Downtown Carlisle Businesses Welcome Urban Redevelopment Initiative

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Cumberland County

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

When new development projects surface, the logical question for surrounding business owners is: How will this affect my business?

Downtown Carlisle business owners are optimistic when asked the same question about the borough’s highly anticipated urban redevelopment plan.

If the right balance of businesses and residences land on the three large abandoned industrial sites targeted for redevelopment in the borough’s northwest quadrant, there should be more than enough room for existing and new businesses not only to coexist, but to mutually benefit each other, Carlisle proprietors said.

“I’m on the fence. I’d love to have that [part of Carlisle] built up, because Carlisle has no more room for building extra tax revenue [downtown],” said John Bogonis, who owns the Carlisle Bakery at 35 S. Hanover St. with his wife Nadeen. “I want to see how they plan on getting people from [the development site] to here.”

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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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Allentown Waterfront Development Plans Unveiled For $250M In Construction

English: City of Allentown from east side

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

Developers on Tuesday unveiled a $250 million plan to convert Allentown’s long-deteriorating riverfront into a complex of office and residential buildings, a project funded by the one-of-a-kind tax zone that’s powering the downtown hockey arena.

The gritty industrial mish-mash along the west bank of the Lehigh River from Allen Street past the Tilghman Street Bridge would be replaced by The Waterfront, a strip of 12 glass-and-steel office buildings, walking trails and apartments.

Waterfront Redevelopment Partners presented the quarter-billion-dollar plan to the city’s Planning Commission, proposing 610,000 square feet of offices, 130,000 square feet of retail and 172 apartments on a 26-acre property that was home to Lehigh Structural Steel, once an anchor of city industry.

The Waterfront would be linked to Route 22 by the soon-to-be built American Parkway bridge, and expands what city officials hoped would be the companion piece of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, the financing tool behind downtown revitalization around Seventh and Hamilton streets, site of the arena now under construction.

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Big Hopes For Allentown’s Lehigh River Waterfront

City of Allentown from east side

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

Drawing comparisons to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, planners released a proposal Wednesday that redrafts Allentown’s derelict Lehigh River waterfront as a destination with restaurants, boat docks and a slew of office space.

In soft pastels, urban design firm EDSA sketched out a re-envisioning of the west bank that would include a traffic circle in front of the Hamilton Street Bridge, the proposed American Parkway Bridge to the north and every feature of an urban planner’s dream in between: bike lanes, multi-use commercial buildings, a riverside road.

The operative word being dream, as some residents pointed out.

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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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Land Bank Bill Newest Anti-Blight Tool

HARRISBURG – Local governments could set up land banks to prepare abandoned and tax-delinquent properties for new uses under a House-approved bill offering the latest tool to fight blight.

The House approved the measure this week enabling a county, city or borough with a population greater than 10,000 to create a land bank.

Sen. David Argall, R-29, Tamaqua, has sponsored a companion bill in the Senate. He thinks the land bank idea would be welcomed in Northeast Pennsylvania. “Any community that has any degree of economic distress is going to have a blight problem,” he said.

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Jaindl Jumping Into Allentown’s Waterfront Development

English: City of Allentown from east side

Image via Wikipedia

Jaindl Properties has jumped into the fray of developers looking to cash in on Allentown’s new downtown taxing district.

Jaindl on Tuesday announced plans to develop the 26-acre Lehigh Structural Steel site into what could be offices, shops and town homes along the Lehigh River. The arrival of the banker-turned-developer revived a waterfront plan by Dunn Twiggar Co. that has been dormant for three years.

Under the deal, Jaindl, whose family name has become synonymous in the Valley with Thanksgiving turkey and land development, and Dunn Twiggar will partner to buy the land from Lehigh Structural Street for an undisclosed price.

From there, they plan to devise a new master plan, match it with what city officials have been planning and then use local and state revenues from the city’s new Neighborhood Improvement Zone to build it.

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