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Neighborhood Improvement Zone helps get Allentown project off the ground

3/29/2013 | Real Estate Blog

Real estate developer Bruce Loch has proposed building a 33-story tower at North Ninth and West Walnut streets in Allentown. The building will offer retail space, office space, and restaurant space, as well as catering and conference space. The proposal is reportedly a renewed plan Loch first envisioned in 1985, but which was put off because of unfavorable economic conditions. The plan is being proposed now in hopes that economic improvement will allow the project to go forward

The project will get off the ground financially with the help of the city’s special tax zone. Loch’s project is set to bring in $60 million because the site if part of Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which diverts new states and local non-property taxes toward development in a 127.3-acre zone covering Center City and waterfront properties along Lehigh River.

The proposal is set for a growing neighborhood, and is only blocks from the planned 8,500 PPL Center, which is set to host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey team beginning in 2014. City Center Lehigh Valley is also building a seven-story office complex in the area, and Lehigh Valley Health Network is going to be establishing a health clinic there for sports medicine services and a fitness center.

Interestingly, high taxes in both New York and New Jersey are driving more businesses to Pennsylvania and Allentown is well situated to capture the interest of many companies. Which means there is a good possibility of more real estate development to come for the city.

Source:, “Allentown high-rise developer says there’s room in the real estate market,” Gregg Bortz, March 29, 2013