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Additional suitors emerge for Queen City Airport land

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On June 1, the city of Allentown made an offer to the the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA) to purchase an 8 acre parcel of land near the Queen City Airport that houses a hangar that the city currently leases for it streets department.

The motives for that offer was placed under scrutiny by the Lehigh Valley General Aviation Association (LVGAA); who believes the city is attempting to coerce the LNAA into selling the airport entirely, and now better fitting suitors for the land has emerged, according to LVGAA president, Michael Rosenfeld.

Fegley Brew Works is considering the space for a microbrewery project that would triple its brewing capacity by allowing them to brew 20,000 barrels a year, and include a tasting room and offering pub style food on the premises; but not a full scale restaurant like its other two locations in Allentown and Bethlehem.

Industrial Developments International (IDI) is considering the land for a warehouse project that would involve developing 1 million square feet of warehouse space and potentially could bring 300 jobs and significant increase in tax revenue for the area.

In addition, the Brew Works and IDI projects, both of which are in early concept phase, involve plans for repairing the Queen City Airport hangars, which are badly in need of repairs.

Also the microbrewery project would promote tourism for the airport and the warehouse project would bring in more business for the airport.

All these things will be considered when the airport authority meets next month to consider issuing requests for more formal proposals on the projects.

However, the LVGAA thinks more weight should be be given to these proposals versus the city of Allentown's offer, because they do more to benefit regional aviation purposes.

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