Allentown’s Historic Americus Hotel Could Get NIZ Tax Help

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  This is great news! Revitalizing our Pennsylvania cities is important!

Vacant and dilapidated the past nine years, Allentown’s 12-story Americus Center Hotel got good news this week when the state decided the city can alter the borders of its downtown arena zone to include the historic hotel.

Any changes to the borders of its Neighborhood Improvement Zone, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue officials say, must be made before bonds are sold to fund the $220 million arena complex.

With the arena authority preparing to sell bonds next month, it means city officials will have to work fast, said Sara Hailstone, Allentown director of community and economic development.

“We will need to follow up with the Department of Revenue and work through the details,” Hailstone said. “This is a great opportunity for the city.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-pa-arena-niz-20120819,0,6877859.story

Legal Stalemate Over, Allentown Racing To Build Hockey Arena

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With suburban communities poised to withdraw the lawsuits that have halted Allentown‘s $220 million arena project, the city appears to be left with one big question: Can it build the arena fast enough?

The project is months behind schedule and city officials are scrambling to find ways to make up lost time, including the option of starting the 2013-14 season with a two-month road trip.

Still, the most important job is getting the suburban townships to officially drop their lawsuits.

“When that is formalized, it will allow us to move forward,” said Rep. Jennifer Mann, D-Lehigh. “The biggest piece is ramping up, getting the construction schedule going full throttle. That is the one that hurts us the most. One commodity you can’t get back is time. We have lost at least 90 days in this process.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-pa-arena-construction-20120702,0,2846794.story

Mayors Tout Jobs Growth In Lehigh Valley

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Image via Wikipedia

As a national jobs report released Friday pointed to a surge in hiring, the mayors of four of the Lehigh Valley‘s largest municipalities gathered in front of the future minor league hockey arena in Allentown to tout the Valley’s growth.

The mayors — Ed Pawlowski of Allentown, John Callahan of Bethlehem, Sal Panto Jr. of Easton and Ed Hozza Jr. of Whitehall Township — didn’t announce a new project on the same scale as Steel Stacks or an out-of-state company bringing hundreds of jobs. Instead, they praised the creation of 40 jobs for workers who are making way for the hockey arena at Seventh and Hamilton streets.

That number, Pawlowski said, will grow to 1,000 during construction.

The mayors gathered in front of the demolition site just days after revelations that the special tax district that will help pay for the $158-million arena may divert and delay the return of the Valley’s municipalities’ earned income taxes.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-hockey-arena-jobs-20120203,0,1222186.story