All posts by Georges Lafontant

Outback Steakhouse coming to Hamilton Crossings

Morning Call
By Ryan Kneller
June 26, 2017


Over the past year, the Hamilton Crossings has welcomed a slew of new eateries — from fast-casual finds such as CoreLife Eatery and Smashburger to full-service restaurants such as Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse.

Now, the Lower Macungie Township shopping center is preparing to become even more of a foodie’s paradise with the construction of another such dining destination: Outback Steakhouse. [Read Full Article]

Photos: Hamilton Crossings walking tour

Morning Call
By April Bartholomew
Monday, Jun 21, 2017


LOWER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP — The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce held a walking tour Wednesday of the Hamilton Crossings shopping center. The Chamber’s Meghan Reed, who is Emmaus Main Street manager and assistant vice president of the East Penn and Western Lehigh Chambers, said about 80 people attended.

Hamilton Crossings, in Lower Macungie Township, which officially opened Nov. 18, is on Krocks Road between the Route 222 bypass and Hamilton Boulevard, features a Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and the Lehigh Valley’s first Costco Wholesale and Whole Foods Market, among some 30 retailers. The first stores opened July 2016. [Read Full Article]

West Philly’s largest retail center has festive 10th anniversary

 The Philadelphia Tribune

Tribune Staff Report
June 13, 2017

The Philadelphia Tribune - 10th Annual Festival @ ParkWest

Community members, elected officials, health care vendors and others gathered on June 3 at the ParkWest Town Center, 52nd and Jefferson streets, to commemorate a milestone for West Philadelphia’s largest retail center.

Its 10th annual festival offered participants food truck vendors, live performances, health screenings, a live radio broadcast and children’s activities. The commemoration also had Mya Brown and Jaylin Muse, both seniors at Parkway West High School, each being awarded a $2,500 scholarship for their commitment to improving the West Philadelphia community. [Read More]

Hamilton Crossings fuels increase in LANTA ridership

Morning Call

Anthony Salamone – Contact Reporter
March 17, 2017

LANtaLANTA (Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority) says shoppers and employees heading to Hamilton Crossing Shopping Center are riding its buses so much that ridership rose nearly 20 percent in the first three months since major stores have opened at the Lower Macungie Township retail development.

LANTA spokesman Chuck Genna said about 31,000 people rode the agency’s Route 322 buses November through January. That is an increase of 18 percent, or nearly 6,000 people, over the same three-month period a year ago. He said ridership has increased each month, to a high of 31 percent in January. [Read full article]

Goldenberg readies for summer groundbreaking on $150M Temple student housing project


The View II - seen from Cecil B. Moore Ave

The student housing project will have 874 beds.

The project would serve as the second phase of a development on the former Wanamaker school site.

Goldenberg Group is moving forward with a new $150 million student housing complex at the former site of the John Wanamaker Middle School in North Philadelphia.

It would be a companion tower to the View at Montgomery, which was a $100 million mixed-use development that the Blue Bell-based developer constructed and opened in the fall of 2014. That 14-story, 320,000-square-foot building has 832 beds in 238 residences along with 11,000 square feet of first-floor retail. It caters to Temple University students as will the new tower.

“It’s been 100 percent leased since we opened and it tells me that Temple students were starved for good residential product,” said Kevin Trapper, senior vice president at Goldenberg. “The university continues to grow year after year. We feel bullish about the next phase.”

The new project, referred to as View II at Montgomery, would total 460,000 square feet and have 874 beds spread over 352 fully-furnished apartments. It would have 22,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Trapper said that there were some lessons learned from View I that the developer tweaked when designing View II. For example, Goldenberg incorporated more community spaces – especially study rooms that are large enough for groups to gather and work together. Even with View I, Goldenberg revamped what had been a game room and some other spaces and turned them into study rooms and computer labs. In addition to adding study spaces, more amenities and commercial spaces have also been planned for the second phase.

Such projects are part of a new generation of student housing, according to national student housing report by Abodo. Higher enrollments have put pressure on schools’ on-campus housing, leading private developers to fill a void. Private rentals now account for 62 percent of the student housing market.

These new student housing projects are typically located within walking or biking distance from a campus and are amenity rich with common areas that promote social interaction, study rooms, fitness centers, pools, sand volleyball courts, outdoor BBQs and fire pits.

“Some student housing properties have attracted attention for the ‘Club Med’ style of living,” the report said. “From the manager/owner’s perspective, such properties loaded with amenities and unique features also receive a significant benefit from social media and viral marketing. When students invite friends over for volleyball or movie night, they quickly realize what they’re missing out on.”

At the View I, Goldenberg touts the property as “the only, all inclusive resort style student apartments for rent near Temple University.”

This housing does come at a cost with students paying higher rents for the location and amenities.

In Pennsylvania, Drexel University ($1,199), the University of Pennsylvania ($1,198), Temple University ($1,170) and Villanova University ($1,052) have some of the highest student monthly housing rents, according to the Abodo research. At View I, monthly rents run from $799 for a shared room, $979 for a private room and upwards of $1,699 for an entire apartment.

Goldenberg bought the former school in the 1100 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue in 2008 for $10.75 million. It had originally wanted to convert the school into residential use but those plans were nixed when environmental issues were reportedly insurmountable. As a result, the property was razed to make way for new construction. Its original plans involved a three-phase project with three buildings but that was scaled back to two.

“The sooner we get to market, the better,” Trapper said. The developer would like to break ground this July and have the project completed by fall 2019.