Lehigh Valley

Allentown's NIZ may expand

Development Authority oks expanding the tax zone to include additional businesses

ACIDA approves NIZ expansion

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Some businesses in Allentown are one step closer to being part of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone.

ACIDA, the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Authority, one of the bodies charged with overseeing the hockey arena project and its surrounding developments has given the green light to expand the NIZ from 125.17 to 127.34 acres.

The expansion includes non-government owned parcels like the Americus Hotel on the corner of Hamilton Blvd and N. 6th Street.

Americus owner, Albert Abdouche says he's looking forward to what the expansion means to his rennovation.

"We have a hundred hotel rooms, 48 suites, office buildings, banquet room, a sports bar, stores all over.....We will get government tax free like sales tax, employment tax you can get a lot of help with taxes" said Abdouche.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski says the move took some work but is finally coming to fruition. "I'm really thankful the department of revenue was able to work with us, they were able to expand the zone open it up and allow us to open it up one more time to be able to pull in the remaining properties that weren't included when they first developed the map" he said.

A final vote for approval is scheduled for Thursday. Pawlowski says the plan is to start construction at the end of September.

"I think it's going to be tremendous, you're going to see lots of investment, lots of development, it's going to transform downtown Allentown for decades to come" Pawlowski said. 

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