Allentown Hockey Arena Development Grows With $200-Million Office, Hotel Plan

City of Allentown

City of Allentown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Downtown Allentown is in line for an unprecedented $200 million in new development, and as much as $500 million if a 10-year master plan pans out, all made possible by its one-of-a-kind Neighborhood Improvement Zone.

And that doesn’t include the planned $158 million hockey arena.

Developer City Center Investment Corp. won approval Tuesday from the Allentown Commercial Industrial Development Authority for $135 million in Neighborhood Improvement Zone financing, subsidized by the state and local tax revenues of its future tenants.

City Center will supplement that with $45 million in additional private financing and private capital to construct four new buildings arrayed around Allentown’s Center Square, including three new office complexes and a 200-room hotel valued at more than $200 million, said J.B. Reilly, City Center co-owner.

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Lancaster City Council Approves Rezoning Of Former YMCA Site

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lancaster City Council members Tuesday approved the rezoning of the former Lancaster Family YMCA site to allow for the construction of a new medical office building and parking garage.

Council members also began consideration of a bill that would take a portion of a parking lot by eminent domain as part of plans to expand City Hall.

The rezoning changes the former YMCA site at North Queen, East Frederick and North Prince streets from a residential designation to “hospital campus.”

Lancaster General Health, whose parking garage lies just across North Queen Street from the site, plans to construct a five-story, 175,000-square-foot administrative office building. Some 550 employees now working in rented space in Burle Business Park on New Holland Avenue would be shifted to the new building, hospital officials said.

A six-level, 632-space parking garage would be built adjacent to the office building, at Prince and Frederick streets, to serve the employees.

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Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority Offers To Buy Saks Building Downtown

English: Downtown Pittsburgh

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As upscale retailer Saks Fifth Avenue prepares to close its doors today, the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority is bidding to take control of the building that housed it.

The URA has made an offer to purchase the four-story building, which was put up for sale in January after Saks decided to close the store after more than 60 years Downtown.

It is not known how much the URA offered for the 86,000-square-foot building. The owner, Oliver-Smithfield Joint Venture, has been seeking $5.5 million for the property, which is located on Smithfield Street near Macy’s department store.

Yarone Zober, chairman of the URA board and chief of staff to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, had no comment when asked about the offer.

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Project OK’d For Pittsburgh’s North Shore

PNC Park nighttime panoramic picture

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After months of controversy, the city’s Stadium Authority cleared the way Friday for the latest development between Heinz Field and PNC Park — a $20 million retail and office project next to Stage AE.

Stadium Authority board members unanimously approved conceptual plans for the development and voted to sell the 1.3 acres needed for the project to North Shore Developers L.P. for $900,000, the appraised value.

The project is the first one advanced by developer Continental Real Estate Companies and the Steelers and the Pirates since the board voted last fall to amend a 9-year-old option agreement with the teams and extend the deadlines they had missed for developing land between the stadiums.

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Shell’s Beaver County Plant Likely To Spark Tech Jobs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Beaver County

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An ethylene cracking plant that Shell Oil Co. could build in Beaver County‘s Potter Township may generate hundreds of technical jobs that would demand a chemistry-savvy workforce, experts said Friday.

A study by the American Chemistry Council, completed in August, found that if such a plant were located in Western Pennsylvania, it would eventually spur related industrial developments that would directly employ around 2,400 people at a total annual payroll of $347 million.

Around a quarter of the employees needed would be supervisors, managers, chemists, engineers and information technologists, and many of the rest would be technicians, said Kevin Swift, chief economist for the council.

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Perdue Reveals Plan For Soybean Plant In Conoy Township

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Representatives of Perdue AgriBusiness gave Conoy supervisors a preview Thursday of a $59 million soybean processing plant the company wants to build in the township.

But official township review of the plant will be less extensive than previous efforts to build on the 57-acre parcel next to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management’s waste-to-energy plant.

The site along Route 441 has twice been considered for distilleries for corn ethanol fuel, but neither project came to fruition. Those projects were subject to conditional-use hearings, but review of the soybean plant will be less extensive because industrial zoning allows it as a permitted use on the property.

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New $10 Million YMCA To Be Built In Williamsport

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lycoming County

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Citing the need for an improved city YMCA, officials announced plans Wednesday for a new $10 million facility that will be built just south of Susquehanna Health’s recent campus improvements.

“We can’t afford to keep this Y and continue to serve the community,” Jim Bower Sr., campaign chairman, told members of the community and potential donors at the announcement at the Williamsport Country Club.

The present YMCA building on West Fourth Street was constructed in 1923. Since then, it has seen numerous expansions and additions to keep up with needs of the community.

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Apartments Planned For Former Lancaster City Warehouse

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Landis Communities and a Pittsburgh developer will convert a city warehouse into 36 loft apartments for active adults age 55 and older.

The project, announced Monday, will redevelop the former Radel & Stauffer location at 118 N. Water St., on the corner of West Marion Street.

Costing $8.9 million, Steeple View Lofts is scheduled to open in spring 2013.

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Pallet Recycling Plant To Open In Northampton County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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A Wisconsin company that helps retailers around the country reuse packaging materials is opening a new facility in Northampton County where it will recycle scrap pallets, creating 39 new jobs over the next three years, Gov. Tom Corbett announced Tuesday.

Rehrig Pacific Logistics will lease for five years a 38,400-square-foot building at 200 Hilton St., Glendon Borough, where it will convert scrap pallets into fiberboard used in construction and to make furniture.

The average pay for those working in the plant will be $29,000 a year, according to the state Department of Community and Economic Development. The company expects to open the plant in coming weeks,

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Mystery Business To Bring 300 – 400 Jobs To Oregon Pike Spot

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An unidentified out-of-town firm will move into the former Windstream building near Schaum’s Corner, creating 300 to 400 white-collar jobs.

The mystery firm has agreed to lease the 4139 Oregon Pike building from a local real estate firm, Oak Tree Development.

Oak Tree, which bought the building in December for $5.9 million, intends to expand the 80,000-square-foot facility and add parking for the tenant.

Mike O’Brien, Oak Tree president, confirmed the lease Friday but declined to name the tenant, its type of business or its current location.

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