City Center Management Company
With more than ten multi-story office buildings, a variety of dining and entertainment establishments and parking to accommodate thousands of new employees and visitors under development, City Center Management Company is transforming the City of Allentown’s commercial core. Accompanied by a $172 million arena that will be home to the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms ice hockey team, the new commercial and residential development will make Allentown a destination for generations.
Making all of those residents, employees and visitors feel safe and secure is critical to the success of the economic revitalization. City Center leaders needed a technical partner that could work with its 24-7 security contractors to provide the electronic surveillance, access and emergency communications that would not only provide that essential feeling of safety, but be flexible enough to accommodate the expanding opportunities for new development and construction.
The CSi Solution
After reviewing proposals from four different providers, City Center Management Company selected Communication Systems Inc. (CSi), in part because of its extensive experience in making city residents, employees and visitors feel safe. CSi has worked closely with the City of Allentown for seven years to create a citywide system of surveillance cameras that have been credited as a major factor in a 20 percent drop in the crime rate over that same period.
In addition, as one of only 32 Gold Level Honeywell dealer in the nation and a specialist in Integrated Security and Communication Solutions, CSi brought the resources and personnel to not only accommodate the needs of the ongoing development and the knowledge and experience to work with the builder and security force to ensure that the project includes the necessary resources both today and in the future.
“City Center was not just concerned about building a building, but building a security system that was scalable. We worked with City Center, Northstar Constuction and Allied Barton Security Services to ensure that all of the technology was integrated logically to meet their needs,” says Charles Thiel, CSi’s General Manager/Security. “We provided a lot of consultation and helped them identify their actual needs.”
“CSi took the time to listen to our needs and our security requirements, and they designed a custom system to meet those needs using a state of the art Honeywell system,” said Judy Woosnam, President of City Center Management Company.
The Honeywell Gold Integrated Solution provided by CSi will be the mainstay of the electronic security throughout the City Center projects with a system capable of providing Video Surveillance and Access Control and the ability to network multiple locations together under one user interface. It includes video surveillance, building access, communications and an emergency notification telephone system in all City Center properties, which includes City Center I and II, and the accompanying parking decks and several buildings yet to be erected.
One of the key aspects of the new system is an emergency telephone connection between the parking decks and the security command center that will be located in City Center II. Guests who feel unsafe can immediately contact security personnel and the closest camera will automatically turn toward the activated phone to give the guard a view of the nearby scene.
CSi’s team was a key asset in assisting City Center and Northstar design a system and a command center that will accommodate not only the immediate needs but the projected growth, said Lane Donatelli, Allied Barton’s District Manager for the Lehigh Valley. CSi’s value became particularly obvious when Thiel and others recognized that the proposed security Command Center would be too small to accommodate future needs, and recommended a larger room before construction was completed.CSi has also worked with tenants such as National Penn Bank, Air Products, Lehigh Gas and Lehigh Valley Health Network to ensure that the systems meet the individual concerns of those companies.
“It would have been very easy to let it go and just make the sale, but Charlie took the high road and looked into the future,” Donatelli said. “They really care about making the client look good.”