Downtown Allentown Receives Global Award for Excellence
Downtown Allentown recently received the Urban Land Institute’s 2017-2018 Global Award for Excellence. The award, which is the ULI’s most distinguished designation, recognizes city development projects that demonstrate ingenuity as well as ambitious design and growth. The ULI evaluates candidates using a range of criteria: city management, organization, economics, leadership, public/private partnerships, and contribution to the local community.
While Downtown Allentown has experienced bouts of decline in the past, it is now one of the fastest developing cities in Pennsylvania. In 2009, a state law was passed to establish the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) in downtown Allentown; the NIZ is a particular taxing district that promotes revitalization and growth. The crux of the NIZ is City Center which contains the PPL Center (a 10,000-seat arena), a large parking garage, the Renaissance Allentown Hotel, class A office space, luxury apartments, shops and dining. Several significant corporations are anchored in the area including Air Products, BB&T and Bank of America.
Twelve other cities received the award as well (seven in the United States, two in Canada, two in Asia, and one in Europe).