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NY brewer proposes $25M investment in Neuweiler site

By , - Last modified: January 3, 2013 at 10:43 AM

The company that brought back Reading Premium Beer has its eye set on the former Neuweiler Brewery on Front Street in Allentown.

Ruckus Brewing of New York is expected to apply for Neighborhood Improvement Zone funding for the establishment of a brew pub, production brewing and mixed-use office space on the site. The overall proposal for the multi-phase project is expected to be about $25 million, according to Scott Unger, executive director of the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority, which currently owns the building.

The authority put out a Request for Proposals for the development of the property last year. The site is within the Waterfront section of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ), which is a Tax Incremental Financing district established within the city.

Developers can take the difference between the current tax value of a property versus the estimated tax value of the improved property to finance the project.

Todd Collins, business development manager for the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority, said no formal action has been taken yet on obtaining NIZ funding.

Unger said the company seems to have a strong grasp on the scope of work that is needed at the site, and the expense involved.

"One of the things we like about this is that what they are proposing is very consistent with what the master plan study for the Waterfront was calling for," said Unger.

On the Internet, Ruckus Brewing, which was founded in 2009, describes itself as a company that "re-invigorates brands of historical significance, and services a growing craft brew market with products."

Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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