Do you Really Believe in the NIZ, Allentown PA

4 Replies

Attn Allentown PA Investors, Do you really believe in the NIZ, is Allentown stuck in the mud, and do you think people in Lehigh Valley actually would want to live/work/play in downtown Allentown?

I ask because I have an opp to purchase a 22k sqft old warehouse near the NIZ (north of Hamilton, West of 7th) and the building needs everything done to it. I have looked at comps (Versailles, Strata, P&P, and so on) which are "filled" and generating the rents I would like, however I am concerned that the "A Type" market I am shooting for is extremely limited, and could be eliminated should Allentown start swinging back the other direction. Landlords in Allentown, are you noticing your improvements to generate a higher quality tenant, or is it hard to not be a slum lord in Allentown? Thank you!

Shane, I am a full time local investor. The answer to your question isn’t exactly straightforward. I do believe the NIZ will succeed. I have a lot of rental units just outside the boundaries of the NIZ, but that doesn’t mean they translate into attracting the same type of tenants JB gets downtown. I think the answer to your question depends more on the location of your property and a lot of zoning issues that may or may not afford you the opportunity to do what you’d like there. I think I know which property you’re talking about, though. Assuming you don’t have it under contract yet, and aren’t comfortable sharing the address on the open forum, PM me and I will give you a background of the property and the issues you may have in doing what you’re invisioning.

Thank you Joe, I agree that location is everything for Allentown right now, the less of a ghetto my tenants will have to walk through to get to the right areas of Hamilton is crucial. I will post the address once I have the property formally locked up, as of now I just have a verbal agreement form the seller. I know I will need a special exception for this project and that is the least of my worries about the success of the project. I hope to see more landlords in Allentown posting renovated rental adds and less more of the same low end properties that attract bad tenants continuing the local opinion that Allentown is dangerous. 

Without giving it away. Is it zoned B2 or R-MH?

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