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Allentown NIZ board approves $62.5 million in funding for first Waterfront apartment building

A rendering of the proposed River House apartments that are part of The Waterfront project along the Lehigh River in Allentown.
A rendering of the proposed River House apartments that are part of The Waterfront project along the Lehigh River in Allentown.
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Funding for the second building of Janidl Enterprises’ development along the Lehigh River received approval from the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority at Wednesday’s meeting.

The board unanimously approved $62.5 million in bonds to construct an apartment building at 30 E. Allen St. Known as River House, the first residential building in The Waterfront complex will feature 201 market-rate apartments and with first-floor retail space and on-site parking.

Owner’s equity for the project will be $7.2 million with $1.5 million in interest earnings to put the total cost at $71.4 million.

At last week’s NIZ Development Authority Project Review Committee meeting, Jaindl had initially asked about $60 million in funding through bonds. That increased slightly because costs for preparing the site for construction changed over the week, according to Zachary Jaindl, chief operating officer of Jaindl Enterprises.

“We had to upgrade our groundwork system to a micropile system which is about $1.5 million in excess of what we had,” Jaindl said.

ANIZDA Executive Director Steve Bamford said the bond issue for the project has a limit of $66 million, which gives the project some breathing room.

Another $2.2 million will go toward a tenant improvement allowance for 615 Waterfront, the development’s first office building, which was unveiled in October.

Jaindl also presented two additional projects where funding will come from the developer: 715 Waterfront, dubbed Stone Hall, an apartment building with 157 units along the river, estimated to cost $31 million; and two parking lots totaling more than 350 spaces that will cost $2.5 million.

In other business, Bamford gave updates on projects in the NIZ, as the Da Vinci Science Center opened its new building on the 800 block of Hamilton Street last month.

“We are in the midst of a very busy construction season in the NIZ,” he said. “You might notice steel going up at the Neuweiler Lofts site along Front Street. So we’re seeing vertical development there. Downtown, Archer Music Hall and the Moxy Hotel are both progressing very nicely and are on pace to be completed in the fall of this year.”

Streetscapes along the 800 and 900 block of Hamilton are still under construction, but should “be wrapping up in the not too distant future.”

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