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Allentown City News

Bond Issue Closed for Arena Development

Last updated: 10/08/2012 02:09

The Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority (ANIZDA) successfully closed its $224,380,000 bond issue this morning, providing the necessary funding to construct the arena complex.

“This now completes a very crucial step and a huge milestone in the revitalization of Allentown and the surrounding areas,” said Scott Shearer, Managing Director of Public Financial Management, who served as financial advisor for the bond issue. Shearer added that the bonds received strong investor demand and the results were better than previously anticipated.

“The closing of the bond issue is an historical moment for the City of Allentown,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “We now have all the necessary funding to move full steam ahead with the arena project. After just celebrating the city’s 250th anniversary this past weekend, it’s thrilling to recognize this defining moment today and mark a new beginning for the city.”

Senator Pat Browne added, “This is indeed a monumental day in the history of Allentown. The Neighborhood Improvement Zone legislation worked the way it was intended to, and the fact that the bonds rated at investment quality speaks to strength of the financing backing this project. I couldn’t be more pleased for the city and the people who have worked so hard to get this revitalization off the ground.”

According to Shearer, the Bonds were underwritten by Citigroup Global Markets, who acted as senior manager with Janney Montgomery Scott and Samuel A. Ramirez & Co. acting as co-managers. The bonds were sold in two series, the Series 2012A in the principal amount of $183,955,000 and the Series 2012B (federally taxable) in the principal amount of $40,425,000. The 2012A bonds have a final maturity of May 1, 2042, and the 2012B bonds have a final maturity of May 1, 2024. The bonds were sold at an overall average interest rate of 4.7786% and were issued in very favorable market conditions, with both tax-exempt and taxable yield curves near all-time lows.

The arena will be home to The Phantoms franchise of the American Hockey League. The Phantoms are the minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers.

The closing of the bonds paves the way for the signing of additional contracts associated with the construction of the facility. Visitors should begin to notice more activity on the site from Hamilton Street to Linden Street and from Seventh Street to Eighth Street this fall.
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