Kristina Gonzalez, Author at Center Square Lofts

Top 3 Must-See Elements in the New “Unleash” Mural

A space never truly feels complete until you add the most important piece – art. That can be said of the new residents-only dog park that opened on Hall Street next to Center Square Lofts East, which has a brand-new mural created by artist Matt Halm. Halm’s name may sound familiar to anyone who has lived in Downtown Allentown for the past few years. He’s the creative mastermind behind the staircase mural at 520 Lofts titled “Dare Mighty Things.” If you’ve seen that mural, you might be familiar with Halm’s style of bringing together art and history in one cohesive piece. Check out the top elements to look for when you visit his new mural, titled “Unleash,” at the dog park.

  1. Incorporating the Old with the New
    “For the dog park mural, it was interesting because it was connected to the dog park and apartments, but we also wanted to keep the existing sign on the wall. So, I was given the challenge to keep the original sign ‘Lafayette Radio Electronics’ on the wall while incorporating the idea of a dog park,” says Halm. When you have those challenges, it makes for a more unique piece. Halm overcame those artistic obstacles with ease and incorporated the Lafayette Radio Electronics sign into the mural along with other images of the past, like of Lehigh Valley Dairy.
  1. All Eyes on the Dogs
    It wouldn’t be a dog park mural if it didn’t feature its number-one visitors – dogs! Halm wanted to have big imagery of the dogs incorporated to give it a “city-park” aesthetic. “There’s a vibrant posterized half version of a dog on the one side, and on the other side is the dalmatian, which has a cool pattern too,” says Halm. You can also see an outline of a red dog playing in the middle of the mural, tying the two dogs together.
  1. Bringing it All Together
    Halm wanted this mural to have that city-park feel by tying in some natural design elements. He brought in artist Casey Gordon to add pattern designs into the mural, which incorporate nature in the piece in an interesting way. “I made an abstract collage of a park while mixing in old advertising and Casey’s hand-painted patterns. It was a challenge but very fun,” says Halm. The end result is the perfect balance of art for four-legged friends and their owners to enjoy when they visit.

Meet your leasing team: Tara Anthony

Name: Tara Anthony 
Title: Senior Residential Property Manager

How many years have you’ve been working for City Center Residential? I’ve been working downtown for two years, but I’ve been working in leasing for a total of 6 years between my time here & one of our suburban properties!

What’s your favorite part about working in Downtown Allentown? Downtown Allentown has the best Starbucks team in all the land. I go there every day & they have my drink ready as soon as I walk in!

Do you have a favorite lunch spot in Downtown Allentown? Tacos Y Tequila. Ramiro makes me feel at home and the chicken fajitas are the bomb. Pro tip: add the cheese sauce.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Getting to watch the downtown landscape transform year after year & working with the best team in the multifamily industry. 

Tell us one fun fact about yourself! I have seen every episode of Law & Order SVU at least twice!

What’s your favorite resident event City Center Residential hosted? Annual Rooftop party! I think this is also our residents’ favorite event!

What’s the best memory you have since working at City Center Residential? Signing 54 leases during the month of July 2020! Talk about a month that flew by in the blink of an eye.

What do you like to do when you’re not working? I love spinning. Pre-COVID you could catch me every Saturday at Haddy’s spin class, however,  I had to get creative during quarantine & got a Peloton. Catch me on the leaderboard. #7Bee 

Radish Republic: Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

This month, Radish Republic shares a recipe for Cauliflower Mac and Cheese. Try this recipe at home for yourself! These ingredients can be purchased at Radish Republic. This recipe is gluten-free, keto, and vegetarian!

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

1 large head of cauliflower

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size pieces.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the cauliflower and cook until fork-tender.
  4. While the cauliflower is cooking, make the cheese sauce by mixing the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, ground mustard, and salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the mixture is combined.
  5. Drain the cauliflower and mix with the cheese sauce. Serve immediately.

Radish Republic: Whiskey Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Create this perfect Fall side dish, courtesy of Radish Republic! You can purchase all these ingredients next time you visit Radish Republic on the ArtsWalk.

Whiskey Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

16 ounces brussels sprouts, halved
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a wide skillet over medium heat, sauté chopped bacon until cooked through or crispy.
  2. Remove bacon from skillet, drain some of the grease. Reserve some bacon grease to cook the brussels sprouts.
  3. Add the brussels sprouts to the skillet and cook until browned and easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and add the maple syrup of your choice. We prefer Whiskey Hollow whiskey barrel aged maple syrup. Add chopped bacon back to the skillet before serving.

Resident Feature: Janish Kothari

When Janish Kothari got accepted into the Cardiology Fellowship program at St. Luke’s University Hospital, he started to prepare for his move from Brooklyn, NY to the Lehigh Valley. Center Square Lofts had everything he was looking for: the ideal location, great amenities, and ample space at an affordable cost. Keep reading to learn more about how Downtown Allentown has been an upgrade from Brooklyn, NY!

Name: Janish Kothari
Location: Center Square Lofts
Years/Months Lived at Center Square Lofts: 4 Months
Instagram handle: @doctajayyy

  • Why make the Lehigh Valley home? I moved here from NYC. I am in Cardiology Fellowship training at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem so I will be in the area for a minimum of 3 to 5 years.
  • How did you hear about Downtown Allentown/Lehigh Valley? I did some research on popular places to live and Center Square Lofts came up.
  • Why did you choose Downtown Allentown as opposed to other communities in the Lehigh Valley? The combination of location, amenities, modern building style, space, and cost. It was the perfect balance for everything I needed.
  • What was the deciding factor that made you choose Center Square Lofts as your new home? We really lovely the décor in the apartments. The kitchens were something we were drawn to. I love the rooftop and other amenities.
  • What benefits have you seen since moving to a smaller city?
    More space is probably the biggest thing. Coming from NYC I was used to a shoebox-living style. My apartment has tons of light and I love waking up to it every morning.
  • How does your commute compare to how it was working in a bigger city?
    My commute is a bit longer here (12minutes driving) as opposed to 2 minutes walking in NYC (I used to live across the street from my hospital). But I actually prefer this! I use this time to clear my mind and listen to music.
  • How does your cost of living compare to living in a bigger city?
    My cost of living is about the same but the added space, amenities, and most importantly parking is the icing on the cake.
  • How does Downtown Allentown compare to other places you have lived?
    I like how people in this building are young and how its dog friendly (something my old building did not provide). The environment here is very welcoming and overall “cozy.”
  • What part of the Lehigh Valley surprised you the most since you moved here?
    Coming from a big city, we don’t really have access to a lot of greenery. Being able to access parks and put down a blanket, have a bottle of wine, and hang out there for a couple of hours is something that we didn’t know we liked as much as we did until we moved here, so we’ve been actually taking advantage of that opportunity quite of a bit.
  • What makes this residential community a unique place to live?
    The location is ideal. It’s easily accessible to major highways. And the fact that it’s around other buildings with similar living styles and age group of people is also something I appreciate.
  • What’s your favorite memory so far since you’ve moved to Downtown Allentown?
    I haven’t been here nearly long enough to make many memories. But one thing I can say is that this is the first home me and my wife have gotten together so it’s special to us.
  • Describe what the community is like at City Center Residential? The community is young and from what I can tell, hip. I enjoyed meeting neighbors on the rooftop and interacting with them in the lobby. I look forward to more encounters over my time here.
  • How did you make your apartment, home?
    It’s still in the process, but my wife and I look forward to decorating our space to make it familiar to us.
  • What’s your favorite amenity space? I really enjoy the rooftop and lounge space.
  • What do you want other people to know about living in Downtown Allentown? That if they want a change of pace, modern amenities, beautifully designed apartments, and great neighbors, Downtown Allentown is the ideal place.

Upgrade Your Scenery

Center Square Lofts is a community you won’t find anywhere else in the area. These luxury apartments in Allentown, PA are brimming with high-end features and astounding amenities.

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