th St., which is being converted into offices with ground-floor retail space for MOM's Organic Market.

An additional $3 million is being set aside for the redevelopment of the former Sears store at 69th and Walnut Streets into an "108,000-square-foot transit-oriented retail shopping center."

The property was owned as of May 2014 by Ashkenazy Acquisition of New York, which has discussed a 100-room hotel and retail complex at the site. A call to Ashkenazy was not immediately returned.

Also named as awardees are Tigard, Ore.-based Agilyx Corp., which is receiving $3 million for a facility in Marcus Hook to convert difficult-to-recycle waste plastics into synthetic crude oil, and the Broomall Fire Company, which is getting $3.25 million for the construction of a 25,000-square-foot fire department building.