An estimated decade-long, $300 million brownfield redevelopment is about to begin taking shape along the Lehigh River in Allentown.
Dignitaries and the developers today celebrated the start of demolition at the former Lehigh Structural Steel Co. to make way for The Waterfront project.
The Waterfront Development Co. — a partnership among Jaindl Properties, Dunn Twiggar and Michael Dunn Co. — anticipates the entire 1 million square feet of commercial, residential and industrial space along the west side of the river will take eight to 10 years to complete.
The first phase of construction includes development at the Furnace Street site south of the Tilghman Street bridge.
Immediately following this event on June 22, is the 2nd Story Blues Alliance International Blues Challenge held at Pitcher’s Sports Bar and Grill.
The Lehigh River Blues Jam helps raise awareness for 2nd Story Blues Alliance’s new 3 Chords Medical and Insurance Member Advocacy Program and the John Ott Sr. Fund for musicians who need medical financial assistance.
For more information: http://www.lehighriverbluesjam.com
This RUSH TICKET is for a weekend pass for the Lehigh River Blues Jam, giving you access to ALL of the following events!!!
Thursday June 19th ◊ 6:00 – 10:00 PM
◊ PREVIEW NIGHT JAM with The BC Combo!
Friday June 20th ◊ 6:00 – 10:00 PM
◊ 6:00 – 6:50: Little Buddy
◊ 7:10 – 8:10: Dugan/Thomas
◊ 8:30 – 10:00: CLARENCE SPADY
Saturday June 21st ◊ Noon – 10PM
◊ 12:30 – 1:15: Kim Brewer Band
◊ 1:35 – 2:20: Scoville Blues Band
◊ 2:40 – 3:25: Pork Roll Project
◊ 3:45 – 4:30: Sterling Koch
◊ 4:50 – 5:35: Octavia Blues Band
◊ 5:55 – 6:50: Friar’s Point
◊ 7:10 – 8:10: Bob Lanza
◊ 8:30 – 10:00: URSULA RICKS
Sunday June 22nd ◊ 1:00 – 4:00 PM
◊ 2nd Story Blues Alliance’s International Blues Challenge
Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. For more information, visit:
When private developers create a public riverwalk along the Lehigh River, who maintains it?
That’s just one of the questions raised by Allentown planners as developers Mark Jaindl and Dunn Twiggar Co. move forward with a $250 million mixed-use proposal for the city’s riverfront.
That plan — which includes 10 buildings housing 610,000 square feet of offices, 130,000 square feet of retail and 172 apartments — faces a vote for tentative approval by the city’s Planning Commission, the second of three approvals needed before construction can begin. Work on the property could start by the first quarter of 2014.
Waterfront developers had a workshop meeting with commissioners Thursday to hash out various issues involved with the 26-acre, two-phase development. Among those were who was going to maintain a multi-level walkway along the Lehigh River.
After almost a week of ominous forecasts, the weather system born of a giant hurricane, a winter storm and an arctic air mass is upon us. And it’s not going anywhere fast.
Across the Lehigh Valley, residents and government officials worked through the weekend to protect lives and property as Hurricane Sandy morphed into a gargantuan storm that will affect every part of the Northeast.
Although Sandy, which remained a Category 1 hurricane, was not expected to make landfall on the New Jersey coast until late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, the storm’s effects have been felt since Sunday evening. Ahead of Sandy’s landfall, every school district in the Lehigh Valley canceled Monday’s classes. Some colleges closed through Tuesday.
The worst of the weather will persist throughout the day Monday, with sustained winds from 35 to 45 mph and gusts up to 55 mph. That will bring down tree limbs and small trees causing power outages and property damage.
I drove up to Jim Thorpe today thinking it would be cooler in the mountains (not) and because it is a funky place (this was not my first visit, hence I already knew it was funky).
Jim Thorpe is the county seat of Carbon County. Carbon County has a total land area of 387 square miles and 65,249 residents, based on the 2010 Census (a population density of 171 persons per square mile). Jim Thorpe’s population was 4,804 (2000 census) with a land area of 14.5 square miles (mostly undeveloped, obviously). Carbon County borders Lehigh County to the south and Luzerne County to the north.
Jim Thorpe was originally two towns across the Lehigh River from one another – Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk. The two towns merged and adopted the name Jim Thorpe, after famed Native American Olympian Jim Thorpe who is buried in the borough. Originally, what is now Jim Thorpe was a railroad and coal-shipping center. Like many Pennsylvania towns, Jim Thorpe found itself on the downside of post-industrialization and languished for many years. Becoming Jim Thorpe was the first attempt to boost the local economy. This offered only limited success and so the town leadership needed to find other means of ramping up their economy.
Today, Jim Thorpe is a bustling small town that has become a destination (are we paying attention Pottstown?) using its natural surrounding, its heritage and some good marketing.
Jim Thorpe has capitalized on being a former railroad town. You can take an awesome train ride along the Lehigh River. During the trip you learn about local history, play games and answer questions. It is very enjoyable and affordable. Asa Packer and his son Harry Packer have mansions in Jim Thorpe. Asa’s mansion is a museum and Harry’s mansion is a B&B. Asa Packer founded the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Lehigh University.
Jim Thorpe is a river town. The Lehigh River runs between both sides of town. Taking advantage of being a river town, Jim Thorpe offers whitewater rafting on the Lehigh.
Jim Thorpe is also a mountain town. It’s called the “Switzerland of America”. Taking advantage of being in the mountains, the town offers mountain biking and hiking. They threw in paintball just because. And don’t forget the Anthracite Triathlon, paying homage to being a coal-shipping center and part of the Coal Region.
Jim Thorpe is a historic town, full of 19th century architecture. One can see examples of Federalist, Greek Revival, Second Empire, Romanesque Revival, Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, the Carbon County Courthouse, the Packer Mansions, the Train Station, the Hotel Switzerland, historic Broadway, the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Building and the Carbon County jail are some of the architectural attractions in town.
Jim Thorpe is so cool. How cool is it?? Jim Thorpe was listed as number 7 on Budget Travel magazine’s America’s Coolest Small Towns in 2009.
Downtown Jim Thorpe is full of restaurants, bars, boutiques and stores of all kinds. No empty buildings or mental health drop-in center. Everything is clean and neat. There is signage every where so you can find your way. There is plenty of cheap parking…you have to pay but it is only a few dollars for the day. There is plenty of foot and vehicular traffic coursing through the downtown. Keep in mind this town has 4,804 people (or there about – not finding 2010 census results yet) and their downtown puts Pottstown’s to shame. What’s wrong with that picture? Jim Thorpe is 4 ½ time smaller than Pottstown, off the beaten path (Carbon County is not exactly Montgomery County with 800,000 people) and yet this town still finds ways to revitalize and thrive, even in a bad economy.
Would you suppose the Mayor of Jim Thorpe nuzzles the ear of the Carbon County Commissioners at local events and undermines the borough council’s downtown revitalization strategy and possibly harms a local business? Would you suppose the Mayor of Jim Thorpe goes on the local radio station and bad-mouths borough council or that his/her spouse calls borough council a bunch of idiots while storming out of a meeting? Would you suppose the Mayor of Jim Thorpe blows off out-of-town visitors and embarrasses borough council by promising to do something and then not doing it?
What do you suppose Jim Thorpe’s secret it? Would you think the borough leadership came up with a plan and sticks with it? Would you think there is a vision for Jim Thorpe and that the leadership works together and speaks with one voice? Would you think taking advantage of a town’s history and natural surroundings is as good idea? Would you think creating a destination environment to attract repeat visitors is a good strategy? Do you think embracing art and culture is a good strategy? Jim Thorpe does.
Obviously, we are doing something very wrong in Pottstown that we are put to shame by a little mountain town in rural Carbon County. They have left us in the dust.