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New investment to bring hundreds of jobs to Allentown, Reading

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 28 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 01 2013 07:41:11 AM CST

A multi-platinum rock band plans to invest in Pennsylvania to the tune of $200-million.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

A multi-platinum rock band plans to invest in Pennsylvania to the tune of $200-million. Members of the band 'Live' announced their newest investment Thursday.

Within the next year this new technology company plans to build two locations in Allentown, a data center and a sales center. One will be within the Neighborhood Improvement Zone and the other just a few miles away.

We're told this will bring more than 100 jobs and millions in investment to downtown. The project started about four years ago, and it was a secret until Thursday.

The company will also build a data center in Reading bringing jobs and millions in investment.

"I think data might be the new punk rock, I think it's probably the most rebellious thing out there," said Live guitarist Chad Taylor.

Taylor is an investor with Think Loud Development, and it's bringing technology company United Fiber & Data to Allentown. The company is building a 400-mile fiber optic line from New York City to Virginia. Four data centers will be built in PA in Allentown, Reading, Lancaster and York.

"Each of the data centers will cost $40-million to build, so that's a total investment in the state of Pennsylvania of $200-million," explained Taylor.

Each data center will be 22,000 square feet. Allentown will play host to a data center and brand new administrative and sales offices, meaning at least 100 new jobs.

"These are high tech, high paying jobs," added Taylor.

He expects them to break ground in about eight months. Local leaders say the development is exciting for the Lehigh Valley.

"It will really put us on the map regarding being really on the forefront of data transfer and data technology," shared Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski.

"They've all had great success in their chosen fields," said Don Cunningham with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. "But instead of leaving here and moving their money somewhere else they've chosen to invest their money back into the economy here in the Lehigh Valley, in Pennsylvania, and we're grateful for that."

"When you talk about the opportunity to actually really change lives and impact the local community, this is how you do it," smiled Taylor.

The company estimates each data center will generate $500-million in PA state tax revenue over 30 years.