Every so often we find a project that not only reflects the historic heritage of its surroundings, it mirrors the potential of the revitalization going on all around it. That’s why we are so passionate about our work on the Schoen’s Building in downtown Allentown. Once a treasured gem in the city’s historic Retail District, it has become a key component in the 21st Century renaissance that has transformed the urban core of Pennsylvania’s third-largest city.
Working with owners -- Charles Street Capital and Trifecta Technologies Inc. -- Shane Patrick Associates coordinated this two-pronged project with a talented team of architects, builders and visionaries to create one of the most unique structures in the city. Now the weathered, time-worn building that once housed Schoen’s Furniture store will be home to a cutting-edge, global technology innovator in a setting that blends the best of the old and the new – and provides an unmatched example of the diverse strengths that Shane Patrick brings to each job.
As the Construction Manager for the Schoen’s project, we worked with Charles Street Capital to coordinate the contracting and sub-contracting for the overall renovation and reconstruction of the six-story building. The end result is that we took the empty canvass of this long-vacant structure and crafted several floors of modern office suites that highlight the reclaimed wood, steel, glass and concrete inherent in the new design.
By preserving the original red brick wall on the east side of the building in contrast to the open glass wall on the west side, the open-floor concept provides a vintage industrial-design appeal that inspires creativity in the building’s new occupants. The curtain wall, elevators, stairwells and rooftop have all been renovated, refurbished or rebuilt to meet the design standards set forth by the owner’s architect.
As the Design/Build lead for Trifecta, we conducted a much more comprehensive refit of existing space in the Schoen’s building by bringing some impressive Value Add engineering options to the project, which includes the top three floors now occupied by Trifecta as well as the second- and third-floors, which will be occupied by other tenants.
Working closely with Trifecta, we assembled our design team and took the time to craft something truly unique through extensive discussions with the client to determine their desires, and the excellence of local vendors who – like us – can be counted on to take the extra steps that make a project something special.
In lieu of standard commercial cubicles, our clients at Trifecta elected to have all of the desks fabricated by a local steel fabricator, Jost Iron Works. The wood surfaces and conference tables were constructed by Stofanak Custom Cabinetry of Bethlehem. And the beautiful concrete sinks and countertops in the bathrooms and kitchen areas were designed and manufactured locally by Majestic Concrete.
From sidewalk to skylight, this project is one-of-a-kind. The first floor will host a new restaurant for Allentown’s growing entertainment and amenities district while the “interactive roof top” will allow tenant companies to enjoy the view of the changing downtown and host events for their friends and clients in a garden-like setting far above the city streets.
Located in close proximity to the historic Zion UCC Church that once kept the Liberty Bell safe during the Revolutionary War and the modern edifice of the new 11-story City Center 2 that is home to National Penn Bank, Air Products and several other major Lehigh Valley businesses, this project truly stands apart for its craftsmanship and usability.
In fact, we are so proud of this project that we are even moving our 2-year-old headquarters into the third floor of the building to house our own fast-growing team.