Friday, October 15, 2010

Schwartz and Funding for Dilworth Plaza

from the inbox:

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz announced today that the City of Philadelphia will receive $15 million for the renovation of Dilworth Plaza, one of the nation’s most highly visible but underutilized urban spaces. Schwartz sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last year and has regularly communicated with the Secretary to secure these funds.

“The location of Dilworth Plaza makes this a unique project that will reinvigorate downtown Philadelphia and make it more livable,” Schwartz said. “The new Dilworth Plaza will promote greater mobility, a cleaner environment and will transform underutilized infrastructure into a sustainable centerpiece of Philadelphia. At the intersection of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Avenue of the Arts, a redesigned Dilworth Plaza will link these two cultural districts together, creating a major civic space that welcomes visitors and provides a pedestrian link between downtown’s retail, dining, cultural and entertainment districts.”

Dilworth Plaza is situated among towering residential and office buildings in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, immediately adjacent to historic City Hall, and at the juxtaposition of the expanding Pennsylvania Convention Center, the thriving Avenue of the Arts performing district and the beginning of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway cultural district. The project will transform this space into an active public plaza for residents, employees and visitors, making it an inviting, attractive destination and public transportation hub.

The new Dilworth Plaza will provide:

· A prominent new gateway to subway and regional rail lines, benefiting nearby residents and the entire region;

· Real time visuals, including information boards and kiosks, which will deliver useful and up-to-the-minute transit information, reducing dependence on automobiles;

· Substantial greening, lighting and interactive art that will enliven the neighborhood and present a new and contemporary face to visitors;

According to the Center City District, the renovation of Dilworth Plaza will create more than 1,000 jobs and nearly $40 million in wages over the next 30-month construction period, generating an additional $122 million in total economic output for the Commonwealth.

The funds were provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s TIGER Discretionary Grant funding program. The Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery grant program was included in the Recovery Act to spur national competition for innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that promise significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, a region or the nation.

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