On January 23, 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced project approval for the redevelopment of the former Silk Mill property in the City of Altoona through the Commonwealth’s Business in Our Sites (BIOS) program approved through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).
The Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD Corp.) was approved for a $3,960,590 grant and Silk Mills Properties, Inc. was awarded a $6,052,503 loan to assist with the project. BIOS funds will be used to demolish the unusable portions of the structure, as well as for infrastructure and utility improvements, renovations, site improvements, and engineering.
The total project will cost $13,046,741 and is expected to create approximately 150 jobs.
“We are excited to be part of this transformative adaptive reuse project that represents one of the largest private capital investments in the City of Altoona in its history,” said Stephen McKnight, President/CEO of ABCD Corp. “This project is a true public-private partnership. It would not have been possible without the collaborative team approach of our local property owners, Governor Tom Wolf, Senator John Eichelberger, Representative Judy Ward, Mayor Matt Pacifico, City Manager Marla Marcinko and the City of Altoona Councilmembers.”
The project will be implemented by the property’s current owners, Silk Mills Properties, Inc. (SMP), who have a very successful track record in the commercial, industrial, medical and related development fields. SMP comprises its president, John Radionoff, AIA., he is joined in the partnership by Leonard S. Fiore, Jr., Richard F. Fiore, Sr., and Michael A. Fiore who have over 120 years of combined construction experience through their family-owned-and-operated company, L.S. Fiore, Inc.
The former Silk Mills property was originally constructed in the late 1800’s and was used in the manufacturing of silk garments and other textile products until its closing by Warnaco in 1991. Since this time the local ownership group has maintained the building and most recently it had been used as a warehouse.
The plan is to demolish approximately 80,000 square feet of the existing structure and renovate the remaining 90,947 square feet to support Class A commercial and office uses, an upscale restaurant, a small café and 10-11 residential units to be developed on the 4th floor of the building. The residential portion will not be part of the BIOS project.
Artist’s rendering courtesy of Silk Mills Properties, Inc.