Zelienople, Pa.- Efforts to restore the historic Kaufman House in Zelienople received a significant boost in the form of a $500,000 state grant, according to Senator Elder Vogel. The grant was part of more than $2.6 million in funding awarded through the Keystone Communities program to support 14 community revitalization projects across the Commonwealth.
“This is a great contribution by the state to support a major project by a coalition of organizations that will provide a significant economic boost to Zelienople and the entire region,” Senator Vogel said. “This project will help the Kaufman House rise up from the ashes of a 2011 fire and again become a major component of downtown Zelienople.”
The Kaufman House was built in 1909, but the hotel portion has not been used for overnight stays since the early 1970s.
The Butler County Tourism Foundation, the Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau, the Butler County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Butler County Community College (BC3), Zelienople Borough and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are working in collaboration to restore and renovate the building on West New Castle Street.
The Kaufman House’s history will be preserved by the project, which includes a restaurant/coffee shop/lounge and a boutique hotel with 18 to 22 rooms. The facility will serve as a training facility for the tourism and hospitality industries. BC3 will provide internship opportunities for culinary arts and hospitality management positions.
Zelienople was awarded a $3 million state grant in December 2014 for a major downtown improvement project including the restoration of the historic Kaufman House. The project, based on a comprehensive master plan adopted by the borough in 2010, encompassed Zelienople’s Central Business District. The project included paving and sidewalk improvements, the installation of decorative lighting and landscaping with the goal of encouraging the development of specialty shops, restaurants, office space downtown.
“Zelienople is really a beautiful town and I believe it has the potential to see major economic development in the future, especially once the cracker plant comes on line,” Senator Vogel said. “As Zelienople becomes a destination, the thriving downtown will provide benefits for the region as well. This will improve the quality of life for everyone, not to mention the economic boost through the new jobs that will be created.”