Your Local News | Allentown, Bethlehem & Easton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Allentown News

Developer wants to flip former Allentown skatepark into housing

Penn Skate park
Image Capture: December 2022
© 2023 Google
Gus Elias presented plans this month to turn a mostly vacant warehouse at 301 S. Carlisle St. in Allentown into housing units.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A former indoor skatepark in Allentown could one day be home to dozens of people.

Developer Gus Elias wants to convert an East Side industrial building that housed Penn Skate until early 2023 into 36 apartments.

Sketches he presented this month to the Allentown City Planning Commission show the mostly vacant warehouse at 301 S. Carlisle St. would be refigured into 12 two-story units along Fairview Street.

In addition, two dozen one-story apartments will line the south side of the building, with 32 parking spaces onsite, according to those plans.

The project would also include paving a lot across Fairview Street from the apartment complex for more than 20 parking spaces.

Elias’ lease with auto repair shop R&C Auto, which operates out a corner of the building, will be ended if he earns city officials’ approval for the residential conversion project, project engineer Stephen Pany said.

That portion of the building would be converted into an office and storage space rather than apartments, Pany said.

Elias will need several zoning variances to move forward with his plans. Allentown planning officials favorably recommended it to the Zoning Hearing Board this month.

The project is on the agenda for the zoning board's Dec. 4 meeting.

Penn Skate was open for almost a quarter-century before closing in January.

The skatepark, which billed itself as the largest and oldest indoor skatepark in Pennsylvania, moved to the Carlisle Street property in 2008.

A statement posted to the skatepark’s Facebook page cited business problems, bills, stress and other factors in the decision to shut down.