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Old 09-16-2015, 01:16 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,411 times
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My wife and I are relocating from Raleigh to the Allentown area for a work assignment that I'm taking. We are in our mid-late 20's, no kids and not having any. We would like to find an upscale downtown/urban home or apartment/flat to rent for 12-18 months. Would love to be walking distance from restaurants and bars, nightlife and entertainment. My wife will probably not be doing any work but enjoys volunteering and meeting people, so finding a community of people with similar ages/interests would be a big plus. We have two small dogs that don't need any real walking but still need a green space to relieve themselves. Both of us enjoy music and attend shows on an almost weekly basis right now in the Triangle area in NC. Also we are both foodies and enjoy a good meal with a great beer. I play a lot of tennis and would enjoy being able to find a club and/or indoor courts for regular clinics/matches/etc.

All that said, it seems like Bethlehem would be a good match for us but I don't know anything about the area and won't be able to visit before relocating. Suggestions for areas to look at housing and areas to avoid would be wonderful. I'm happy to answer any additional questions. Thank you for your time!




When are you moving? 1-2 Months
Where are you coming from? Raleigh, NC
Why are you moving? Relocating for work for 12-18 months
Where will you be working? West side of Allentown, near the intersection of I476 and I78
Have you been here yet? No

Will you buy or rent? Rent

If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend? Open to all, up to $1500/mo

Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? Walk-up since we have dogs but OK with either

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married, no kids

Do you have pets? Yes, two small dogs
Do you want or need a yard? Just green space for dogs to relieve themselves
Are you keeping a car? Yes, two
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Prefer to be located downtown/urban area, walking/biking distance as much as possible.

What do you want to be closest to?
Dining/Bars/Nightlife and Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Near Bus stop? N/A

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Prefer an area of similar age at least.

Phillies or Mets? Don't care about baseball.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:33 AM
 
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Historic Downtown Bethlehem (nationally landmarked) is about the only area that would seem to suit. It's got the best walkability and cluster of shops/restaurants. Not sure about tennis, though.

There are not many rentals in the Bethlehem historic area proper, though you can plug in zip code 18018 into Zillow and get an idea. Within that zip, the historic district is roughly bounded by Broad on the north, Linden on the east, Main on the west and Church on the south.

Bethlehem has Lehigh University and Moravian College, but Lehigh is across the river in South Bethlehem and not reachable by walking. South Bethlehem is a completely different area, more working class/collegey, but worth exploring. You might like that vibe better, seeing as how you're younger.

There is a lovely area in Easton -College Hill - that may have more rentals. It's walkable and near Lafayette College. I'm not sure Easton would have all the nightlife/dining you seek, though, and there are some rougher areas between College Hill and downtown Easton, which is definitely not reachable by walking.

And there's west Allentown, very nice, not as walkable, and downtown Allentown, which is gentrifying and has lovely old townhouses and burgeoning development but can still unnerve people with its heavily Latino population (rolls eyes) and higher crime rate.

HTH
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:52 AM
 
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There's a nice section of townhouses that I think would be within your budget next to the Lehigh River in Historic Bethlehem. I think this is it: Downtown Bethlehem PA Apartment Rentals | Waters Edge Apartments We bought a used car from a couple that lived there and I thought it looked nice.

Editing this to say that I don't think that's the townhouses I was thinking of because we drove over the Fahy bridge, so maybe there are a few complex's parallel to the river. You can walk across the bridges to get to South Bethlehem. In fact, during musikfest, that's just what we do - park on the South side and then walk over to Main Street.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
You can walk across the bridges to get to South Bethlehem. In fact, during musikfest, that's just what we do - park on the South side and then walk over to Main Street.
Eminently doable, but a bit of a hike
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:49 AM
 
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Thank you both for the information. HTH, knowing those bounding streets will really help since I'm searching for rentals remotely. I looked at a newer development in Allentown (Strata I think?) that was within my price range, looked pretty nice but it's hard to get a feel for what's within walking distance from Google maps alone. Race isn't a determining factor in where we live but safety is; we like to think we can avoid putting ourselves in dangerous situations but admittedly don't have much experience actually living in the city. I'm fine with driving for tennis, looks like there's a place with indoor courts on the E side of Allentown.

toobusytoday, I had looked last night at a few rental options that were on the South side right next to the bridges, one of them was in some old building with a Riverport on the side, looked pretty nice on the inside. We wouldn't mind a little bit of walking if the place was right.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:48 AM
 
12,921 posts, read 29,858,462 times
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Looks like the townhouses I was remembering were the Waters edge ones. I did a street view and it was on the corner of W. Lehigh Street and Lehigh Way. At the time we thought it would be very handy for Musikfest and the people who lived there told us that they invited friends to park where they were and walk to it from there. If you had to walk to Steel Stacks every day, I think the walk would be a bit much, but for a nice weather walk, it's do-able, 1.5 miles. The one thing I would check on is flooding.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:32 PM
 
28 posts, read 57,524 times
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There's a new apartment complex (Strata Flats) that was supposed to open this summer that's right next to the PPL center in Allentown. I don't head out that way so I can't comment on what that area is like but presumable there will be a lot around.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:45 PM
 
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Strata Flats has some great restaurants and some newer shops right around it. Downtown Allentown has really been coming into its own lately and has seen some considerable changes in the last 2 years. I live in East-Side Allentown which is pretty much accessible to both Downtown Allentown and the Historic Downtown of Bethlehem. Both are fun places to hang out. East-Side has an indoor tennis courts (Winning Touch Tennis - Indoor Tennis Club - Homepage) and the Historic Downtown of Bethlehem has nice outdoor courts at Sand Island.
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
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Downtown Allentown has started to change for the better; keyword being "started" to change. The 'best' parts for dining/entertainment in Allentown center are basically Hamilton Blvd between 5th St and 8th St. And yes the STRATA units are nice. I relocated into the Valley right around the time the minor league ice hockey arena (PPL Center) started going up.

Things are looking up for Allentown, and I've spent a couple afternoons recently hanging out in center city Allentown, but have to say I don't think I'll be making any visits past daylight hours. At least not for the next 5-10 years.
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