Q + A with Lizzie Helsel

Engineer at RETTEW Associates by day, STRATA resident by night Lizzie Helsel gives us a look into a typical day in her life of working and living in Downtown Allentown. We caught up with Lizzie to find out why she loves to live near her work and where she likes to hang out when the weather gets warm. Watch her take over the @CityCenterAllentown Instagram below! 

Name: Lizzie Helsel
Company: RETTEW Associates
Position: Engineer 

How long have you been with RETTEW?
I’ve been with RETTEW since October 2015. 

How long have you lived in the Lehigh Valley?
I moved to the Lehigh Valley from New Hampshire in 2015 after getting the position at RETTEW. I looked at a few places in Bethlehem and Allentown before deciding on STRATA. The apartment was beautiful, fully equipped with everything I could think of and two blocks from my office. I couldn’t beat it! 

Favorite part of living near your work?
One of my favorite parts about living downtown is the commute. I drove an hour to work every day for 2 years, this 2-block walk is a treat! 

Can you give us a quick description of RETTEW?
RETTEW is an engineering consulting company based out of Lancaster, PA.  In the Lehigh Valley Office, we cover a lot of Land Development projects in the area, including a lot of City Center work. I personally do most of my work with public sewer and water authorities. 

What sets Downtown Allentown apart from other places you’ve worked?
With all the new development of the area, Allentown seems like more of a community than where I’ve worked before. For being in a city, it’s nice to see a lot of the same faces regularly. 

What makes your office building unique?
Three City Center not only has a beautiful view of Blue Mountain but also borders the Arts Park. In the summer it’s nice to take a break at lunch and get some sun in this little pocket of the city. 

Where is your favorite place to grab lunch?
The Allentown Art Museum Café is one of my favorite lunch spots. Everything is homemade and the specials are always delicious. 

What is your favorite spot for happy hour?
I typically stop at Bell Hall in the summer – great beer selection and I love being able to sit outside. 

Favorite event in Downtown Allentown?
Blues, Brews, and Barbeque was a really cool event downtown last year. The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the music was amazing – I’m really looking forward to going again. (Save the date, it is June 9!

What is your favorite part of the downtown experience?
I love that there is always something to do downtown. Hockey games, art exhibit openings, trivia – never a dull moment. 

How have you seen Downtown Allentown change over the past few years?
I’ve only been in the area for 2.5 years, but I’ve seen a huge increase in people just out and about on weekends and evenings downtown. 

What would you say to a friend whose company is moving to Downtown Allentown?  
Welcome to Downtown!! Let’s grab lunch! 

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