As the redevelopment of downtown Allentown continues to take shape, City Center Investment Corp. made several personnel promotions and hired a sales executive to capitalize on its growth strategy.
The firm played a pivotal role in the downtown’s resurgence by investing and developing more than 1 million square feet of commercial and residential real estate. Much of the growth can be attributed to the introduction of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone legislation several years ago. The tax incentive helped lure scores of tenants with ultra-low rental rates for Class-A office space.
The firm hired Jill Wheeler as vice president of sales and marketing to continue the effort to promote the downtown’s new business district and continue attracting new tenants.
City Center also promoted Jarrett Laubach as director of leasing, Mitch Hanna as leasing representative and Sherry Devine as lease administrator.
Wheeler takes on the role vacated by Jim Harbaugh, who recently retired.
She most recently worked for Adams Outdoor Advertising, where she was general sales manager since September 2014, responsible for managing 20 employees.
Her prior sales experience includes working for several Lehigh Valley companies, including Klunk & Millan Advertising, Stanley Vidmar and RCN.
“As I’m getting more integrated into my role, it’s all about growth for City Center and Allentown,” Wheeler said. “We are looking for businesses inside the area and outside the area that are looking for growth opportunities just like we are. There are many reasons people have taken advantage of moving to downtown Allentown.”
One reason people choose to locate in downtown Allentown is the urban environment the downtown offers, which Wheeler said attracts millennials and also retains those employees that companies want.
Another is the collaborative environment.
“Just by default, the other companies that are here already create a collaborative environment for other companies that are interested in coming here,” Wheeler said.
She still sees strong demand for office, retail and residential space in the downtown.
How she gets those companies, particularly those from out of state, to choose Allentown over other cities, will be the focus of her new role.
“It’s all about the relationships and expanding those relationships,” Wheeler said. “How do we leverage ourselves beyond those relationships we have?”
Developing the overall marketing and communications strategy to effectively advertise what City Center offers will be a main priority, she added.