City Center hires experts behind the Bourse Food Hall in Philadelphia to create the Downtown Allentown Market - Center Square Lofts

City Center hires experts behind the Bourse Food Hall in Philadelphia to create the Downtown Allentown Market

City Center Investment Corp., the real estate development company revitalizing downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, announced today it has hired two firms that helped launch The Bourse food hall in Philadelphia to create The Downtown Allentown Market. City Center is currently seeking merchants for the market, which will open on the ArtsWalk in the late summer or early fall of 2019.

City Center has partnered with Groundswell Design Group, a design firm specializing in place-making, public space activation and hospitality projects, and Cana Development, a commercial real estate development and brokerage firm that delivers mixed-use urban redevelopment projects with a focus on retail, hospitality and entertainment.

The Downtown Allentown Market will be located on the ArtsWalk in the 12,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by clothing stores Sage and Aquarius. It will feature nine bays for local and regional food merchants offering high-quality, fast-casual food and drink, such as sushi, baked goods and coffee, soups and salads, sandwiches, ethnic food, a noodle bar, craft beer or wine, to name a few. The Downtown Allentown Market will provide ample indoor seating and flexible space for events, programming and pop-up shops. Regional muralists will bring unique local flavor to the walls, and large-scale windows will connect seamlessly to outdoor seating along the ArtsWalk.

“City Center regularly surveys its residential and office tenants about what they’d like to experience in downtown Allentown, and an authentic, local food hall always tops their wish list. We listened and hired the experts at Groundswell and Cana Development to help us bring this exciting project to life,” said City Center’s Retail Leasing and Activation Manager Natalia Stezenko. “We’re making it really easy for merchants to join us in this unique venture with beautiful, fully equipped, turnkey bays for cuisine and beverages of all types.”

Bays will range in size from 287 to 575 square feet to accommodate different food concepts, and the bays will be delivered to merchants in a way that allows for easy activation. Rent will be a percentage of a merchant’s gross sales and includes use of City Center’s liquor license for qualified merchants who wish to serve alcohol. Merchants can learn more and apply at or follow the project on Facebook or Instagram at @DowntownAllentownMarket.

Groundswell Design Group, headquartered in Philadelphia and Detroit, has a robust portfolio of projects from large public parks, land art installations, restaurants and distilleries, to intimate cafés and pop-up activations – all rooted in a community-first approach. The team focuses on weaving a sense of place within each design concept, drawing inspiration from the site, neighborhood and community. Among its most recognized projects are The Bourse food hall and Spruce Street Harbor Park in Philadelphia, Sparkman Wharf in Tampa and Hangar 1 Vodka in Alameda, California.

“Our team shares a passion to design, develop and build projects that forge positive change in a community,” said Groundswell Principal David Fierabend. “From a bustling winter market in Detroit to a vodka distillery overlooking the San Francisco Bay, our group’s mission is to drive place-making forward. We’re exciting to partner with City Center in the creation of a public market on the beautiful ArtsWalk and hope it will become a jewel of the city.”

Cana Development has developed more than 2 million square feet of commercial space throughout the United States with a relentless approach to quality project development and food and retail management. Its team is well-versed in all aspects of food hall, marketplace, retail and entertainment-district development and has proven successful with large-scale, high-profile mixed-use projects, including The Bourse food hall in Philadelphia, Cross Street Market and Mount Vernon Marketplace in Baltimore and District Detroit, a mix of sports and entertainment venues and home to the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers.

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