Proposed 33-Story Tower In Allentown Draws Mixed Reaction

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s hard to imagine: a tall, pencil-like building that would jut into the Allentown sky, permanently altering the city’s landscape.

Lehigh Valley Developer Bruce Loch’s proposal to transform a 4,000-square-foot grassy plot in the city’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone into a 33-story high-rise is so unusual it has spurred conversation across the region.

For many, it’s an exciting prospect — a sign that developers have faith in Allentown’s urban core. Others have questions about the proposal, such as how a footprint so small could support a structure that would eclipse the Lehigh Valley’s tallest buildings by at least 20 feet.

Amy Hawley, an Allentown commercial and industrial real estate broker, commended Loch for wanting to build downtown, but questioned whether local businesses are ready for such a radical change in floor plan.

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New Market District Brand Unveiled Iin Downtown York

Elsie Smith has only called York home for a few years. But her short time here has been filled and fulfilled with the energy of downtown York.

Smith’s design was chosen by Downtown Inc as the new brand image of the Market District of downtown York.

After years of driving through York on her motorcycle, Smith was attracted to retire here by the architecture, industrial art focus and growing energy, she said.

Smith wanted to be in the middle of it all, so she bought a home on Market Street.

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60 Projects Outlined By Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Several major developments in the Golden Triangle will get started or completed this year — part of a group of 60 projects in the pipeline totaling an estimated $2.2 billion in investment, according to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Among the developments to get started this year is the Gardens at Market Square, a $95 million hotel, office and retail project to be built on Forbes Avenue near Market Square. Lucas Piatt, president and chief operating officer of Millcraft Investments, the developer, told those gathered for the PDP’s annual meeting this morning that Millcraft plans to break ground on the project in June.

The Gardens will feature 125,000 square feet of office space, 20,000 square feet of retail, a 335-car parking garage, and a 197-room Hilton Garden Inn. Burgatory, a hamburger haven, and Jackson’s Social Bar and Restaurant already have signed on as tenants, Mr. Piatt said.

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Allentown’s Seventh Street Is Experiencing A Quiet Rebirth

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winston Barnes sits at a table overlooking Seventh Street, the harmonious smell of cinnamon, scallions and allspice enveloping his Jamaican restaurant.

On this winter night, when other city restaurants are deserted, customers will go to Winston’s for its signature hot jerk chicken, curry goat and other savory Caribbean favorites — a sign of the subtle renaissance that is taking place on what was once one of Allentown‘s most problematic streets.

A cold blast of air floods the store as two customers emerge from the night, bundled in jackets.

“Hey! How you doing, man?” Barnes says loudly, his tired eyes coming to life as he recognizes the federal workers who stand before him.

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Philadelphia’a Tioga Seection Sees A Turnaround As New Businesses Move Into Old Factory Sites

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

VERNA TYNER was 10 when her family moved to Venango Street in Tioga 40 years ago.

“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” Tyner said of her new home. “It was just a gorgeous, beautiful neighborhood. The lawns were manicured. The trees were trimmed.”

But as Tyner grew up, the neighborhood fell down.

Dozens of factories that dotted Tioga, Nicetown and Allegheny West began closing, putting thousands of people out of work.

Among them: the Budd Co., which made railcars and later automobile doors; Tasty Baking Co., maker of Tastykakes; and the Stanley Blacker suit factory.

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