A major development project is finally getting underway along the Lehigh River waterfront in Allentown.

Demolition took place Thursday on 13 acres just south of the Tilghman Street bridge, at the Lehigh Structural Steel site to make room for several new buildings.

Phase One includes three mixed use office, retail and residential buildings, a parking deck and the beginning of a half mile river walk.

The first phase also includes the construction of Waterfront Drive, a brand new road that will be the main thoroughfare to the area.

The area's potential has been celebrated before.

In 2007 Dunn and Twigger Company showed similar plans to develop the site but those plans were eventually scrapped because money never came together as the real estate market tanked.

However in 2012 Jaindl Properties came aboard to partner with Dunn Twiggar Company to revitalize the project.

Jaindl officials have said the Neighborhood Improvement Zone -- the tax friendly area responsible for the Allentown's new hockey arena -- is what got them involved.

Plans are to break ground on the first new building in the first quarter of 2015.