The former Spirits of Allentown building looks as if it’s going to finally get a new treatment. The building has been in need of an upgrade for years. Now, a poster has popped up in one of the windows that shows a rendering depicting a slightly new vision for the corner.
If done up right, this building could be another lynchpin project for Allentown. In recent years, the intersection of Allen and Wadsworth has experienced its fair share of ups and down. It was about a decade ago that we lost the Falcon Building, directly next to this building (on Wadsworth). There is a gap tooth driveway where the The Falcon once stood – a serious loss for the neighborhood, due to demolition by neglect.
Offsetting that disastrous loss, Noel Sutton rebounded back with the resurrection of The Puritan Building (see here). This corner could really “turn the corner” with a crucial investment of this nature, especially if it manages to attract the right tenant upon completion (Spirits of Allentown is now closed).
As for the look of the project (“Allen at Days Park” – developer is ZimSala, LLC), I’m not sure about keeping the central white strip that runs the length of the building – it seems a bit out of place with the rest of the colors. But overall, it’s a breath of fresh air to finally see that someone is about to revitalize this crucial bookend building.
It turns out the ZimSala is a development firm headed up by Bill Zimmermann. Bill feels that the building is a dream project – Allentown’s “Tavern on the Green”, overlooking Days Park. This particular project is close to his heart. While Bill is not the owner, he is helping to manage the development of this property, and others. Come spring, Bill is overseeing a team that intends on remodeling this building, which Bill considers the kingpin of his development team. Work is already taking place on the inside, including new floors going in. Then the facade will start to transition. The team has landed matching grants to fix up the facade. The plan is to fix up the building in order to get the best tenant that they can. Stay tuned as this project unfolds.
Bill says that this is an example of a dedicated team doing the right thing, by being proactive and fixing up a building, with the help and blessings of the building’s owner. Instead of waiting for a tenant to sign on the dotted line, and then fixing the place up, this team is investing in the space, in order to attract a tenant.