The planned development, officially called The Waterfront, will transform approximately 26 acres of industrial land along the western side of the Lehigh River in Allentown into a waterfront setting for office, retail, restaurant, residential and other commercial development.
According to the partners, the Waterfront will consist of 610,000 square feet of office space, 172 residential apartments, and 130,000 square feet of retail space.
It will include 2,800 parking spaces, including multi-level garages.
There will be walking trails along a half-mile of river frontage as well as more than seven acres of landscaped property. There will also be additional boating facilities created along the Lehigh River.
“Our submission of the master plan to the Allentown Planning Commission is the start of the land development approval process,” said Ryan Dunn, a principal of Dunn Twiggar Company.
“Such a master plan sets the framework for the development and does not include many of the engineering aspects which will be detailed in later plans. Our master plan is aligned with the master plan developed through the City of Allentown's Lehigh River Waterfront Project.”
Andrew Twiggar, another principal of the firm, said that while the master plan is looking at the development project in its entirety, the initial focus will be on the land south of Tilghman Street.
“We will be submitting our fully engineered plans to the city and to other regulatory agencies in the next few months. We anticipate starting construction in 2014, with initial occupancy expected during early 2015,” he said.
The site is located within the City of Allentown's Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ).
The tax designation has provided developers the ability to begin new projects within the city, said Mark Jaindl, of Jaindl Properties.
“We are very excited about the level of interest being expressed from companies looking to grow into Allentown. The NIZ has created a level of energy in the city that hasn't been felt for decades.”