Building Community


City Center Investment Corp. (CCIC), the real estate development company revitalizing downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, announced today it donated more than $3.8 million total to more than 75 organizations in 2020 through its Building Community program. Over the past three years, Building Community has donated more than $13 million total, mainly to organizations in downtown Allentown.

Building Community is the community-engagement initiative of CCIC and its principals and employees. The initiative aims to revitalize downtown Allentown and its surrounding neighborhoods into a sustainable, vibrant urban community by providing financial support, in-kind donations and volunteer service in three key results-oriented areas: the arts, education and community development. In 2020, CCIC’s 25 employees volunteered at approximately 45 organizations, donating more than 2,000 total hours.

“City Center and our affiliates believe we can make the greatest impact by concentrating our giving in downtown Allentown, whether we’re supporting the homeless, the arts, education or community development,” said CCIC Marketing/Community Relations Manager Jill Brader. “City Center is proud to play a role in strengthening the downtown Allentown community, and we look forward to continuing our work and partnerships for the greater good throughout 2021.”

Major Building Community initiatives in 2020 included CCIC again pledging $1 million to match new and increased gifts to United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s Community Building Fund; CCIC continuing its partnership with its neighborhood school, Central Elementary, donating school supplies to remote learners during the pandemic; and CCIC and Community Services for Children expanding on the success of The Learning Hub by opening the Neighborhood Resource Center, a one-stop shop for families seeking information, resources and connections.

“For young children in the City of Allentown, City Center’s commitment to Community Services for Children makes a difference in their daily experience, their long-term school success and their community’s wellbeing,” said Paula J. Margraf, CEO and president of Community Services for Children.

Also in 2020, CCIC, in partnership with Lafayette College’s Dyer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, launched The Real Estate Lab, a free program designed to teach downtown Allentown residents how to invest in real estate and manage properties in their community. In late 2020, the first nine participants in The Real Estate Lab’s program completed their classes and now own and manage their own investment properties in downtown Allentown.

Additional key 2020 Building Community partners and programs included:

  • Allentown Art Museum
  • Allentown School District Foundation
  • Allentown Symphony Association
  • Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
  • Building 21
  • Civic Theatre of Allentown
  • Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley
  • Community Action Development Corporation of Allentown, including Upside Allentown
  • Downtown Allentown Business Alliance
  • Ripple Community Inc.
  • The Baum School of Art
  • YWCA Allentown, including Perfect Fit Boutique

“When our community faced the most extreme crisis of our lifetimes, City Center stepped in to get resources to the people who need them most,” said David Lewis, president of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.

David Fagerstrom, president and CEO of Greater Valley YMCA, added, “Thanks to City Center’s essential partnership, the YMCA Allentown Branch’s Warming Station annually supports hundreds of our neighbors experiencing homelessness. City Center’s partnership helps provide a safe place for folks to stay out of the cold, warm supper meals, medical resources and more. City Center’s commitment to our Allentown neighbors makes the Y’s programming, and all of Allentown, better together.”

In 2021, CCIC’s philanthropy will continue to focus on the arts, education and community development. To view the 2020 Building Community Impact Report and for instructions on how to request financial or in-kind support, please visit