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Rockers back in Reading to redevelop another vacant property

By Kimberly Davidow, Reporter
Published On: Oct 03 2012 02:53:50 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 03 2012 07:23:34 PM CDT

Rockers bringing high-tech company to Reading

READING, Pa. -

New jobs are headed to Reading, all thanks to a multi-platinum rock band from York.

With a dream of sharing their music with the world, members of "LIVE" went from a garage band in York to eventually selling 20 million albums.

Chad Taylor, Chad Gracey and Patrick Dahlheimer said they come from humble roots and that creating music was not the only way they wanted to impact people's lives.

That's why Taylor, the lead guitar player, said they teamed up with another partner to create Think Loud Development.

"This is certainly an exciting day for Think Loud Development, an exciting day for Chad, Patrick and I on the side of LIVE," said Taylor.

The group visited the vacant Buttonwood Gateway Project property in Reading to talk about its newest investment.

"We will invest more than $20 million to build a state-of-the-art facility for our tenant, who has made a long term commitment to Think Loud Development and the city of Reading," said Taylor.

Since November 2011, Think Loud Development has pumped $34 million in its first Reading project, transforming the old Reading Outlet Center's Building 1 at North 9th and Douglass streets.

The building, Taylor said, was a place the rockers used to go outlet shopping when they were younger.

Taylor said the developers picked the city again out of four others for their second project in Reading, which will eventually become home to a technology company.

Once the job is completed, Taylor said the company is expected to hire more than 100 people.

"What you realize is that building a music fan base is about building a community. And for us, we recognize that the community that surrounds our buildings or surrounds where we invest, we want to build that community, too," said Taylor. "Now, it involves bricks and mortar and not necessarily music."

It's been nearly a year since the band announced its plans to renovate Building 1 at the old Reading Outlet Center.

The developers said crews are removing debris daily from the 320,000 square foot building. They said they're also working to get approval for some of the proposed changes.

The plan is to turn the building into a 131-unit apartment complex with restaurants, retail space and a six story parking garage.

The project, they said, should be done in the next 18 months.

In addition to its real estate empire, LIVE is back in the studio working on a new album and a future tour. Hopefully, LIVE's tour will include a stop in Reading, said Taylor.