$4.4 million in state grants go to Brockway plant site, Cool Valley

Rick Shrum
Observer Reporter

Nearly $4.4 million in state funding for infrastructure work is heading to Washington County – including a second grant in 11 days for Cool Valley.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday afternoon that a $1.5 million grant will go toward redeveloping and repurposing the site of the former Brockway Glass plant, which closed more than 30 years ago in Canton Township.

At about the same time Tuesday, Dennis Davin, secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, said $2,895,000 in funds had been approved for Cool Valley, a mixed-use industrial and commercial park planned for Cecil Township. The project was proposed in spring 2010, but not a shovelful of earth has been moved.

A grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program was awarded to Running Brooke II Associates for work at the old Brockway plant location. Running Brooke II is to prepare the site for a new 130,000-square-foot building with loading docks and parking for industrial and manufacturing purposes, after removing dilapidated metal structures and a sand silo. The building is to have leasable spaces and provide increased Class A warehouse space.

Wolf said in a prepared statement: “When a business identifies an opportunity to grow, it needs ready-to-build sites available now. ... This project will help Washington County attract growing and expanding businesses by providing patient capital to repurpose this site.”

State Rep. Jason Ortitay, R-Cecil Township, said: “Redevelopment of this property into industrial and office spaces allows flexibility for businesses looking to locate or expand in our area and offers a variety of family-sustaining jobs. In addition, it will help clean up an old industrial site, which has been closed for many years.”

Enhancing traffic flow is a vital element of the Cool Valley project, and a major target of the funding. The Washington County Chamber of Commerce was approved for the $2.9 million grant, which was provided through the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Funds program, which is administered by DCED and the state Department of Transportation.

Construction of turning lanes at Morganza and Lewicke roads is a key infrastructure element of this project. Smooth traffic flow would be important to development of Cool Valley Business Park, a proposed 250-acre tract with nearly 1.4 million square feet of office space. The property lies between Interstate 79 and Morganza Road, near Southpointe.

Davin said in a statement: “With the development of a business park as big as Cool Valley comes infrastructure challenges that result from the increased traffic flow. This grant will solve those infrastructure challenges and will enable construction of the park to commence, which will have a significant positive economic impact for Washington County.”

PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said: “This investment will support the park and build even more on the economic success the county has enjoyed with the nearby Southpointe developments.”

On Aug. 10, Wolf announced the award of a $1 million RACP grant to T&R Properties Inc. of Dublin, Ohio, to begin construction at Cool Valley.