Developer plans $40M music venue in Downtown Allentown

By - Last modified: January 16, 2014 at 11:15 AM

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A six-story concert venue could be on its way to Downtown Allentown near PPL Plaza.

Think Loud LLC, a York-based developer, proposed to build the 60,000-square-foot venue, with Alvin H. Butz Inc. of Allentown as the construction manager, confirmed Margaret McConnell, enterprise marketing manager for Butz.

At the Farr Lot across from the PPL Center hockey arena being built and the Alvin H. Butz Corporate Headquarters building, the project is estimated to cost between $36 million and $42 million, McConnell said. The lot is at North Eighth Street between Hamilton and Linden streets. The Allentown Parking Authority owns the property.

"We don't have the property yet, the only thing we've done is submit a proposal to the Parking Authority," McConnell said.

Butz has been negotiating with the authority for the past two months. A final sale price should be determined next week, she said.

The project would be in the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which affords tax incentives for developers and has been a major driver of the growth in the city's downtown.

As the developers for the project, Think Loud is proposing a mixed-use, six-story building and separate three-story building that would be a music venue, McConnell said.

The six-story building would have four floors of office space and a VIP lounge connected to the club. A project name for the office/retail/entertainment facility has not been determined, she said.

"I think the Butz family remains committed to seeing Allentown fully redeveloped and revitalized," McConnell said. "We are still planning to expand the [Butz] corporate office headquarters."

Since the music venue is still early in the design phase, Butz is not looking to start construction until the end of this year, McConnell said. The project would take about a year to complete.

Hopefully, she said, "the music venue project would bring more people into the downtown, not just for work, but for pleasure."

Think Loud did not return a phone call for comment.

Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it. Brian also has a strong interest in health and fitness. He works part-time as a personal trainer at Steel Fitness Riverport in Bethlehem and earned his personal fitness trainer certification from World Instructor Training Schools.

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