RACP awards construction grants to Trocadero, Old City District and more  

Trocadero Theatre
Wikimedia Commons / Morris Levin

Several important and historic Philadelphia locations and initiatives are set to get a financial lift, thanks to grants recently announced through Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) courtesy of the Governors’ Office of the Budget.

Among the Philadelphia locations and projects receiving grant money are the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s fight for new lighting and paving ($2 million), the famed West Philly’s Carousel House’s reconstruction ($1 million), Old City District’s need to connect to the waterfront ($1 million) and Arch Street’s legendary burlesque hall and rock concert giant, the Trocadero Theatre ($2.5 million).

“There’s no formal review time period or approval time period; RACP projects are reviewed and announced throughout the year based on funding round schedules and following a mandatory public comment period,” explains Elizabeth Rementer, press secretary from the Office of the Governor of the state of Pennsylvania. “Once project awards are announced, applicants are required to undergo a more robust application and contracting process.”

The RACP has awarded the Troc – a grand, elegant theater open since the tail end of 1800s for burlesque and minstrel shows, then more recently, concert fare such as Neil Young, De La Soul, Iggy Pop and more — a $2.5 million grant for its reconstruction and potential revival as live venue and restaurant.

The RACP’s website notes how the Northwest Arch LLC (owner Joanna Pang’s legal entity title) applied for a $5 million grant through the state for with: This project will entail a complete renovation of the exterior and interior of the Trocadero building. The end product will be a fully updated first-class concert venue, entertainment space and full-service restaurant… Special attention will be given to preserving the historic features and unique architectural elements of the building.

According to the state, all Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program projects are primarily economic development projects, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity. Included as part of the RACP’s grantees are projects with cultural, historic, recreational or civic significance – hence The Trocadero Theatre, University of the Arts, Philadelphia Theatre Company and Please Touch Museum, which were all awarded grant reimbursement money.

The 2022 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program’s grant monies is a reimbursement program, and not merely one just handing out money before a project begins.

“RACP grantees do not, under any circumstances, receive RACP grant monies at the start of a project or before they incur any project costs or fees,” says Rementer. “Instead, a grantee must spend its own money first to pay for reimbursement-eligible items/costs before seeking reimbursement from RACP funds of those costs.

“RACP funds are disbursed only after the terms of the grant agreement have been satisfied and all program or statutory requirements have been met.”

For additional information, visit budget.pa.gov/Programs/RACP