Two Allentown bond projects are sharing honors from Bond Buyer.
The Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone District Authority bond issue and the Water and Sewer Concession Lease transaction were named co-winners of the 2013 Bond Buyer's Deal of the Year Award for the Northeast Region.
The transactions will compete with winners from four other regions and three other categories for the publication's national overall award, which will be announced Dec. 5 at The Bond Buyer's awards gala at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Public Financial Management Inc. of Philadelphia served as financial adviser on the improvement zone bond and the concession lease.
It is the first time in the 12 years that the awards gala has been held that co-winners have been selected to be honored.
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski said that highlights the significance of each of the two deals.
"These complex transactions were necessary to lay the groundwork for development projects that are transforming Allentown and to solve the massive unfunded pension liability crisis that threatened the future of this city," Pawlowski said.
State Sen. Pat Browne, R-Allentown, was among those who advocated for the Neighborhood Improvement Zone.
"It is my hope that this new tax financing strategy will not just benefit the City of Allentown, but instead will serve as a model for economic development in distressed areas – cities, boroughs and townships – throughout the commonwealth and, potentially, for other states as well," Browne said. "The Neighborhood Improvement Zone provides a revenue stream a developer can utilize to structure competitive commercial investment and lease opportunities in a high cost urban environment."