The Waterfront Development Co. will begin demolition in mid-July on the 13 acres that comprise the first part of the $300 million Allentown development along the Lehigh River.
For the 26-acre former site of the Lehigh Structural Steel Co., developers are looking at building new space for office, restaurant and retail, residential and public walking trails and an outdoor plaza and parking deck.
Prep work for demolition should start the second week in July, with a tentative start date set for July 23 for demolition, said Zachary Jaindl, principal of Jaindl Properties of Allentown.
The Waterfront Development Co. is a partnership between Jaindl Properties, Michael Dunn Co. and Dunn Twiggar Co.
The first building, 615 Waterfront Drive, is 170,000 square feet, eight stories and will have retail and restaurant space with offices on the upper floors. The total Waterfront project includes six office buildings and three residential buildings. All buildings will have first floor retail.
“This is a significant step in the project,” Jaindl said this morning. “We will have nine new buildings. This is really the kickoff that will be the catalyst for a new look for Allentown.”
Restaurants on site will offer riverfront dining, a rare aspect to the Lehigh Valley, according to Jaindl.
“This is actually going to be direct river frontage,” Jaindl said. “You can walk directly along the banks of the river. The river walk will include amphitheaters.”
Jaindl said about one building should be built per year over a period of about eight years. Demolition should take two to three months, with the timing adjusted as needed.
Neuber Demolition & Environmental Services of Phoenixville is handling demolition while Whiting-Turner, a firm with an office in Upper Macungie Township, is construction manager for the 615 Waterfront Drive building.
In a news release, the company said 401! Creative, a South Whitehall Township advertising and marketing firm, designed and developed a website for the project, TheWaterfront.com, which includes updates on the status of the project. Visitors will be able to map the development, view a live feed and read updates as they are announced, according to Jaindl.