Allentown developer to convert Center City office building into luxury apartments
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A local developer is looking to convert one of downtown Allentown’s premier office buildings into more than 100 luxury apartments.
DLP Capital founder and Chief Executive Officer Don Wenner, a Lehigh Valley native, announced his company’s plans Wednesday to turn five of the Class A office building’s eight floors into residential units.
- DLP Capital plans to convert much of the office building at 835 W. Hamilton St. into luxury apartments
- The developer is planning to turn five floors into 118 housing units
- DLP Capital bought the Class A office building for $15.3 million in 2021
The second through sixth floors will be transformed into 118 luxury units, each “thoughtfully designed” to be “a true sanctuary” for the building’s residents, according to a news release from the company.
The property’s conversion “into a thriving mixed-use residential community ... will redefine luxury living in the area."DLP Capital, in a news release
Plans filed with the city earlier this year show the building — set to be known as the Dream Grand Plaza — would have 94 one-bedroom apartments and 24 two-bedroom apartments.
The building at 835 W. Hamilton St., which has also been called the PPL Plaza, is set to have “resort-style amenities,” including entertainment rooms, a fitness center and a dog-washing station, the release states.
The property’s conversion “into a thriving mixed-use residential community .. will redefine luxury living in the area,” DLP said Wednesday.
Wenner said he wants the Dream Grand Plaza to be at the forefront of Allentown's recent "renaissance of economic activity."
Offices to apartments
Serfass Construction will lead the project to convert most of the office building into apartments, DLP Capital announced Wednesday.
Dream Apartments appears set to manage the residential property, which city records show covers a little more than 1.6 acres.
A website for the Dream Grand Plaza shows the company also manages properties in East Stroudsburg, Kutztown and Wind Gap, as well as several in Florida.
The website also lists the Dream Boyd Theatre in Bethlehem among its upcoming projects.
DLP Capital bought the eight-story Grand Plaza for $15.3 million during a public auction in 2021, according to a news release.
The building boasts more than a quarter-million square feet of space in Center City Allentown.
It was built in 2005 to house Talon Energy, a division of PPL. It was the first building in the U.S. to earn a gold LEED certification, the release states.
DLP Capital has an office in the Grand Plaza building.
The start of a trend?
DLP’s announcement of the office-to-residential conversion comes several weeks after Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk proposed a similar project at the iconic PPL Tower.
PPL in early June announced plans to move its headquarters several blocks from the tower in downtown Allentown to Two City Center at 7th and Hamilton streets.
The corporation said it is “right-sizing” after almost a century in the PPL Tower.
The city is facing a housing crisis while many offices are sitting vacant or underused throughout the region, Tuerk said. He said he sees “a real opportunity” to convert the Lehigh Valley’s tallest building into residential units.
With more than 205,000 square feet of space, the building has enough room for hundreds of new apartments.
Allentown’s city code requires one-bedroom units to have at least 500 square feet; that could provide room for about 400 units.