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10/3/2012 | Construction Blog

Work on the Allentown Hockey Arena, the future home of the Phantoms of the American Hockey League and the anchor to larger development plans in Allentown, has broken another log jam. The Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority has closed on funding for completion of the arena complex construction.

The bonding resulted in $224.4 million of funding underwritten by CitiGroup Global Markets. CitiGroup will also act as the senior manager and Janney Montgomery Scott and Samuel A. Ramirez & Co. will serve as co-managers. The overall interest rate on the bonds is 4.78%. According to those familiar with the bond issue, they received stronger demand for the bonds in the market than expected.

phantoms-logo-thumb-545x502-14289-thumb-545x502-14290-thumb-545x502-14310Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski hailed the bond issue as a “defining moment”. The hope of the City and its current leadership is that this arena will encourage people to come back to downtown Allentown and spur further economic growth. Work on the project has been stalled of late for a number of reasons, including funding and environmental issues. In a related story last week, radioactive material was discovered at the site. While it is believed to have been naturally occurring, an investigation is under way to make sure.

By news accounts, the availability of more funding will allow for additional contracts to be entered into for the completion of the work. The hope is that large amounts of work will soon be underway at the project site again.