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Commercial real estate magazine shines spotlight on Allentown and NIZ

By LVEDC Staff on September 4, 2013

dev-tools-coverWith a little prodding and promotion from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, Northeast Real Estate Business magazine is giving Allentown and its Neighborhood Improvement Zone front page coverage in its current issue.

Colorful artist renderings of One City Center, Two City Center, PPL Center and The Waterfront accompany the in-depth Development Tools article that runs across three pages of the publication, which has a circulation of 45,000 readers made up of investors, brokers, owners, developers and architects.

Vice President of Marketing John McGran says the regional and national news coverage will become more common as LVEDC hones its messaging and pinpoints a targeted audience.

“Buying ads in trade magazines is a crapshoot at times,” says McGran. “While that approach can be good for branding purposes, editorial coverage is a much more effective – and cost-efficient – way to showcase Lehigh Valley.”

McGran and Jarrett Witt, LVEDC’s new vice president of economic development, were interviewed for the Northeast Real Estate Business feature. The developers behind the bulk of the NIZ projects – City Center, The Waterfront and Alvin H. Butz Inc. – provided the high-resolution images for the feature.

“This shows what we can accomplish when we work together to promote Lehigh Valley,” says McGran.  “While this feature may key on the remarkable renaissance of downtown Allentown, the next story pitch could land ink for initiatives in Easton, Bethlehem or even the Slate Belt.

“Lehigh Valley is a hotbed of economic development activity right now and it’s our job to make sure the nation knows about the great thing going on here. I believe news features will be far more compelling than traditional ads for site locators and businesses looking to relocate.”

Cover page features like the one in the August/September issue of Northeast Real Estate Business, are home runs in marketing circles. Having a respected trade magazine tout an area adds credibility to a story – and grabbing a cover page position sure doesn’t hurt.

“…in Eastern Pennsylvania, Allentown is abuzz thanks to the implementation of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) in downtown Allentown. The NIZ is driving the development of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey arena complex, a 185-room Fairmont hotel, and several high-rise commercial buildings,” writes Northeast Real Estate Business associate editor Rachel Goff.

Further down in the story, she notes, “Also making a splash in Allentown’s NIZ district is the 1 million-square-foot mixed-use project along the Lehigh River. Known as The Waterfront, the two-phase $250 million project will include 610,000 square feet of Class A office, 250,000 square feet of luxury apartments, 120,000 square feet of street-level retail, and 30,000 square feet of restaurant space.”

The feature also mentions Alvin H. Butz Inc., which is expanding and adding new businesses to its downtown presence.

McGran says LVEDC will not abandon traditional marketing avenues of print ads, collateral pieces and videos in an effort to attract businesses and jobs to Lehigh Valley. However, you can expect a more aggressive foray into targeted media coverage.

“I was hired to tell the story of Lehigh Valley and that’s what I intend to do, one publication at a time,” says McGran.

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