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LVEDC Awarded $466,250 for Allentown’s Waterfront Project

By LVEDC Staff on January 22, 2014

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation learned Wednesday that its grant application for environment remediation work at the future site of The Waterfront mixed-use development in Allentown was approved in the amount of $466,250.

The grant will help to advance cleanup of the former Lehigh Structural Steel location and return a section of the riverfront to a more pristine condition – and lay the groundwork for development of the Waterfront project, which includes one million square feet of proposed mix commercial, office, residential and retail uses, as well as almost 2,800 parking spaces.

The grant was prepared in-house by the Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative, which is a brownfield development program run by LVEDC through the support of Lehigh and Northampton counties.

“Making old industrial sites ready for new development is the goal here,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of LVEDC. “This LVLRI-initiated cleanup project will surely firm up the foundation for a brighter future for the City of Allentown and its waterfront property.

“By working with Waterfront developers Jaindl Properties and Dunn Twiggar – groups that are sinking $285 million of their own money into this project – we are dutifully constructing the foundation for more businesses, more jobs and more tax revenue for Lehigh Valley. It’s a major win for all parties involved.”

Gov. Tom Corbett broke the news that the Department of Environmental Protection will invest more than $20.65 million in watershed protection projects to improve watersheds, reduce stormwater runoff and acid mine drainage, and support educational programs, among other environmental efforts.

In all, Pennsylvania is funneling a total of 118 grants to 40 counties.

“Maintaining water quality and protecting Pennsylvania’s resources is an important focus of my administration,” Corbett said. “The millions invested in these grants demonstrate our continued commitment to protecting and preserving our environment and natural resources for generations to come.”

Tracy Oscavich, director of LVLRI, noted that the Waterfront grant will help with environmental improvements such as capping and re-stabilization of the river bank that will help to significantly decrease the likelihood of future impairment to the Lehigh River Watershed as well as improve the health of the aquatic ecosystem.

“The Waterfront is the only development site in the Lehigh Valley that provides panoramic water views and direct access to the Lehigh River.,” Oscavich said. “Because of this grant, the Waterfront will be a new place for the Valley to discover open space plazas brimming with events and vitality, a public landing to welcome boaters ashore and a walking path along the river, perfect to meander and enjoy.”

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