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Arena Complex Wins Award for Smart Growth

Arena Complex Wins Award for Smart Growth
The City of Allentown’s future arena complex is in receipt of a 2013 Commonwealth Award from 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, the state’s leading advocate for responsible land use. Mayor Ed Pawlowski accepted the award last night at a ceremony at the Crowne Plaza in Harrisburg.

The Commonwealth Awards recognize the impact of “smart growth” projects across the state and the people who make them happen. Specifically, Allentown’s arena complex received the “Building a Better Community Award.”

The downtown complex, which is due for completion in the fall of 2014, will feature the PPL Center arena, a high-rise office building called One City Center, a full-service hotel, retail and restaurant space, and parking. Its smart-growth project merits include: redevelopment with a compact footprint that conserves land and reduces consumption, adaptive reuse of the historic Dime Bank Building, use of existing infrastructure, catalyzing meaningful neighborhood revitalization, and many more.

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the city,” said Pawlowski. “The arena complex is a collaboration between government and business interests. The Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) is bringing unprecedented amount of development to our city and Making Allentown a model for redevelopment for cities to emulate.”

10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a leading statewide voice for great places to live and work, works with citizens, organizations and public officials to create land use, infrastructure and governance policies and practices that protect the state’s resources, strengthen its economy and improve the quality of life in Pennsylvania. The organization supports local and state government agencies, regional and community leaders, private firms and practitioners working to preserve or build great places.

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