Falling into place- Massive construction projects well underway in Allentown

Photo by Brian Pedersen/A crane lifts a slab of concrete as construction moves forward on the seven-story hotel portion of the PPL Center in Downtown Allentown.

Construction is gaining steam this spring in Downtown Allentown. And it’s no longer just below-the-ground infrastructure work.

Construction is gaining steam this spring in Downtown Allentown. And it’s no longer just below-the-ground infrastructure work.

Buildings are starting to take shape.

Last week, officials gathered for a steel-beam signing for Two City Center atop the Linden Street parking deck, marking the progress of the 11-story structure that will be home to National Penn Bank headquarters next spring.

Across the street, cranes carried steel beams and lifted slabs of concrete and staircases for the seven-story hotel portion of the $274 million PPL Center project, which also will include a hockey/events arena and office building set to open next year.

During a tour of the arena site, Mike Leone, project manager for Hammes Co. Sports Development, the arena developer, said about 135 workers are on-site at any given day and work is starting to move swiftly.

“You can see it start to take shape,” he said.

As workers put up steel for the hotel, work then will move farther west on the site and then head south.

Working at 24 feet below street level, workers are digging deep to ensure stability. Piles to support buildings reach more than 200 feet deep into the earth, and there are close to 1,700 piles installed at the site, which is about five acres, Leone said.

In comparison, the 11-story Two City Center office building under construction across the street has about 200 pilings, Leone said.

Pilings generally are installed at a depth of 25 feet to 225 feet.

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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