Day care center in east Allentown

Zady Pineda won approval to operate a day care center for up to 55 children at 418-420 N. Irving St. The zoners heard testimony on that case on Oct. 7.

The day care, in a former factory, will operate 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mondays through Fridays. It will offer transportation to get children to and from elementary schools.

Zoners expressed concern about what will happen if cars drop off or pick up all 55 children at the same time, but acknowledged that is not likely to happen. The center will have a leased 10-space parking lot along East Clair Street, an alley.

Zoning board chairman Dan McCarthy said the lack of objectors suggests neighbors may not view the daycare as a potential imposition.

Take-out restaurant in grocery

Ramon Contreras got approval to operate a take-out restaurant, offering both Spanish and American food, in a grocery store at 446-448 N. 10th St.

The zoning board heard testimony on that case on Oct. 14.

The property is on the southwest corner of 10th and Liberty Streets, said McCarthy, and has a long history of being used as stores and restaurants – including Park’s Seafood restaurant.

Zoner Scott Unger said restaurants are allowed at that location, but deep frying of food is not. But he explained the place still has hood equipment and an exhaust system from a previous restaurant use that should take care of any odors from frying food.

Unger also explained the place is not expanding, but some existing grocery store space will be converted into take-out restaurant space.
McCarthy said 50 percent of the establishment will remain a grocery store and 50 percent will be put to the new use.

Blood and urine testing lab

Also approved was a blood and urine testing laboratory called Lehigh Diagnostic Lab, Inc., planned at 530-544 N. 7th St.

The business will be co-owned by Nimesh Patel of Breinigsville, a pharmacist who owns four pharmacies, two in the Allentown area, one in Bethlehem and one in Reading.

One of Patel’s pharmacies will be next to the proposed 7th Street lab.
He said the space where the lab will go has been vacant for10 years.

Patel predicted the lab will open in six to eight months. It will operate 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays.

He anticipates testing will be done on about 30 people a day by two certified lab technicians. Blood and urine samples will be processed on the premises.

Several times a week, the samples and other waste materials will be removed from the premises by a contractor who properly will dispose of them, he said.

Patel plans to spend $10,000 to improve the building’s facade and
$30,000 on the interior.

Peter Lewnes, a N. 7th Street resident who is manager of the 7th Street Main Street program, said the lab proposal has the support of the 7th Street Development Committee, an advisory board to the city.
He said the lab will provide a service that doesn’t exist in center-city. “I have to drive to Cedar Crest Boulevard to get my blood tested.”

Lewnes said Patel already is a great neighbor, adding “it’s nice to have a local pharmacy on the street.” He said there are no other locally-owned pharmacies in that area. And he said Patel and his brother took a property that had not been used for about 20 years and turned it back into a retail space.