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Development group working to revitalize waterfront

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 29 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 30 2012 06:04:00 PM CDT

It's taken years, but it looks like Allentown's Waterfront project is really going to happen.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

It's taken years, but it looks like Allentown's Waterfront project is really going to happen.

As we first told you Wednesday, two developers are moving forward with their plans for 26 acres along the Lehigh River.

Waterfront Redevelopment Partners has signed on the dotted line purchasing the former Lehigh Structural Steel site on the west side of Allentown's Lehigh River.

The project will include office, residential, retail hotel and restaurant possibilities.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlwoski has been trying to get something going on the Waterfront for years but the recession has been a major hurdle.

Now, because of where the waterfront project is located, inside the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, it could get taxpayer dollars to help pay for the project.

"The NIZ has become a little bit of a game changer in driving business into Allentown," said Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Don Cunningham.

Cunningham said the LVEDC has been working with the Allentown Economic Development Corporation to get the waterfront cleaned up, ready to build and marketed to potential developers.

This latest turn of events breathes life into the city's Waterfront master plan for which the city of Allentown received $10 million in state grants to move along.

The Waterfront partnership includes Jaindl Properties and Dunn Twiggar, both based in the Lehigh Valley.

Ryan Dunn with Dunn Twiggar said, "we are very excited to acquire the property and more forward in the development process to create a tremendous asset for the City of Allentown and the Lehigh Valley."

The next step, the developer will submit a master site plan to the city for approval.
There is no word on when construction could begin.