Allentown, with a city population of just over 100,000 residents, and the Lehigh Valley with over 250,000, is being recognized nationally as an economic success story. Site Selection magazine ranks the Lehigh Valley second in economic development--attracting new business--among areas of similar size.
Allentown's downtown renaissance was featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal as the blueprint for small and mid-size cities to follow when attempting their to create their own revival or renewal.
Allentown using the state's Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) program to build a new downtown hockey arena, surround it with upscale urban development, and even create a waterfront district, has currently over $500 million in construction development ongoing, with another $500 million scheduled for the upcoming future.
Starting just three years ago, in what seemed unbelievable at the time, PA's third largest city is near completion on the hockey arena, began construction or planning on the connecting hotel, multiple center city office buildings, retail shops, restaurants, arts and music center, and luxury apartments.
Additionally, Allentown is now predicting that the city will see nearly 3,000 new people a day starting in September, coinciding with the arena opening.