With its razor sharp lines and sleek glass walls the roughly $45 million Tower 6 building brings a big-city vibe to Pennsylvania’s third largest city.
Tower 6 in downtown Allentown opens May 1 with Talen Energy as its first tenant.
Tower 6 is the region’s first 12-story, all glass high-rise office building and part of the City Center Investment Corp.'s redevelopment plan, which shows no signs of slowing.
Jill Wheeler, vice president of marketing and sales for Allentown-based City Center, said it is easier to attract and retain workers in downtown offices because more people want to live there.
At Sixth and Hamilton streets, Tower 6 includes 145,000 square feet of Class-A office space and is the fourth such building in City Center Allentown’s redevelopment. Tower 6 also has 6,000 square feet of street-level retail space.
Planning for and the building of Tower 6 created more than 400 construction jobs, and an estimated 500 permanent jobs are expected once the building is fully leased.
In addition to Talen Energy, other Tower 6 tenants include Bank of America, CrossAmerica, Avantor and CapTrust, City Center representatives said. Retail space can accommodate up to three tenants. No additional move-in dates have been disclosed.
LIVE, WORK, PLAY
Tower 6 will not include any residential living space, said Robert DiLorenzo, project manager for City Center Allentown. But in terms of the overall City Center redevelopment, residential space is one of its top lures, Wheeler said.
She noted the importance of attracting and retaining a combination of assets and amenities. Included are office space, high-end residential locations such as Strata Flats and Strata Symphony (under construction), the ArtsWalk at City Center, restaurants and shopping – all aimed to create a self-contained, walkable urban environment.
Wheeler said City Center development was driven by customer and market demand.
“People are looking to work here and live here and play here,” she said.
Matthias Fenstermacher, Tower 6 Serfass Construction project executive, said Tower 6 is the tallest building constructed in the Lehigh Valley in the past 40 years.
He said while the geology made construction projects in Allentown challenging – the Tower 6 foundation required drilling to 170 feet – his crews met every construction milestone.
“We set this schedule back in 2016,” Fenstermacher said.
Even with frigid working conditions and single-digit daytime high temperatures, crews kept up the pace, using a lot of propane heating units until the structure was completely enclosed, he said.
Fenstermacher said the glass-walled views of the Lehigh Valley will be stunning from the top floor.
“You’ll be able to see Martin Tower, Dorney Park, Blue Mountain, South Mountain, the entire Lehigh Valley,” he said.
Tower 6 is built of steel and glass and will be 180 feet tall, offering street views from floors two through five and 360-degree views from floors six through 12.
Fenstermacher said while glass-walled buildings were more common in major urban centers such as Philadelphia, the mix of old and new buildings in Allentown works well and is "like any modern city."