While litigation is reportedly ongoing over the impact Allentown's Neighborhood Improvement Zone has had on the value of the Plaza at 835 Hamilton, the real estate firm serving as the building's leasing agent said interest in the property has been high.
CBRE was hired to market the property, and Jody King, vice president of the firm, said in the 10 days the property has been listed, “the amount of response has blown us away.”
The Plaza, formerly known as the PPL Plaza, was one of the first major redevelopment projects in the downtown when built in 2002.
After Talen Energy was spun off from PPL, it became the main tenant of the building.
But now, lured by the cost savings of the nearby NIZ, Talen is moving out of the plaza next spring, down the block to a NIZ property developed by City Center Investment Corp. The Plaza does not have access to NIZ incentives.
King said one of the problems the building had with marketing the available space in the 245,000-square-foot building was lack of surety about its future.
“People didn’t know what was going on with the building,” King said. “We need to provide education about what we can do.”
While she said it would be great to find a tenant to take up the entire three floors that Talen occupies, King said it’s much more likely that they will need to divide the property into smaller offices, perhaps six tenants or so on a floor.
“We are working with an architect and a developer to subdivide the space,” she said.
She said it looks like the offices can be divided into as small as 2,500 square feet.
King said so far she’s received inquiries for space as small as 5,000 square feet and as large as 90,000 square feet.
Besides office space, there is 5,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor that is vacant. It was most recently a restaurant.
King said that space likely will be divided in two to make it more marketable.
PPL Gold Credit Union and BB&T Bank are existing tenants in the building that are expected to remain after the Talen move.