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Pawlowski Announces 19th Street Facade Program

Pawlowski Announces 19th Street Facade Program
The City of Allentown is committing an initial $50,000 to complete façade projects for any buildings that front along 19th Street from Liberty Street to Tilghman Street. Mayor Ed Pawlowski made the announcement this afternoon at a news conference outside Civic Theatre’s 514 building.

The funds will be given in the form of a self-forgiving loan, $15,000 maximum, and requiring a dollar-for-dollar match from the owner. According to Pawlowski, Civic Theatre’s 514 building, Blink Optical at 524 N. 19th Street and Daniel Joseph Real Estate at 618 N. 19th Street have already expressed interest.

“I know that the most visible investments in the city are being made in the downtown with the hockey arena and nearby development, but we are seeing improvements and investments all across the city,” said Pawlowski. “The current 19th Street streetscape project and its subsequent phases represent $3.1 million in investment in the district.”

The 19th Street investment represents $1.5 million from the city; $1.5 million in RACP funds from the state and $100,000 from the Allentown Fairgrounds.

The first phase of the streetscape project is expected to be completed by mid-summer.

The façade projects will take the opportunity to restore or repair historic and architecturally significant features, enhance lighting, upgrade signage, and in some cases ensure the long-term integrity of the buildings along 19th Street.

The program was praised by West End Alliance President Michael Drabenstott. “The program will encourage our merchants and property owners to invest in their businesses and our neighborhood. And when people are invested, they’re involved and committed. We thank the city for its continued support of the West End Theatre District.”

Pawlowski said, “Last year we celebrated our 250th Anniversary. With this effort and our projects like those that I have described going on all across this city, our next 250 years are off to a very productive start.”
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