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Allentown's hockey-arena community development plan

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Allentown is looking to start a Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP), that would be associated with the downtown hockey arena, and revitalize the surrounding community.

If Pennsylvania designates an area as a Keystone Community, that neighborhood receives priority for revitalization grants from the state. In addition, this NPP would also receive money that Allentown's Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority (ANIZDA) sets aside for community redevelopment; which could be close to $1 million.

Through its "Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods: A Center City Initiative", which is a plan that Allentown is drafting and will use as a guide for any ANIZDA funds and money allocated through the NPP.

The city will submit an application that will details plans for the community. The initial application, which will be submitted on Wednesday and available for public viewing, includes the following provisions for community development:

  • Improving area housing by demolishing rundown homes, giving facade grants to homeowners that want to improve their property face, and the city buying multi-unit buildings and converting them to single family homes for resale.
  • Neighborhood infrastructure upgrades through new sidewalks and street lights, building a new community park, repairs to an existing one, and adding pedestrian friendly touches; more benches, new crosswalks, and bicycle racks.
  • Increased safety components with greater police patrols, re-establishing the police academy, and heighten gang awareness programs.
  • Greater economic development in promoting the Seventh and Hamilton Street business districts, business facade grants, and increased marketing for any companies in the zone.
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