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Crowds gathered on Seventh Street between Hamilton and Linden streets in Downtown Allentown Monday as officials disclosed that the new $65 million hotel under construction on the hockey arena block will be a Renaissance Hotel by Marriott International.
The 180-room, 20,000-square-foot hotel will feature an upscale restaurant and bar. It is expected to open in August 2014.
City Center Developer J.B. Reilly welcomed the hotel to the projects that will make up the new downtown development.
"None of this building boom in Allentown would have been possible without the private partnerships. They all played a critical role in the rebirth of Allentown," he said.
Gov. Tom Corbett, who spoke at the name unveiling, said the investment in the area is dramatically increasing the value of the downtown land.
"At one point there was $5 million in real estate here; now there is going to be $500 million," he said.
The seven-story hotel portion of the PPL Center project, which also will include a hockey/events arena and office building, should open next year.
The hotel is part of the City Center Lehigh Valley development, which includes several office, residential and retail sites under construction in the city, fueling a rebirth of commercial activity.
With a fall 2014 opening in the works, the arena will serve as the new home of the Phantoms, the minor league hockey team affiliated with the parent club Philadelphia Flyers.