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Allentown's Waterfront developer says tenants lined up for phase one

City planners give final approval for phase two

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Allentown Waterfront Project moves forward

 

The developer behind an ambitious plan to bring office buildings, retailers, apartments and public space to a stretch of the Lehigh River waterfront in Allentown said the first round of tenants are ready to go and will be announced when the timing is right.

Zachary Jaindl, chief operating officer for the Waterfront Development Company, appeared before the Allentown Planning Commission Tuesday, looking for final approval for phase two of The Waterfront. The project's second phase, north of the Tilghman Street Bridge, features three office buildings, two apartment buildings and a parking deck.

The entire property, bisected by the bridge, totals 29 acres and will eventually feature five office buildings, four apartment buildings and three parking decks. It will also feature first-floor retail and restaurant space throughout the site, a promenade, an amphitheater and a boat dock. The property was previously home to the Lehigh Structural Steel Co.

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After planning commissioners unanimously approved Waterfront's second phase, Jaindl said the six-story office building in phase one is fully designed with leases in place for multiple tenants. Designs for a second eight-story office building that will house one primary tenant are nearly complete, and one of the apartment buildings that will wrap around a 700-space parking deck is fully designed, he said.

During his presentation to the planning commission, Jaindl said there is a common misperception that there's very little going on at the property. After the meeting, he noted building pads are ready to go, there's about $18 million in infrastructure work in the ground, including about eight miles of underground conduit installed, and another $5 million in design costs that can't be recouped until buildings are built.

Work could begin immediately on phase one's first office building, but Jaindl said the company wants to make sure design work and the developer's and tenants' timelines all match up before making one major announcement and beginning construction on three or four buildings at once.

The ultimate goal is to make such an announcement by year's end, according to Jaindl.

The Waterfront will have on-site marketing and programming for the project's public spaces, according to Jaindl. That will mean concerts at the amphitheater, a farmer's market on weekends and food truck events, he said.

"This isn't going to be the Baltimore Inner Harbor, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from it," Jaindl said.

As for Tuesday's review and approval, planning commissioners received a broad project overview before reviewing smaller details such as public access to the river, parking, the project's connections to the existing neighborhoods and maintenance of the property's green spaces.

When the planning commission granted conditional approval for phase two, the American Parkway Bridge wasn't open yet, so there was some concern about traffic and access to the property, Jaindl said. The extension of the American Parkway and Riverside Drive, the new street that will serve as the spine along the waterfront district, will sufficiently handle the additional traffic, he told planners.

Riverside Drive will eventually run north into Whitehall Township and fill in an existing gap in the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Trail.

Shop Talk

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· Rene and Grisellies Benique have opened Ezekiel 47 Cafe at 10 S. Fifth Ave., off Fifth and Penn avenues, in West Reading. 

· Alter Ego Salon and Day Spa in Emmaus is holding a grand opening Sunday, May 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a ribbon cutting at noon. 

· Origen Latin Fusion has opened at the site of the former Tomcat Cafe in Sinking Spring, Berks County. 

· Sellersville Senior Residences will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 24. The Bucks County affordable-housing community for adults 55 and older has 50 apartments, with eight allocated for people with behavioral health needs.

· The House and Barn in Emmaus has opened its Shed outdoor dining and cigar bar area. The House and Barn is at 1449 Chestnut St. in Emmaus.

· La Spa & Nail Bar will hold a grand opening from 11 a.m. to closing on Friday, May 20, with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. The 2765 Papermill Road, Wyomissing.

· Realtor Amanda Vachris and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at Vachris's new Keller Williams Real Estate office at 15 St. John St., Schuylkill Haven, at 4 p.m. on May 24.

· Il Gaetano Ristorante will hold a grand opening on Friday, May 20, at 5:30 p.m. The 665 Columbus Ave., Phillipsburg.

· First Commonwealth Federal Credit Union will hold a grand opening at its new headquarters in Trexlertown, 6126 Hamilton Blvd., on May 18.

· Vinyl Press Signs & Graphics has relocated within Emmaus. The new site is 15 S. Second St., not far from the former Sixth Street location.

· Pedro's Cafe in Emmaus to close

· SV Sports (formerly Schuylkill Valley Sports) to close Quakertown location

· Flemington DIY will host a Grand Re-Opening on May 14 at 26 Stangl Road, Flemington. The celebration will kick off at 10 a.m. 

· Elpedio’s Ristorante at Seipsville opened at 2912 Old Nazareth Road in Easton. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday.

· Uai Brazil opened at 315 Lehigh Ave, Palmerton, offering both a seated or buffet option. 

· Colombian Mex Restaurant opened at 107 E Union Blvd in Bethlehem, offering traditional Colombian cuisine. 

· Precision Ink opened at 161 W Berwick St. in Easton. 

· King Wing opened a location in Bethlehem at 129 E. Third St., serving wings and sandwiches. 

· Molinari's at 322 E 3rd St. in Bethlehem is re-opening, offering ticketed seating with an Italian menu offering. 

· The SHED is open at The HOUSE and BARN at 1449 Chestnut St. in Emmaus, serving drinks and cigars. 

· Tony's Pizza & Restaurant opened a new location at 3417 Sullivan Trail in Easton. 

· Big Papa's Restaurant & Catering opened at 1236 Northampton St, Easton. Dale Koehler & Sons Farm will supply the restaurant with meat and eggs.

· Route 61 Hardware has its ribbon cutting at 635 Fountain St. in Ashland at noon on June 24.

· The Shenandoah Pharmacy will hold a ribbon cutting at noon, June 1, at its 33 N. Main St., Shenandoah, location.

· The Canalside Cup on Route 611 in Williams Township opens for the season May 13

· The Curious Plantaholic Nazareth has expanded into New Jersey with a second store at 20 Main St. in historic Clinton, Hunterdon County. the original store is on Belvidere Street in Nazareth. 

·  Childcare With A Purpose and Lehigh Valley Martial Arts are both coming to the shopping center on Easton Avenue in Bethlehem later this year. 

·  Within Harmony wellness center has its grand opening May 18 and 5 p.m. The center, which will provide services such as reiki and crystal energy sessions, is located at at 182 S. First St. in Lehighton

· Time 2 Talk Therapy Services will hold an open house June 1 at 521 Bridge St. in Lehighton

· Alter Ego Salon & Day Spa to hold grand opening on May 22 at 500 Broad Street in Emmaus

· Sephora at Kohl's to open at Whitehall Kohl's

· Juliette Bridals by Ivana has relocated to 161 Glenworth Rd., Pottsville and is having a "relocation celebration" on May 19 at noon. 

· Iqor has opened a new 30,000 square-foot call center in Allentown

· Life Advance Fitness at 436 State Ave. in Emmaus opens on May 11

· Grocery Outlet Bargain Market is open at 561 S. Broad Street in Lansdale, in the former Super Foodtown location. 

· The Caribbean Grill will hold its grand opening on May 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at 1800 Sullivan Trail in Forks Township.

· A new mafia-themed bar named Capo & Co. Keg and Cork Kitchen is hiring staff in Emmaus. The restaurant is at 1375 Chestnut St. and will feature a self-tap wine bar. 

· Terrain on the Parkway, at 1625 Lehigh Parkway East in Allentown is open and renting apartments ranging from studio to three-bedroom size. 

· Sports and Social opened April 28 in Allentown. The sports bar and restaurant at 645 Hamilton St. is part of a national chain. 

· McCall Collective Brewing plans a May opening for its second location at 7743 Hamilton Blvd. in the Breinigsville section of Upper Macungie Township. The original brewpub is in Allentown. 

· Project Paw cat cafe and thrift shop opened April 30 at 452 Northampton St., Easton. The cats in the cafe will be available for adoption. The business supports The Center for Animal Health & Welfare in Williams Township.

· McDonald's of Coopersburg is open at 6690 Short Drive, Upper Saucon Township, just off Route 309

· Oley Valley Inn in Oley Township is coming back as The Riedenau House, a farm-to-table restaurant. It will serve a German menu. 

· Margaritaville resort, a Jimmy Buffett-inspired resort is coming to Monroe County. Construction in Tobyhanna and Pocono townships may begin next year, with an opening in 2024 at the site of the old Pocono Manor.

· La Dolce Casa, at 16 W. Broad St. on Tamaqua's main thoroughfare, has added La Dolce Casa Bakery and Italian Market just three doors away at 32 W. Broad St. in the former Bittner's General Store.

· Rutter's opens 3rd location in Berks at Route 222 and Long Lane in Maxatawny Township, north of Kutztown.

· Berks Nature opened The Rookery. The Rookery is in Angelica Creek Park, on top of the existing Nature Place structure. 

· New Santiago's Restaurant at 125 S. Third St. in Coopersburg has reopened after about a year off. 

· Obsidian Tattoo & Piercing Parlor of Bethlehem has expanded to Emmaus. The 173 Main St. location is open now. 

· Ocean State Job Lot, a Rhode Island-based discount store, will open at the former site of the Kmart at Shillington Plaza in Cumru Township. 

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