The Hamburg area of Pennsylvania was first settled in 1752. Hamburg has played an important part in the history of Berks County. However, the area suffers from a range of serious problems. These problems have developed over time due to inadequate planning of street and lot layout, building design and arrangement. Poor planning, changing community needs, economic factors and ordinary neighborhood evolution have contributed to the current problem of economically and socially undesirable land uses. In addition these factors have led to unsafe, unsanitary, inadequate conditions in the Borough of Hamburg.
Under the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Law, a planning commission can certify an area as blighted and in need of redevelopment. In 2005, the Hamburg Planning Commission began working with the Berks County Redevelopment Authority to establish a redevelopment area in accordance with the Urban Redevelopment Law of 1945, as amended. The process was completed in May of 2007 with a formal approval of the Second Street Redevelopment Area by the Borough Council.
The Hamburg Redevelopment Area contains commercial, industrial and residential buildings and structures served by a patchwork of streets and alleys. The area is bordered by State Route 61 and the Schuylkill River to the west, Island Street to the north along Peach Alley to the east, and along the property of the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society to the South.
The Second Street Redevelopment Area was created to thoughtfully address the identified problems. This will be done by completing the following goals.