ALLENTOWN, Pa. | The Allentown Planning Commission has signed off on City Center Investment Corporation’s latest downtown office project.
Planners on Tuesday granted final approval for the developer’s 1 Center Square project at the corner of Seventh and Hamilton streets. The commission also approved a proposal to demolish nearly all the building that currently houses a Wells Fargo bank. Project Manager Rob DiLorenzo told planning commissioners that the building is largely vacant.
City Center plans to construct a 16-story, roughly 250-foot high building that will include nearly 6,000 square feet of first-floor retail space.
DiLorenzo said the building at 702 W. Hamilton St. has no historical significance but that there is some value in the architecture. Last week, the city’s Historical Architectural Review Board recommended that the city’s zoning hearing board approve the building’s demolition with conditions.
DiLorenzo said 1 Center Square will incorporate the old building’s north and east facades with the main entrance onto Hamilton Street and a secondary entrance off South Seventh Street.
In order to make the project economically feasible, the developer designed the upper floors with more square footage to achieve the necessary “density,” DiLorenzo told planning commissioners. As a result, the building will cantilever about 18 feet into the public right-of-way on the east side, starting with the fifth floor. The developer will need a permit for such an encroachment.
Members of the planning commission varied on whether they liked the fact that the building will cantilever 18 feet over the sidewalk and the materials that will be used on the lower floors below what will be a glass building. But ultimately the board unanimously approved the project.
City Center also has designs a six- or seven-story office building at 940 and 950 Hamilton St.