Wolf Administration Boosts Downtown Wilkes-Barre Revitalization Efforts through ‘Keystone Communities Main Street’ Designation

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced that Downtown Wilkes-Barre has officially been designated as a Keystone Communities Main Street, allowing for funding that supports targeted investment and development to address community needs. The Diamond City Partnership will be the administering agency responsible for implementing the revitalization effort in Downtown Wilkes-Barre.

“Securing this designation is just the beginning of the advanced growth and prioritized support Downtown Wilkes-Barre can rely on as they develop and implement a revitalization plan that works specifically for their community and its diverse needs,” said Sec. Davin. “This assistance couldn’t be timelier as the COVID-19 pandemic has presented varying challenges impacting local economies.”

As a DCED designated Keystone Communities Main Street, Downtown Wilkes-Barre will be eligible for complimentary technical assistance and programmatic support from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) over the next five years and will receive priority status for various funding applications submitted to DCED. It will also be eligible for Neighborhood Assistance Program Enterprise Zone tax credits for private sector development within the designated Main Street Program area.

Founded in 1987, the mission of the PDC is to build and support the capacity of local nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and individuals to enhance the overall well-being and sustainability of Pennsylvania’s core communities. PDC accomplishes this mission by engaging and educating local community leaders and volunteers to advance the sense of place, quality of life and economic vitality of the commonwealth’s downtowns, traditional neighborhood business districts and nearby residential areas.

The Keystone Communities program is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between public and private sector that jointly support local initiatives such as the growth and stability of neighborhoods and communities; social and economic diversity; and a strong and secure quality of life. The program allows communities to tailor assistance to meet the needs of specific revitalization efforts.

A Keystone Communities designation is a flexible tool for use in community and economic development for a variety of uses including planning activities, façade grant programs, accessible housing programs, and development grants, and designation applications are accepted at all times.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Casey Smith, DCED, casesmith@pa.gov

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