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State posts request for proposals for Allentown State Hospital demolition

Allentown State Hospital on Hanover Avenue in Allentown (File photo) –

Despite numerous petitions and alternate pitches, the buildings on the Allentown State Hospital campus are now being readied for the wrecking ball. The Pennsylvania Department of General Services has posted a request for proposals for the demolition of the structures on the 100-year-old, nearly 200-acre property.

The estimated cost of the project is listed as over $10 million. The scope of the work includes demolition of 44 buildings/structures on approximately 200 acres, hazardous materials abatement, utility termination, site restoration, historical salvage, design documents.

Proposals are due Oct. 10 by 2 p.m.  Prior to that the department has scheduled a pre-proposal conference at the site at 1600 Hanover Ave., Allentown.

The property had been vacant for more than 10 years, but its main building got a great deal of attention after the release earlier this year of the M. Night Shyamalan movie “Glass,” which was filmed on the property in 2017.

That shined a spotlight on some of the structure’s historic architecture, and a number of petitions were circulated in the Lehigh Valley calling for its preservation. Those petitions gathered several thousand signatures.

A number of developers, including former Allentown mayoral candidate Nat Hyman, attempted to convince the state to allow them to redevelop the property with the historic buildings in place.

But ultimately, the signatures and alternative proposals failed to sway the legislature, which voted unanimously to demolish the buildings and then sell the property to a developer.

Local legislators told LVB that they thought it was ultimately the best choice for the reuse of the property and economic development in the area.

After the buildings are demolished the state Department of General Services will begin the bidding process for developers who seek to purchase the property.

A committee will be established to insure that the proposals are chosen for the impact they will have on the community as well as the dollar amount of the bid.

Details on the RFP can be found HERE.

Writer Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at [email protected] or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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