The Waterfront | November 12, 2015

The Waterfront Commences Groundbreaking

The Waterfront Development Company Revealed 645 Waterfront Drive, Unveiled The Updated Master Plan, And Announced Numerous Additional Features to Commemorate the Project’s Groundbreaking

The Waterfront Development Company celebrated the project groundbreaking today for the twenty-six acre mixed-use campus along the western banks of the Lehigh River in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The development, now projected to cost $400 million at full build-out, will introduce six brand new office buildings, three residential complexes, three parking structures, a vibrant main street and a signature half-mile River Walk. Each of the twelve new buildings is programmed to offer both retail and restaurant space.

It is an indisputable fact that the development and economic success of Pennsylvania businesses, cities and communities would not have been possible without its rich and bountiful waterways. I applaud Jaindl Properties, the Dunn Twiggar Company and the Michael Dunn Company for recognizing the importance of Allentown’s waterfront to the entire region and for investing in this state-of-the-art plan that includes residential, commercial, recreational and entertainment components to continue the efforts being made to revitalize Allentown’s downtown and underused waterfront property.

Senator Pat Browne Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman

Among the announcements was the update to the site’s master plan: residential complexes were consolidated and restructured to offer interior court yards and first floor parking. The site will now offer 425 market-rate apartments compared to the original 172 originally planned for the site. 560 Waterfront Drive was increased in size from four to eight stories and an additional structured parking garage is proposed in place of the former surface lot at 545 Riverside Drive. Additional amphitheaters, further plans for the programmable plazas, and other amenities in order capitalize on the direct river access were revealed as well.

It’s critical to redevelop our former industrial sites and to strengthen our urban cores in the Lehigh Valley. The Waterfront project presents a unique and brand new vision of how we can do that and access our Lehigh Riverfront, while continuing one of the most dramatic urban turnarounds in the entire country. LVEDC is proud to be a partner in this through our unique Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative which has provided federal environmental assistance to the effort.

Don Cunningham President & CEO | LVEDC

The new plan also reflects the recently unveiled Riverside Drive, a road announced in March 2015 and made feasible through the acquisition of three-and-a-half miles of railroad running along the western borders of the project. The railroad, unsuited for passenger rail, was removed in late October in preparation of Riverside Drive construction. The acquisition allowed the Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Trail to link the northern and southern legs of their biking and walking path, effectively making Allentown a major hub on the 165-mile network of trail ways.

The first views of 645 Waterfront drive, now expected to be the first building constructed at the Waterfront, were unveiled to event attendees. The building was designed by MKSD Architects to introduce brand new Class A space while integrating unique and memorable architectural features.

MKSD architects is thrilled to be a part of one of the premier development projects in the Lehigh Valley, the Waterfront. We’ve designed 645 Waterfront Drive to reflect the timeless stature of the best-in-market image that the Waterfront will surely become known for.

Todd Chambers Partner | MKSD Architects

The Waterfront Development Company, comprised of Jaindl Properties, LLC, Dunn Twiggar Company, LLC, and Michael Dunn Co, LTD, was formed in January 2012. Since their partnership the project’s entire master plan was redesigned, internal leasing and construction teams were recruited, design and development teams were established for the site as well as individual buildings, Phase I received final plan approval, and demolition on all dilapidated buildings in Phase I of the project has been completed. Site-wide infrastructure is anticipated to take approximately eighteen months, though building construction can be phased in and begin at any time during that time frame. The project is expected to take approximately eight years for full build-out.

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