2018 Year in Review

Michelle Reid on December 27, 2018

2018 was a productive and impactful year for the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority and its public and private sector partners.

The Authority conducted 13 public board and committee meetings throughout the year; closed on $262.9 million in bonds and loans to finance real estate development projects; and approved over $3.2 million in public improvement project financing. Along the way the board adopted and published Guidelines and Procedures for Transfer and Replacement of Parcels as well as Process Guidelines for Public Improvement Investments within the NIZ.

2018 saw the completion of ambitious development projects and exciting additions to the Neighborhood Improvement Zone including event venue Vault 634 in the historic Lehigh Valley Trust Building; the 12-story, class-A office building Tower 6; the Court Street Arts Alley artswalk extension; and the 520 Lofts apartment building. Among the highlights of 2018 was the announcement that ADP, one of the world’s largest human capital management providers, signed a lease for 243,000 square feet in 5 City Center, a new 13 story, class A office building currently under construction and slated to be completed by September of 2019.

During 2018 we also learned that the US Department of the Treasury had certified five census tracts in Allentown as Opportunity Zones, including an area overlapping much of the downtown portion of the NIZ. Investors can now put capital to work in the Allentown Opportunity Zone in exchange for certain federal capital gains tax advantages.

The year ended with the announcement that PPL Center, downtown Allentown’s multi-purpose arena owned by ANIZDA, had been ranked among the top 200 arenas worldwide. Pollstar, a leading trade publication for the concert industry, ranks PPL Center number 3 in Pennsylvania and 60 in the US in its year-end ranking for the Top 200 Arenas by number of tickets sold for venues of all sizes.