The first step in creating a massive new office, retail and residential project along the Lehigh River in Allentown has begun.
The Waterfront Development Co. started demolition this morning on the 13 acres that comprise the first part of the $300 million Waterfront project.
Aside from office, restaurant and retail, plans for the 26-acre former site of the Lehigh Structural Steel Co. include public walking trails and an outdoor plaza and parking deck.
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.
The entire project should take about eight years to complete. 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 first building.
“Our project is growing a little, as well,” said Mark Jaindl, co-founder of Jaindl Properties.
The company bought the Lehigh Valley Dairy property, which gives flexibility to the Waterfront developers.
“It allows us room to build in the future if we need to,” said Zachary Jaindl, chief operations officer of Jaindl Properties.
The site serves as the entrance point to the Waterfront and offers the potential for additional parking or future building space if needed, he added.