Developer scales back plans for Five City Center apartment building

Changes make project financially feasible

Developer scales back plans for Five City Center apartment building

 

City Center Investment Corp. is scaling back a residential portion of its Five City Center development to keep the project fiscally sound and allow the company to more aggressively pursue its newest apartment project.

City Center representatives appeared before the Allentown Planning Commission Tuesday to revise plans for Center Square East, the larger residential portion of the Five City Center project at Seventh and Walnut streets.

In November, the developer received planning commission approval for 220 apartments in a six-story building atop 239 underground parking spaces. Revised plans now call for 170 apartments on four stories atop 188 parking spaces.

Five City Center still stretches from Seventh Street to Eighth Street and Hamilton Street to Walnut with a massive courtyard in the center that will feature a swimming pool and sundeck, lounges and fire pits, grilling stations, turf areas and outdoor dining spaces for residents.

First-floor common spaces will also include a lounge, leasing area, fitness room, pet spa and a mailroom for residents that will feature cold storage for the delivery of groceries.

But design changes include eliminating a glass corridor in the northeast corner of Center Square East in favor of apartments that will feature floor-to-ceiling windows to offer the same aesthetic. The developer has also eliminated some apartments in favor of a rooftop lounge and terrace for residents that will offer views of Allentown Center Square.

After planning commissioners signed off on the changes, company president J.B. Reilly said Center Square East was scaled back to keep the project financially feasible and the proposed rents in line with original projections. A six-story apartment building just wasn't going to make financial sense in this market, he said.

"That's why you don't see a lot of six-story apartment buildings being built in this area," Reilly said.

Monthly rents for apartments at the $40 million Center Square East are projected to fetch between $1,200 and $1,700 for studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms.

Since receiving final approval for the project last year, City Center has also committed to building nearly 200 more apartments at its proposed City Place on the site of the former Holiday Inn at Ninth and Hamilton streets.

During a presentation to the planning commission last month, Reilly described the apartments as a "more attainable" option for people living and working downtown. Reilly said Tuesday that scaling back Five Center East can allow the company to "more aggressively" accelerate the construction timeline for City Place.

Shop Talk

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· Giant Food Stores opens Beer & Wine Eatery at Wind Gap store. Grand opening with beer and wine tastings on Dec. 6 from 5-7 p.m.

· Goodwill Keystone Area opened a new retail store and donation center at 2675 MacArthur Road in Whitehall Township. The center will be open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

· Your CBD Store celebrates its grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 16 in South Bethlehem.

· Hop Daddy’s Brewing Co. will open its its new brewery, restaurant and beer garden in downtown Allentown on Nov. 15.

.Kabab and Chutney, an Indian restaurant, recently opened on 3812 Easton-Nazareth HWY Easton. The hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday (closed on Tuesday).

Jersey Mike's Subs will open in Allentown on November 6. A grand opening and and free sub fundraiser will be held from Wednesday, November 6 to Sunday, November 10 to support the Salvation Army.

.Outside the Box Sneaker Boutique opens this Halloween in the lower level of Main Street Commons, 559 Main Street, Bethlehem. The grand opening is on October 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

.LVHN opens ExpressCARE in Palmerton on Oct. 29.

· Bath & Body Works is scheduled to open at the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley on October 26.

· A Frutta Bowls franchise will open on the ArtsWalk in downtown Allentown in mid-December 2019.

· Toys R Awesome, a new retro store in the Village West Shopping Center, has opened on 3022 West Tilghman Street.

· The Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp.  will welcome Panther Creek Pharmacy in Nesquehoning to Carbon County. The Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Celebration will take place on Friday, Oct. 25 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the pharmacy at 74 W. Catawissa Street.

· ShopRite will open a full-service supermarket on Friday, Nov. 1, with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting at the ShopRite of Stroudsburg in the Stroud Mall. 

· Foundational Health, a holistic wellness center, opened in Bethlehem at 1403 Center Street.  Foundational Health offers personalized nutritional coaching, weight loss plans, group coaching, infrared sauna with halo-therapy (salt therapy) and chromotherapy (color therapy).

· Taco Bell to open at site of former Wind Gap Professional Center off Route 33 in Plainfield Township.

· Dr. Joseph Patruno named chief wellness officer of Lehigh Valley Health Network, to address and promote the well-being of healthcare professionals and caregivers at LVHN.

· Big Lots will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 12. It will celebrate the grand opening of five newly remodeled stores throughout the Allentown area.

· The Peppermint Stick Candy Store of Boyertown is opening a second location in the High Street Terminal on 300 E. High Street in Pottstown. The grand opening is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 11.

· Madona Antiques Gallery will open in about a month at 283 Fifth Street in Whitehall Township. It will sell antique English, French and American furniture and lighting.

· Mealey's Furniture going out of business and closing all stores

· Green Earth Marketplace to celebrate renovations and new ownership with a ribbon-cutting event on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 9:45 a.m. at 1328 Chestnut Street in Emmaus

· Lehigh Fine Foods to hold grand opening celebration Saturday, Oct. 5 from 12-2 p.m. at 1301 Chestnut Street in Emmaus

· Grand View Health announces 5-year, $210M expansion plan. The most significant investment is the construction of a 5-floor expansion next to the Sellersville hospital, which will include a new emergency department and more.

· Roosevelt's 21st in Bethlehem to close on September 28

· 1847 Financial Lehigh Valley is hosting an Open House Celebration in recognition of the grand opening of their new space in Allentown. The event will take place on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. at 1550 Pond Road Suite 140 in Allentown.

· CBRE has arranged a lease for Venture X, a workspace community for entrepreneurs and businesses, at Gateway at Greenway Park in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This will be Venture X’s first location in Pennsylvania. 

· A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for You've Got Maids and The Gathering Place at 351 W. Broad Street in Quakertown on Sept. 26 at noon.

· Fischer's Tuxedo is celebrating 100 years in Quakertown. A ribbon-cutting on their next 100 years is set for Tuesday, Sept. 17 at noon.

· Multisport Fitness will host a grand opening celebration on Sept. 26 from 5-8 p.m. at the gym, located at 2016 South Delaware Drive in Upper Mount Bethel.

· The Vibe: Connect and Thrive fitness studio had a grand opening Sunday, Sept. 8 at 202 S. 3rd Street, Suite C, in Hamburg. 

· Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley has relocated to 2132 South 12th Street, Suite 401, in Allentown.

· LVHN ExpressCare to open in Lehighton on Sept. 3. The urgent care facility at 363 North First Street will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

· Dog grooming service to open along North Sixth Street in Allentown

· NY Gyro opened their second location at 129 E. Third Street in Bethlehem.

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