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LVEDC Panel Event to Focus on Adaptive Re-Use

By Colin McEvoy on November 11, 2014

The interior of Trifecta Technologies building in Allentown, which was adapted from the old Schoen's Furniture Store. (Photo courtesy Shane Patrick Associates and Alyssha Csuk Photography)

The interior of Trifecta Technologies building in Allentown, which was adapted from the old Schoen’s Furniture Store. (Photo courtesy Shane Patrick Construction and Alyssha Csuk Photography)

The old Schoen’s Furniture Store in downtown Allentown had sat vacant for more than 20 years. Now, it has found new life as a loft-style office building with a mix of modern and historical architecture, a rooftop terrace and plans for a street-level restaurant.

It’s an excellent Lehigh Valley example of adaptive re-use: the redevelopment of an old building into a new and exciting purpose other than that for which it was originally built.  And so it’s the perfect place for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. (LVEDC) to host its Conversations & Cocktails event about that very topic.

LVEDC’s Brokers & Developers Council will host a panel discussion about adaptive re-use, discussing strategies to overcome roadblocks to redevelopment, how to assess and remediate potential environmental issues, and how to identify what assistance is available to help make re-use projects successful.

The Brokers & Developers Council Conversations & Cocktails will held December 2 at the 612 W. Hamilton St. building, starting with building tours at 3 p.m., to be followed by the panel discussion at 4 p.m. Click here for more information and to register for this free event.

“Whatever stigma is associated with a formerly-used building, the purpose of this event is to get past that stigma and to educate about the many possibilities for such a project,” said Andrew Kleiner, LVEDC director of redevelopment and external affairs. “People think of these as big daunting projects, but they shouldn’t. There are challenges and work that has to be done, but LVEDC is there to help with that.”

The panel will include Kleiner; Todd Chambers of MKSD Architects; Derrick Davis of Shane Patrick Construction; and Betsy Schamberger of Moonstone Environmental. After a question-and-answer session, a period of networking, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will run from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The panel discussion will focus on adaptive re-use perspective from municipalities, environmental scientists, developers and building users. These four key perspectives will provide a unique window into the benefits and challenges associated with adaptive re-use, and the goal of the panel event is to help attendees understand different perspectives on making adaptive re-use a success.

The former Schoen’s Furniture Store is now the home of Trifecta Technologies, a software firm occupying the top three stores. The site was redeveloped earlier this year after having been vacant since 1992, with the original brick façade preserved on the front of the building, and a modern steel-and-glass exterior wall along the side. LVEDC’s Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative (LVLRI), which promotes economic development through the reuse of abandoned or underutilized commercial and industrial properties, providing funding for the project’s environmental assessment.

The Brokers & Developers Council Conversations & Cocktails is made possible by the support of our presenting host sponsor, Feinberg Real Estate Advisors. LVEDC’s Brokers & Developers Council includes commercial and industrial real estate brokers, site selectors, developers, bankers, corporate real estate engineers, architects and construction professionals.

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