By Michele Salomon
Congregation Keneseth Israel
“...So we’re living here in Allentown …,” as Billy Joel famously sang and went on to portray as a city past its prime. But thanks to a major redevelopment, Allentown was recently named one of Fortune Magazine’s “5 Cities With Up-and-Coming Downtowns.” There is new office and retail space, restaurants, luxury apartments and an event arena to host our very own hockey team, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, so it might be time for Billy Joel to write us a new song that matches our new image.
Congregation Keneseth Israel’s Adult Education Committee invites the community to join us at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 1, for brunch and a presentation given by three distinguished leaders who played key roles in bringing this redevelopment to life. Learn how it came about, why it was important to do, what it means for you, for Allentown and the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Through innovative financing, legislation and dedication by numerous elected officials and community leaders, Allentown is on the upswing and its downtown is, once again, a destination with something for everyone: The Eagles have been here. Disney on Ice, Neil Diamond and Nickelback are on their way. There are new restaurants, new life and all new reasons to go downtown. And established standbys like the Allentown Art Museum and Allentown Symphony Hall are part of this redevelopment and renewal.
The morning’s speakers will include Seymour Traub, chairman of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority; J. B. Reilly, the real estate developer with a big vision who is the president and founder of the City Center Investment Corporation; and three-term Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. They are uniquely qualified to discuss how the redevelopment came about and what we can expect in the future
The Feb. 1 brunch, hosted by the KI Brotherhood, will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the presentation to begin at 10:15. Please RSVP to the KI temple office at 610-435-9074 by Monday, Jan. 26. The cost is $5 per person with RSVP or $7.50 at the door.