visit to the Medical Arts Building in Reading highlights community investment | Berks Regional News

READING, Pa. — A tour of Berks County highlighted the results of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funding.

Acting Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, Neil Weaver, was among the tour group at the Medical Arts Building in Reading.

Weaver joined others in celebrating the Wolf administration’s investments in Pennsylvania communities.

“The rehabilitation of the Medical Arts Building will have a huge impact on Reading town centre, and I am pleased that the Wolf administration can help make this possible,” Acting Secretary Weaver said. “Not only will this create additional space for new businesses, but it will also provide apartments for those who want to live, work and play in the city.”

Shuman Development Group received $2.25 million through the RACP to be used to improve the building, located in the 200 block of N. 5th St.

The project involves the construction of a two-story addition to an adjacent vacant lot and exterior renovations, including masonry, window repairs and roof replacement.

The interior works will include the modernization of commercial space on the ground floor, the restoration of the lobby, the improvement of public services and the addition of 35 apartments.

“The Art Deco Medical Arts Building is a magnificent 1929 skyscraper that has been largely vacant since 1976,” said Alan Shuman, president of Shuman Development Group. “It has repeatedly faced possible demolition due to structural issues, but with the help of the state, we can finally restore this grand building to its original splendour.”

The Medical Arts Building was originally built as office space for doctors and dentists in Reading town centre. According to a press release, the 12-story, 93-year-old building has been vacant since the 1980s.

Jill E. Washington