Lehigh Valley

Legislation filed to sell Allentown State Hospital

VIDEO: Legislation filed to sell...

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - For years, people have wondered what will be done with the 195 acres of land on the east side of Allentown.

"It's been vacant for almost a decade right now and this is a really big deal," said Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Schlossberg.

But now, there is movement to sell the old Allentown State Hospital.

The state wants fair market value and legislation has been introduced by State Senator Pat Brown to convey the land to a local developer.

Schlossberg says he has been involved in meetings concerning the property but cautions people not to get too excited.

"This is still years away. It might look like something really eminent is coming and the fact that the legislation is moving is a very, very, good sign, but we're still years away," added Schlossberg.

The potential plan is to add light industry, residential, and there is talk of a new middle school to replace Harrison-Morton Middle School.

"That's a huge deal, but you've got to have school district buy in," said Schlossberg. "Have to make sure their financials are in order, that they take care of their community engagement. We're a long way away from anything happening, but this is what we need to do in order to do this project and do it right."

The Allentown School District hasn't given the project a passing grade just yet even after adopting a resolution on June 22, 2017 expressing interest in the land.

"There's been some conversation in the district even prior to my tenure about the hospital property," said Allentown School District Superintendent Thomas Parker, adding, “there have been no decisions made about that."

Schlossberg says the most important aspect of any project will be community involvement.

He says the property has been vacant so long that the community needs to help decide what will be built on the land.   

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