Coatesville gets 2nd round of redevelopment funding

COATESVILLE — As a part of their five-point, city-wide revitalization strategy, the Coatesville 2nd Century Alliance places a high priority on the redevelopment of the downtown commercial core.  In 2018, they applied for – and received – a Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP) grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

NPP is a PA tax credit incentive whereby private donors contribute to a not-for-profit agency, in this case the 2nd Century Alliance, in exchange for state corporate tax credits.  The program provides for long-term collaborations of five years or more to produce a comprehensive, asset-based, and relationship-driven approach to community development.

The 2nd Century Alliance was able to secure two private donors, each making a six-year contribution commitment of $50,000 per year, allowing for a long-term, strategic approach to Coatesville’s downtown revitalization.

While the contribution commitments are in place for six years, certain milestones must be met each year in order to secure subsequent year tax credit allocations from the state.

The donors, Hickory Bark, LLC and Knox Equipment Rental, saw the value and importance of the City’s downtown revitalization and recognized the need for a long-term commitment.

“We made this long-term commitment to the 2nd Century Alliance because we believe in the sophisticated strategic plan they have put in place, and understand it will take more than a one-time, or one-year donation to change the economic outcomes for the City,” Jennifer McNeil, Principal of Hickory Bark LLC.

The funds support a full-time downtown manager, a façade improvement grant, and a clean/safe/green program.  Already a downtown “merchant of the month” program and a retail resource education series have been implemented.  Additionally, guidelines for the façade improvement grant have been put in place with the pilot project beginning in the spring of 2020.

“We are privileged to have these two donors come to the table in such a significant way,” notes Sonia Huntzinger, Economic Development Administrator for the 2nd Century Alliance. “It’s not always easy to secure such a long-term commitment from donors. Real, positive community change takes a long time and these contributors understand that.”

Coatesville 2nd Century Alliance was created in 2015, when Coatesville celebrated its 100th anniversary as a Pennsylvania City of the Third Class.  A group of dedicated community stakeholders convened to ensure that the City’s “second century” would be economically prosperous for all its residents and businesses.

Downtown revitalization is one component of the organization’s five-point strategy which also includes residential neighborhood strengthening, jobs and economic opportunity, quality of place, and communications.

“Pennsylvanians take great pride in their communities, and the Neighborhood Assistance Program is a way to encourage public-private partnerships to improve the neighborhoods we all call home,” said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin. “From improving community health to combatting food insecurity, renovating properties and addressing blight, projects like 2nd Century Alliance’s will improve the quality of life in communities across the commonwealth.”

You can learn more about the organization’s history, composition, and plans for the future at

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