Now that two years have passed since the Allentown Planning Commission gave final approval to a plan for a 33-story tower in the city’s downtown, the project’s developer needs an extension so he can build it.
And on Tuesday, the planning commission extended the final project approval through July 2019, said Bruce Loch, developer of Landmark Tower and a Certified Public Accountant who leads an accounting and consulting firm in South Whitehall Township.
He has not started construction on the $70 million 220,000-square-foot-building, which would go up at the corner of Ninth and Walnut streets. However, the site is within the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, a lucrative tax incentive for tenants that allows for reduced rental rates and has fueled more than $1 billion in construction of new buildings and renovations of existing ones in the city’s downtown.
The plans call for two floors of retail, 24 floors of offices, seven floors of condominiums and access to a parking deck. W2A Design Group of Allentown is the architect.
At about 430 feet, Landmark Tower would be the Lehigh Valley’s tallest, topping Martin Tower in Bethlehem (330 feet) and the PPL Corp.’s building (322 feet) in Allentown.
Loch said he hopes to sign a major office tenant to occupy most of the building.
“It all depends on getting a lease signed,” Loch said. “We are looking at one major tenant. Any major tenant that takes 20 or more floors gets naming rights. We are not dealing with any local tenants; we only work outside the area.”
He said he is looking at finding tenants from such areas as New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia.