Friday, December 08, 2006

Plaza at PPL in Allentown purchased for $83 million

The building at the epicenter of Allentown's fledgling downtown revitalization effort has gone global.

A syndicate of domestic and foreign investors led by a New York City-based investment group has purchased the eight-story Plaza at PPL Center from the Malvern, Chester County-based Liberty Property Trust.

The building sold Nov. 27 for just over $83 million.

Completed in 2003 at a cost of $60 million, the award-winning, environmentally friendly green building at Ninth and Hamilton streets is on the site of the former Hess's Department Store and is still an anchor of the city's commercial district.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski said he was encouraged by the sale price of the building, which he said demonstrates a $23 million gain in value in three years.

''It shows there are investors from all over the country and all over the world who are willing to invest in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley if given the opportunity,'' Pawlowski said.

Besides PPL offices, the building is home to a newly opened Amazon Cafe restaurant and KNBT Bank branch. A restaurateur has been trying unsuccessfully to open a Tex-Mex eatery called Johnny Manana's in another first-floor retail space. That remains in the works.

More here.

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