Reinvestment Fund financing is supporting the redevelopment of the historic Abraham Lincoln Hotel in downtown Reading, PA into a mixed-use building.
The historic 190,000-square-foot Abraham Lincoln Hotel was built in 1930 as a luxury hotel. It was abandoned in 1984 and the City of Reading took ownership of the building at that time and in the 1990s, it separated the property into four commercial condominiums to facilitate separate ownership in a revitalization attempt. The separate ownership added complexity to the already complex undertaking of revitalizing the property.
The four condominiums were ultimately purchased by the Shuman Development Group (SDG), which plans to restore the property to its former glory with a mix of commercial space, market affordable apartments, and low-income senior apartments. The redevelopment will expand the available affordable housing units from 52 to 98. SDG is led by Alan Shuman, the largest commercial property owner in Reading and current Reinvestment Fund borrower.
Reinvestment Fund is providing a leverage loan as part of the $10.27 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) transaction. Peer CDFI, Community First Fund, is providing the NMTC allocation for the project and a portion of the leverage loan. The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Building PA program is also providing a portion of the leverage loan. JPMorgan Chase is the NMTC and Historic Tax Credit investor for the project.
With its central location in Reading’s business district, large size, prominent history, and the only privately owned parking lot downtown, the Lincoln Hotel is essential to the revitalization of Reading. Other parking lots are controlled by the City parking authority and close at 5 pm with no overnight parking, which has created a barrier to the cultivation of a live/work community downtown. Tenants in the rehabbed space will include the expanded neighborhood pharmacy and Abilities in Motion, an organization that provides services to disabled individuals. The project is expected to create 40 full-time equivalent jobs.