ANIZDA Approves Funding of $10.7 Million in Additional Public Improvement Projects

Michelle Reid on March 3, 2022

The board of the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority approved funding for improvement of public spaces at the site of the Da Vinci Science Center development project, and streetscape improvements along portions of Hamilton, W. Linden, N. Sixth, and N. Seventh Streets on March 2. The total investment from ANIZDA’s Public Improvement Investment Program in the four projects authorized at the board meeting is $10,743,036.

Project sponsor Da Vinci Science Center will utilize up to $1,673,036 in funds provided by ANIZDA to develop a plaza on Hamilton Street, extend Court Street, construct the arts walk along vacated Lumber Street, and improve Howe Street. The City of Allentown is the public property owner of the planned improvements that will enhance walkability, safety, and accessibility to the new downtown science center.

As project sponsor of three downtown streetscape improvement projects approved for funding through ANIZDA, City Center Investment Corporation will construct new ADA compliant sidewalks, install lighting, street trees, plantings, trash and recycling receptacles, bike racks, benches, parking kiosks, and improve pedestrian crosswalks within the public right-of-way pursuant to the City of Allentown’s public improvement strategy. ANIZDA approved funds not to exceed $2 million for the public improvements planned for the 500 and 600 blocks of Hamilton Street and $6,115,000 for the 900, 1000, and 1100 blocks of Hamilton Street. The funding approved for the improvements along a portion of W. Linden, N. Sixth, and N. Seventh Streets is not to exceed $955,000. The streetscape projects will enhance gateways to the downtown, improve connectivity, and address areas in disrepair.

The Authority established the Public Improvement Investment Program in August 2018 to leverage other ANIZDA investments, attract more investment to the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, increase physical connectivity, beautify streetscapes, provide more complete streets, and help support the arts as a driver of economic and community development. Projects previously funded include the Court Street Artswalk Extension, Hamilton Street Artswalk Connector, Soldiers & Sailors Monument lighting, parking kiosks, Front and Hamilton streetscape improvements, and the redesigned LANta bus terminal at the Allentown Transportation Center.

[Image provided by City of Allentown and City Center Allentown]