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Court: Atiyeh can proceed with lawsuit over arena project

By Katie Shank, Senior Producer, KShank@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 13 2012 03:45:19 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 13 2012 05:35:10 PM CDT

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has ruled that a lawsuit filed over the zone that's helping to fund a proposed arena in downtown Allentown can move forward.

HARRISBURG, Pa. -

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has ruled that a lawsuit filed over the zone that's helping to fund a proposed arena in downtown Allentown can move forward.

Developer Abe Atiyeh is suing the state and the city of Allentown over the Neighborhood Improvement Zone -- or NIZ. He said the zone is unconstitutional.

Now, the Commonwealth Court has ruled that Atiyeh can move forward with that claim.     

Atiyeh has until October 11 to file an amended petition. The state and the city will then have the chance to respond.

The legal challenges against the arena's funding have already forced the building's main tenant, the Phantoms ice hockey team, to postpone its first season in Allentown to 2014-2015.