The site of the former Allentown State Hospital on the border of Allentown and Bethlehem has taken a big step towards re-use.
The Pennsylvania Department of General Services is awaiting final signatures from state officials on a sale agreement signed by Lehigh Valley developer City Center Investment Corporation in late December, a spokesman for the department said Wednesday.
A law authorizing the sale of national property was proposed last September by then-Republican Senator Pat Brown of Allentown and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolfe as part of Act 100 on November 3.
General Service spokesman Troy Thompson said: “We need to obtain legislative permission to move to any land.
The language of Act 100 expressly authorizes the sale of 195 acres of property along Hanover Avenue to City Center Investment Corporation for $5.5 million, the price listed in the pending sale. said Thompson.
The law also seeks to repeal a 2019 law that governed the process of selling hospital assets.
“We were unable to reach an agreement to sell” under prior approval, Mr. Thompson said.
- more: Toured the spooky Allentown State Hospital before its 2020 demolition. Here’s what we saw.
Led by President JB Riley, City Center transformed Center City Allentown through development supported by the state’s Neighborhood Improvement Zones. Established by state law in 2011, the NIZ is responsible for repaying debt service and bonds issued by the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority to fund various economic development projects within the zone, including the PPL Center. It is operated by infusing state and local taxes collected within the zone into the .
Reilly’s firm is also behind a mixed-use redevelopment of Easton’s Pine Street Garage into The Marquis as 280 apartments, ground floor retail and 305 parking spaces.
Allentown State Hospital envisions City Center transforming this property into something called Northridge. It’s a proposed combination of various housing options, public green spaces and potential retail outlets that are generating jobs and local tax revenue, Riley said.
Located primarily in Allentown, the land-based former mental hospital operated from 1913 to 2010. Prior to its demolition in 2020, the dormant building served as the setting for his M. Night Shyamalan film ‘Glass’.
“Now that the agreement is in place, we will begin the planning process and work with city planners to develop projects that will generate local tax revenue for the city and the Allentown School District,” Riley said this week.
Allentown’s new state senator Jarrett Coleman, a Republican who represents Pennsylvania’s 16th Senate district in Lehigh and Bucks counties, said the state’s failed real estate led to legislation last fall authored by Brown. It is leading a review of the sale attempt, Wake Call reports. Coleman defeated Brown in his 2022 Republican primary to win his four-year term in November.
A Coleman spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
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Reporter Pamela Sroka-Holzmann contributed to this report.
You can contact Kurt Bresswein at: email@example.com.