ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A Jersey City-based real estate development company received the nod Wednesday afternoon from the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority to transform two long-ago abandoned factory buildings on the west side of Allentown's riverfront.
John Palumbo, vice president of development for Manhattan Building Co., said the project's first phase will entail revamping the existing low-rise former factory structure at 207 N. Front St., next door to the former site of American Atelier Furniture.
The $4.8 million "Riverfront Lofts" project will result in a mix of residential and business units including 25 apartments on the two upper levels, and offices and commercial units on the ground and other floors.
Palumbo noted the venture is a joint one with Urban Residential Properties, whose owner Alex Wright already owns 100 apartments in Allentown and began many years ago with his first redevelopment of a downtown property at Fifth and Gordon streets.
Palumbo added Wright and Sanford Weiss, principal of Manhattan Building Co., have been involved in apartment building projects in New Jersey, just outside Manhattan, for decades now.
Palumbo said he and his partners presently have 1,100 units under construction in Jersey City.
Following completion of the Riverfront project, Manhattan Building Co. plans to permanently relocate its company headquarters there from Jersey City.
The company also owns property on the site of the former Neuweiler Brewery at 401 N. Front St.
Palumbo said plans for a previously proposed redevelopment of the former Neuweiler bottling building and loading dock are still part of the total venture.
Construction at 207 N. Front St. is expected to begin late this summer after all planning and zoning details are finalized, Palumbo said.