The PPL Center arena complex at Seventh & Hamilton streets in Allentown is a winner of an Urban Land Institute of Philadelphia’s 2015 Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Award for Excellence.
Mayor Ed Pawlowski was on hand to accept the award at a cocktail reception Wednesday night at the Ballroom at The Ben in Philadelphia. More than 250 persons attended.
Pawlowski said, “This is a transformational project for Allentown and it is gratifying that others see it that way as well. The ULI scores projects on use of best practices; quality planning and design; elements that build healthy places; environmental sustainability and energy reduction; economic success and market acceptance. I think we have met a pretty high standard.”
The ULI Philadelphia Awards for Excellence honor the legacy of Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III, civic leader, developer, and a founder of ULI Philadelphia, with a long-term commitment from Liberty Property Trust. Seven projects were honored with a 2015 award.
According to the ULI, “the development has been a catalyst for adjacent new residential and commercial redevelopment and has enhanced the image of Allentown as the commercial, entertainment and cultural center of the Lehigh Valley.”
Nearly 30 projects from eastern and central Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware were considered for awards.
The arena complex was developed by the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority with master planning and design by Elkus – Manfredi Architects and Sink Combs Dethlefs.
“ANIZDA is very proud to accept this prestigious award,” said Director Sara Hailstone. The awards chair had said last month that it was a challenge to narrow the field from 30 to 15, so you know the competition was fierce.”
According to its website, “ULI has set the global standard in recognizing outstanding and transformational land use developments, best practices and creative visioning. The ULI Philadelphia Awards for Excellence honor the best projects in the tri-state region. The widest possible range of project types and sizes will be considered – residential, commercial, industrial, mixed use, parks and open spaces and other developments from both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds.”