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Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ)

Created by state law in 2011, the NIZ is a special taxing district that encourages development and revitalization in downtown Allentown. The NIZ consists of approximately 128 acres in downtown Allentown and the Waterfront district. All taxes generated in the NIZ (with the exception of school district and city taxes) can be used to pay debt service on any financed improvements within the NIZ.

 

How does the NIZ Work?

More than $1 billion in real estate development has been completed utilizing this unique tax incentive and financing tool to fund the development of an arena, office buildings, shops, restaurants, hotels, and apartments. All potential NIZ projects must be geographically located within the NIZ zone and must go through a pre-qualification, application, and if approved, closing process.

  • A new, or existing business must make an initial determination of the future incremental increase in tax revenue that will be generated in the NIZ as a result of the proposed improvement project.
  • Work with a bank to determine the level of financing that can be used using this future tax revenue as collateral.
  • Apply to the NIZ Authority (ANIZDA) for qualification of your proposed project.
  • Build your project.
  • Once in operation, the payment of your taxes associated with the project can go toward payment of the debt service on your project.

Interested in relocating your business to the NIZ? The NIZ has generated several developers that can provide rent credits back to end users. Space is available for retail, commercial, and restaurant use with access to talent and amenities. Contact the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority (ANIZDA).

Completed Projects

Butz Corporate Center is an owner-occupied office building with 100,000 sq. ft. of Class A office space available. Tenants have the option of working with the in-house architect to design a “state-of-the-art” space to fit their specific needs. A combination of restaurants and retail occupy the first floor providing on-site options for employee and corporate dining and catering. Butz Corporate Center is located in the heart of the downtown at 840 W. Hamilton Street. Contact Alvin H. Butz, Inc. for more information.

The Trifecta Building is a mixed-use 40,000 SF building located in the heart of Allentown at 612 Hamilton Street. The building is a retrofit of an early 20th century furniture store and warehouse that has been converted into loft-style, class A office space. The building is named for its anchor tenant, Trifecta Technologies, whose company headquarters occupy the top three floors of the building. The additional office consists of three 4,300 SF units on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The ground floor will feature a bistro style restaurant. Please email Jeff Brown for more information.

PPL Center - The NIZ legislation keyed the financing of the construction of the PPL Center, a multi-purpose arena that seats more than 10,000 for concerts and more than 8,500 hockey games, serving as home to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyer farm team).

Tower 6 is a mixed-use 142,000 SF building located in the heart of Allentown at 600 Hamilton Street is class A office space. The steel and glass construction provides abundant light and panoramic views of the entire city. Tower 6 has several major tenants across 12 floors occupying a mix of collaborative open space and private offices along with a first-floor retail space. Contact City Center Allentown for more information.

Planned Projects

The Waterfront - The Waterfront is the only development site in the Lehigh Valley that provides panoramic water views and direct access to the Lehigh River. Nestled alongside the western bank of the river, the nearly $300 million development will be a 26-acre mixed-use campus comprised of state-of-the-art office buildings, luxurious residences and a lively new restaurant and retail district. The Waterfront will also be a new place for the Valley to discover open space plazas brimming with events and vitality, a peaceful walking and riding path along the river, and a new way to reconnect with the water and the surrounding natural environment.

Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion is expanding to 8th and Hamilton Streets with its new science center and STEAM education facility. The center will total 67,000 square feet with a learning center, exhibition space, and interactive, immersive displays. Exhibits will include topics such as life science, environment, and manufacturing innovation and the center is expected to attract 400,000 visitors annually.

Visit the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority (ANIZDA) website to learn more about these and other projects within the NIZ.

Photos courtesy of City Center Investment Corporation, Alvin H. Butz, Inc., Jaindl Properties, Digital Feast, and Alyssha Csuk Pictures.

Contact Information

sbamford@allentownniz.com

Reporting
Please visit the ANIZDA website for reporting information and forms.

Additional Information
Doing Business in Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone

Map of the NIZ area