The City of Reading wants to be like in Allentown, in one respect; they want to kick-off a downtown revival that's comparable. Allentown will probably receive $1 billion or more in construction development projects through its Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) designation.
Unable to obtain an official NIZ designation, Reading is hoping to create more jobs, revitalize bad neighborhoods, and fix up the downtown through private investment in the city.
The Reading Redevelopment Authority lists a 50 acre site that the city would like to turn into a light industrial park to attract manufacturing business.
The city also announced plans for a $60 million Doubletree Hotel next to the Santander Arena, formerly the Sovereign Center.
So far, Reading has received a Main Street designation, which it will use to create more and customize existing downtown retail spaces.
Also, the Municipality of Morgan, which is directly outside Reading city limits, is home to a consortium that owns thousands of acres available for development. The area that is right off the Reading turnpike exit, and most visible from the highway, has 206 acres that were designated as a Keystone Opportunity Zone.