Vulakovich bill promotes Waterfront Development

For Immediate Release
5/29/13

State Senator Randy Vulakovich today introduced legislation establishing a Waterfront Development Tax Credit as a way to encourage private investment and spur economic development, environmental improvements and public recreational enhancements along waterfront properties.

Under Senate Bill 968, the Waterfront Development Tax Credit — capped at $10 million annually — would be available to individuals or businesses that contribute to non-profit waterfront improvement organizations.  The organizations and the projects would need approval by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development prior to participation in the program.

“Pennsylvania’s waterfronts offer opportunities for economic development and public recreation which contribute to the livelihood of the community as well as to the quality of life of residents and visitors,” said Sen. Vulakovich.  “However, many of these areas require significant investment to redevelop due to barriers including abandoned industrial uses and contamination.  My bill provides a way for organizations and investors to work together to restore those areas and benefit the entire community.”

Under Senator Vulakovich’s measure, contributions would be used for specific waterfront development projects, such as streets and public rights-of-way; waterfront parks, gardens and open spaces; access to public utilities, erosion control, storm water management and other environmental projects which promote economic development; water transportation facilities for use by the public, including water transit landings and boat docking; and amenities, including infrastructure and recreational projects.

Senator Vulakovich cites Pittsburgh’s riverfront redevelopment efforts and the participation of non profit groups like Riverlife as an example of the benefit of investment in those projects.

“Since the inception of Riverlife in 1999, Pittsburgh has seen the investment of about $130 million directly in 10 riverfront projects and over $4 billion of additional adjacent investment in the form of corporate headquarters and office buildings, hotels, sports and entertainment complexes and residences,” said Sen. Vulakovich.  “What this means is essentially that for every dollar invested directly in riverfront projects, there has been approximately thirty dollars of investment adjacent to the rivers.”

Lisa Schroeder, President and CEO of Riverlife stated, “The Waterfront Development Tax Credit, which we believe would be the first of its kind in the nation, will make it possible for towns and cities all over Pennsylvania to replicate the type of job creation, quality of life and increased economic development that we have seen in Pittsburgh.  I sincerely appreciate Senator Vulakovich introducing this important measure.”

Contact:

Nate Silcox
(717) 787-6538