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The Program That Started It All

NIZ 101
NIZ 101

Neighborhood Improvement Zone

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The Waterfront falls within the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, or “NIZ”, which allows the development to provide valuable incentives to commercial tenants and residents. Explore a thorough breakdown of what the Neighborhood Improvement Zone is and how it can help you.

What is the Neighborhood Improvement Zone?

Created by a state law in 2011, the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) is a special taxing district that encourages development and revitalization in Allentown. The NIZ consists of approximately 128 acres in center city Allentown and along the western side of the Lehigh River. Under the law, certain state and local tax revenues generated by new and existing businesses within the NIZ can be used to pay debt on bonds and loans that are issued for qualifying capital improvements in the zone. Those improvements include the PPL Center at Seventh and Hamilton Street, as well as other private commercial, retail, residential, hospitality, conference and exhibition projects of approved applicants. The NIZ is overseen and managed by the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority (ANIZDA).

How Does the NIZ Benefit Me?

Commercial tenants that locate in the NIZ have the ability to take advantage of aggressively below-market rental rates for Class A office and retail space, which will lower costs/overhead and allow tenants to reinvest the savings back into their business. NIZ residents also benefit from lower leasing rates, which in turn allows them to experience high-quality apartments and amenities for under average lease rates.

Should I Relocate My Business to The Waterfront?

This will depend on the amount of state and local taxes paid by the tenant, it is estimated that there could be a 30% to 75% reduction in base rental rate (not including rental operating expenses, utilities or janitorial expenses.)

What are Business NIZ Tenants Responsibilities, Costs, Etc. to File the Forms to Qualify for NIZ Benefits?

All qualified businesses and contractors must file all applicable PA State and Local NIZ Tax Reports annually each year by January 30th to qualify to receive NIZ benefits. ANIZDA has hired a firm to help you with questions about reporting at no cost to businesses. For a summary of the reporting responsibilities, please see the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) Brochure available here.

For more information on the NIZ, please visit the following links:

NIZ – The City of Allentown Allentown NIZ Brochure NIZ Video

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