Allentown building revived as business hub

Newly renovated Hamilton Business Center at 11th and Hamilton streets in Allentown is 50 percent leased and is targeting small businesses. (Contributed photo)

It’s no secret that vibrant economic development in downtown Allentown’s urban center has garnered much attention.

It’s no secret that vibrant economic development in downtown Allentown’s urban center has garnered much attention.

With multiple office buildings sprouting this year and more next year, a rejuvenated spirit of investment is forever changing the face of the city, anchored by this month’s opening of the ice hockey arena inside PPL Center.

Four blocks from the action of the urban core is Hamilton Business Center, a long-standing building at the corner of 11th and Hamilton streets that’s poised to reap the benefits of renewed commercial activity.

A New Jersey real estate investment firm is transforming the site into a modernized facility geared toward smaller tenants, including many for-profit businesses. With facade improvements already in place and several floors newly refurbished and rented, the site that once was home to Chrysler First Inc. is about to re-emerge as a new business hub.

The niche market will be high end but affordable, said Matthew Sigman, a partner with Sigman Real Estate, a real estate investment firm in Asbury Park, N.J. Richard DePetro also is a partner.

An affinity for Allentown drew Sigman to the project. He is looking to attract a diverse group of tenants to a building that now has a total of about 40 tenants and is 50 percent leased.

“We are able to angle it for small businesses, nonprofits, education, government agencies,” Sigman said. “What we are really trying to do now is fill up the smaller spaces.”

A couple of years ago, the state approved legislation for the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which offered tax incentives for economic development on designated parcels in Allentown, kick-starting City Center Lehigh Valley, the linchpin behind downtown Allentown’s revival.

Hamilton Business Center is not in the NIZ, yet it stands to benefit from the expected growth of business, industry and residents heading to the downtown. More feet will be on the street, spurring additional business beyond the NIZ.

Workers are installing a sprinkler system throughout the business center, said Kelly Berfield, broker and partner with The Dietrick Group, which is marketing the property.

Brian Pedersen
Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108.

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