Upscale Apartments Coming To Allentown Arena Zone

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

City Center Investment Corp. unveiled plans Friday to build an apartment and retail complex that could bring hundreds of new residents into Allentown‘s evolving downtown by the time the first puck drops at a nearby arena.

A new four-story building at the southwest corner of Seventh and Linden streets would include shops on the first floor and up to 200 upscale apartments across Seventh from the city’s under-construction hockey arena. The apartments, with rents of $1,000 to $1,200, would be available within two years.

The building would be part of a wider plan that involves City Center expanding the vacant Linden Street parking garage to prepare for the arrival of the residents and hundreds of new workers expected downtown by the time the 8,500-seat hockey arena opens in 2014.

“With all that is happening, there is going to be a lot of demand for apartments downtown,” said J.B. Reilly, City Center CEO. “This is the next piece in transforming downtown Allentown into a place where people really can live, work and play.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-pa-arena-two-city-center-20121019,0,883946.story

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Businesses On Clarks Summit’s State Street Alive, And Booming Again

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

CLARKS SUMMIT – Barry Kaplan still remembers walking down State Street several years ago, stunned at the number of vacant shops on what he calls the borough’s “gatekeeper.”

“I was shocked,” said Mr. Kaplan, one of the owners of Everything Natural, an organic food and natural products store located on State Street for 28 years. “I had never seen anything like it. It just wasn’t a good time for businesses.”

Now when he walks the street, Mr. Kaplan, who also serves as the president of the Abington Business & Professional Association, said he sees packed shops, windows covered in white lettering, and, most important, no vacant stores.

“This is this best business has been on this street in a long, long time,” Mr. Kaplan said. “The atmosphere … everything … it’s back.”

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/businesses-on-state-street-alive-and-booming-again-1.1377925

Allentown’s Arena Document Forecasts Expansive Development Downtown

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown‘s hockey arena will not open until 2014, but when it does it will help spur almost runaway development in a downtown that has been ravaged by three decades of decay, according to bond documents filed Friday.

The 354-page statement for investors interesting in buying $234 million paints a rosy future in which the next 12 years will bring not only the 8,500-seat hockey arena, but more than 1 million square feet of office space, two hotels, retail shops, a convention center, a 12-screen cinema and hundreds of apartments.

All told, the study by CSL International forecasts that Allentown’s unique 127-acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone will create 7,500 new jobs and $44 million in annual state and local taxes.

At least that’s the pitch being made to investors who in the coming weeks will be able to buy $235 million worth of revenue bonds to get the complex at Seventh and Hamilton streets started.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-pa-arena-bonds-20120907,0,5416510.story

Boyertown Cuts Ribbon On New Streetscape

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even when dirt from Boyertown‘s downtown makeover project seemed to be keeping customers away from her Joe Paws Dog Bakery, Linda Flederbach kept a happy ending for the streetscape project in sight.

That end arrived Saturday morning with a traffic-stopping ribbon-cutting on Philadelphia Avenue.

The celebration was around the corner from Flederbach’s business on Reading Avenue but the project itself went past her front door. With it came quaint streetlights, new trees and brick ribbons – all adding to the downtown’s Victorian aesthetic.

“I feel it’s well worth it at this point, what we had to go through,” she said ahead of the ceremony.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=411392

Project Offers Face-Lifts For Downtown Pittsburgh Facades

From one window, Alan Kashi can watch a 33-story glass skyscraper being built before his eyes. From another, he can drink in the elegant lines of Three PNC Plaza, the 23-story tower that opened a few years ago. He can walk a couple of doors from his property to a former five-and-dime store that harbors apartments, restaurants and retail.

Now it’s his turn to join the Downtown renaissance.

Mr. Kashi is restoring the storefronts, replacing windows and making other improvements to the buildings he manages at 254 and 256 Fifth Avenue and 445 Wood Street as part of a new program to help rejuvenate older buildings Downtown.

“We’re revitalizing Downtown. This is a very major corner, Fifth and Wood. And it’s going to really help a lot to do what is necessary to make Downtown what it should be,” he said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/project-offers-face-lifts-for-downtown-facades-648419/?p=1

Easton’s Long-Defunct Pomeroy’s Building Rents Apartments, New Restaurant On Way

Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College

Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For 35 years the hulking, empty Pomeroy’s building symbolized the decline of Easton’s downtown.

Once a flourishing department store, the property was shuttered in 1977 and sat untouched on Northampton Street just a few dozen yards from Centre Square.

But a $4 million rehab that created 22 apartments, retail space and a restaurant has reclaimed what Mayor Sal Panto Jr. called the city’s white elephant. New renters arrive June 1, the building’s first tenets since the original “Star Wars” movie was released.

William Vogt and Mark Mulligan, partners in VM Development and owners of Pomeroy’s, said the project is a risk, but they believe Easton is ripe for their mix of high-end apartments and large retail spaces. Mulligan said six of the apartments, one- and two-bedroom units with granite counters, wood flooring and 14-foot ceilings, have been leased without much marketing.

Read more:http://www.mcall.com/news/local/easton/mc-easton-pomeroy-building-leasing-apartments-20120511,0,3901989.story

The Three Statistics That Every Downtown Should Live By

Editor’s note:  This is phenomenal advice for all downtown shopping districts and their umbrella organizations.

Lancaster and its James Street Improvement District are prime examples of living by these three simple rules!  I suggest a field trip for any struggling downtown merchants or downtown organizations who want to see what is possible!

I call this the 7-8-7 rule because of the three most important statistics that make a downtown a successful and vibrant destination. Think of your favorite destination downtowns. Are they beautiful? Do they feel safe? Are there things to do after 6:00 pm?

Read more: http://www.rogerbrooks.org/2012/04/30/the-three-downtown-statistics/