A very good sign that the NIZ is working as planned, via Jennifer Woodward:
Ron Coleman, an associate broker at NextRE Associate in Allentown, has been a Lehigh Valley Realtor since 1980. He said that he has seen many positive changes taking place in the vicinity of the arena.
Coleman owns three properties on Hamilton Street, on both sides of the hockey arena. These properties are commercial storefronts with residential space above.
“Prices have firmed up, gone up, and there is kind of a scramble in the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) zone because of the taxes… let’s say a restaurant wants to come into the area and they spend the money to improve the property, then the sales tax comes back to that business once a year,” said Coleman.
“The owner (of a NIZ property) knows he can lower the price per square foot on his property because he gets money back from the state.”
Coleman, who is also a principal with Smith, Coleman, Stoker & Kave Realty Services in Allentown, reported that the hockey arena has created a rippling effect, giving people a great incentive to buy and improve properties – many of which had a negative stigma, were in disrepair or left vacant for years well before NIZ and the hockey arena project took shape.