Christopher Shaw, Author at Cityplace

City Center Residential Announces Plans to Develop Apartment Community at 9th and Hamilton Streets

City Center Residential today announced plans to develop a 120-unit apartment building at 9th and Hamilton streets and a 78-unit addition to that building at 9th and Maple streets in downtown Allentown. The Allentown Planning Commission approved the project today.

City Center is converting the nine-story former Holiday Inn, the contents of which it donated to local nonprofits, into a residential tower known as Cityplace. Cityplace will be the company’s tallest residential building. An addition to the building’s south side will contain 78 additional apartments surrounding a courtyard. Cityplace will offer studio, one-bedroom and two apartments.

Cityplace’s design finishes and amenities will parallel the high-quality features City Center Residential properties are known for, but the building’s rental rates will be lower. Some of the unique features included in the adaptive reuse complex include:

  • Exposed concrete ceilings in the north tower.
  • Wood-plank luxury vinyl tile flooring throughout.
  • Ultra large windows with stunning city and mountain views.
  • More creative industrial feel than City Center Residential’s other properties.

The first floor will contain more than 20,000 square feet of office, retail and amenity space. Cityplace will also feature retail frontage on Hamilton Street and additional space on 9th Street. Residents will have direct access to the parking deck off Maple Street behind the building.

“Cityplace is our answer to those who want to live comfortably in a cool, urban setting and enjoy great amenities but at a lower price point,” said Zachary Sienicki, vice president of City Center Residential. “Cityplace will feel almost like a modern boutique hotel, offering a neat lobby, a resident lounge, a fitness center and attractive Juliet balconies along Hamilton Street.”

Construction at Cityplace is underway with move-ins planned to begin in the tower in early 2020 and in the addition in the fall of 2020. Follow the project at www.CityplaceAllentown.com or on Facebook and Instagram at @CityplaceAllentown.

City Center Residential is currently preleasing 95 apartments in phase one of Center Square Lofts at 8th and Walnut streets, which will begin welcoming residents in September of 2019.

To learn more about Center Square Lofts or join the preleasing list for Cityplace you can also call the City Center Residential Central Leasing Office on 610.841.2489.

City Center Residential’s existing communities in downtown Allentown include STRATA West, STRATA East, STRATA Symphony, 520 Lofts and Walnut Street Commons. The 437 apartments among those five buildings have been leased. Learn more about each of City Center’s residential communities in downtown Allentown at www.CityCenterAllentown.com/Residential.

City Center Investment Corp. Commissions Three Murals for Downtown Allentown’s ArtsWalk

City Center Investment Corp., the real estate development company revitalizing downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, announced today it has commissioned three murals for Allentown’s ArtsWalk. Painted this spring by world-renowned artists from around the country, the murals will adorn outside walls of the historic Sovereign building, the Linden Parking Deck and the STRATA Annex building.

The first muralist, Miami-based Ernesto Maranje, began his work on the rear corner of the Sovereign building at 609 Hamilton Street on April 22. Maranje, a master painter, illustrator and muralist of animals, will spray-paint a large-scale red-tailed hawk on the wall overlooking the ArtsWalk pocket park. With an extensive worldwide collection, Maranje paints colorful, whimsical works that remind viewers of their connection to nature. The red-tailed hawk was chosen for Allentown to symbolize the tenacity and freedom of the region. The 50-foot by 50-foot mural will be completed in approximately two weeks.

A second mural, created by Brooklyn artist ELLE, is slated to begin at the end of May on the rear of the parking deck at 612 Linden Street, facing the ArtsWalk. ELLE’s mural, which is in the final design stages, will feature a strong woman representing the future, and made through the combination of history, mythology, various ethnicities, contemporary ideas and more. The mural is meant to show the perseverance and power of women. Although ELLE began as an illegal graffiti artist in New York, she is now considered one of the world’s top touring street artists and has worked with brands Reebok, IKEA, Smart Car and many more. ELLE was selected because of her recognized style of collaging images of people with various ethnicities. Her 60-foot-tall by 30-foot-wide spray-painted mural will also take roughly two weeks to produce.

The third mural is planned for the STRATA Annex building across the ArtsWalk from The Downtown Allentown Market, which is scheduled to open in the fall. Collaborative mural and street-art team NS/CB of Miami will begin their botanical-themed mural June 15.

“City Center is excited to introduce more public art in downtown Allentown,” said City Center Vice President of Project Design and Corporate Branding Jane Heft, who coordinated the project. “We hope it will inspire the community and become a source of pride for those who live and work here. The ArtsWalk will be alive with new beauty this summer.”

The muralists were curated by Dripped On Productions of New York City, an art production company specializing in murals and street art for developments, events and businesses, such as MasterCard, Pabst Blue Ribbon and ArtsQuest. The company’s CEO and cofounder, Denton Burrows, earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Lehigh University.

“Dripped On Productions has set its sights on Allentown in partnership with City Center to beautify and transform major parts of downtown Allentown with professionally executed murals and works to brighten, beautify and inspire a historical and diverse city,” Burrows said.

Allentown’s pedestrian-only ArtsWalk begins on Seventh Street across from the PPL Center and runs east past the STRATA West and East residential buildings to Sixth Street. It continues along both sides of Miller Symphony Hall and through the Arts Park to end at the Allentown Art Museum on Fifth Street.

City Center Investment Corp. previously commissioned two large-scale murals in downtown Allentown. In 2016, Amber Art and Design of Philadelphia installed a colorful stylized sunrise on the southwest corner of the Linden Parking Deck, facing the ArtsWalk, and in 2018, muralist Matt Halm created a seven-story mural inside a glass-enclosed stairwell in 520 Lofts, City Center’s residential building at 520 Hamilton Street.

City Center Reveals First Four Merchants For Future Downtown Allentown Market

City Center Investment Corp., the real estate development company revitalizing downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, today revealed the first four merchants for its Downtown Allentown Market, which will open on the ArtsWalk in the early fall of 2019.

The lineup includes three local merchants of ethnic cuisine who have other locations and one microcreamery startup. They are:

  • Shinsen, a sushi/poke bowl concept from the owners of Asian Bistros II in Bethlehem. 
  • Zahra, a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean concept from the family who has owned Aladdin restaurant in Allentown since 1981.
  • Batch Microcreamery, a startup offering made-from-scratch premium ice cream that will be handcrafted onsite with fresh, quality ingredients.
  • Little Miss Korea, an authentic, fresh Korean bowl concept with a one-year-old location in the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market.

“City Center is so excited to bring this project to life, and we’re starting off strong with our first four merchants,” said City Center’s Retail Leasing and Activation Manager Natalia Stezenko. “We’re in negotiations now for the five remaining merchant bays and can’t wait to share those concepts with the public this summer.”

The Downtown Allentown Market will be located on the ArtsWalk in a 12,000-square-foot space. It will feature nine bays for local and regional food merchants offering high-quality, fast-casual food and drink, such as baked goods and coffee, soups and salads, sandwiches, craft beer or wine, to name a few. The Downtown Allentown Market will provide ample indoor seating and flexible space for events, programming and pop-up shops. Regional muralists will bring unique local flavor to the walls, and large-scale windows will connect seamlessly to outdoor seating along the ArtsWalk.

City Center hired two firms that helped launch The Bourse food hall in Philadelphia to create The Downtown Allentown Market: Groundswell Design Group, a design firm specializing in place-making, public space activation and hospitality projects, and Cana Development, a commercial real estate development and brokerage firm that delivers mixed-use urban redevelopment projects with a focus on retail, hospitality and entertainment.
Customers can sign up for The Downtown Allentown Market newsletter and learn more at www.DowntownAllentownMarket.com and follow the project on Facebook and Instagram at @DowntownAllentownMarket and #DAMThatsTasty.

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