BELLEFONTE, CENTRE COUNTY - A developer plans to turn three burned down buildings in Bellefonte into homes.
The Progress Development Group has bought the Cadillac building and has sales agreements for the Garman Theatre and Hotel Do De.
The group's plan is to renovate, and combine the three buildings into one project. Part of which will bring more affordable housing to Centre County.
The Cadillac building burned in December of 2009 due to an accidental fire. Last September, a blaze nearly destroyed the Hotel Do De and Garman Theatre. The group will turn them into affordable housing. That means rent is subsidized. The amount of state or federal assistance is determined by the person's income.
WTAJ News talked to residents in Bellefonte and found that the group renovating, can cut into a big problem in Centre County.
Jeffrey Duck Sr. has lived in Bellefonte for years. His daughter and her three kids live with him because like many, they're struggling financially.
"...She's having a tough time right now. It's real bad for her..."
The Progress Development Group is renovating three burned down Bellefonte buildings: The hotel Do De, Garman Theater and Cadillac building.
Bellefonte Borough Manager Ralph Stewart says now more folks can afford to rent a home in Bellefonte.
"There is a housing problem, an affordable housing problem... affordable safe housing is wonderful... We're happy that Bellefonte's being looked at for that, to provide a small part of the need that exists in Centre County."
Stewart says the group still has to get financing in place, get the project approved by the borough, and then get construction lined up. He insists that every new unit built will have a fire sprinkling system installed, to try and prevent future fires. As for Duck Sr., he says he hopes the project pans out, and not just for his daughter.
"...Hopefully for the better, for her having her own place, I'm hoping for the better... I'm just hoping it all makes out for her and everybody."
Stewart says the affordable housing project should take about a year to complete. Soon after the buildings will be ready to move in to, something Stewart says, this area desperately needs.