Developers Unveil $30 Million Complex In Allentown Arena Zone

English: City of Allentown from east side

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

Developers announced plans today for a five-story apartment and retail complex to be built across Seventh Street from the hockey arena.

Shouting above the construction of two office building a hotel and an arena already under construction, officials from City Center Corp. and Pennrose Properties announced plans for $30 million, five-story building that is to include 160 upscale apartments, as many as 10 shops and a 125-space underground parking lot.

Located on Seventh Street, between Hamilton and Linden, the new building will also extend the city’s existing Artswalk by converting a small parking lot into a pocket park that will include colored and pattern concrete pathway, seating and sculpture displays.

“This project is another significant step toward making downtown Allentown a fun, exciting, vibrant, walkable community,” said J.B. Reilly, CEO of City Center Lehigh Valley. “We plan to create a lively environment adjacent to the arena and hotel by blending dynamic retail, great restaurants with outdoor seating, park space and stylish apartments with the culture of the artswalk.”

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-city-center-pennrose-20130531,0,5352182.story

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Center City Allentown Construction To Bring 900 Jobs

English: City of Allentown

English: City of Allentown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The concrete foundation of Allentown‘s $272 million arena complex has begun to rise at Seventh and Hamilton streets, along with the number of yellow-vested construction workers.

It is a welcome sight to an army of local tradesmen whose livelihoods took a beating in the Great Recession.

For ironworker Carl Graves, 33, of Easton, the arena project didn’t just put him back to work in a tough construction market, it gave him his family back.

With construction in the Lehigh Valley at a near halt the past four years, Graves has had to accept jobs as far as 100 miles away. During his six months working on a job at New York University Medical Center last year, the four-hour round-trip commute left him little time to spend with his wife and sons, ages 5 and 1.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-arena-union-jobs-20130119,0,4563413,full.story

Lehigh County Lands In Economic Growth Top 10

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

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

A national economic development firm says Lehigh County is poised for rapid future economic growth and investment.

The Pittsburgh-based company, Fourth Economy, ranked the county seventh in the U.S. among “large-sized” counties with populations between 150,000 and 499,999.

The company ranked counties based on investment, talent, sustainability, place and diversity, and looked at wage and employment growth, education levels, drive times, home values, minority business ownership, agricultural and manufacturing capacity and population density.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-pa-lehigh-county-growth-20121217,0,492217.story

National Penn Bancshares Moving To Allentown

English: City of Allentown from east side

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

The state’s fourth-largest bank has decided that downtown Allentown is the right place to grow, in a major recruiting triumph that officials say proves the city is on the cusp of a new era.

National Penn Bancshares Tuesday announced that it will relocate its headquarters into one of the new buildings going up within the city’s unique, hockey arena-inspired tax district. The bank, currently based in Boyertown, Berks County, will bring 275 employees to the 11-story office tower slated for downtown’s main intersection at Hamilton and Seventh Streets.

National Penn’s decision, part of a broader restructuring plan, will make Allentown a major bank’s headquarters for the first time in 25 years, giving credence to city officials who predicted the tax zone and hockey arena project would breathe new life into Allentown’s struggling urban core.

“I think this represents a tipping point for Allentown’s downtown,” Mayor Ed Pawlowski said. “Major corporations are again gaining confidence in Allentown. I expect this to be the first of many similar developments.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-national-penn-relocation-allentown-20121016,0,2008673.story