Bethlehem Developer Now Seeking 12-Story Building On South Side

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Bethlehem developer has submitted new plans for a 12-story South Side building wherehe’s already received approval to build a seven-story structure.

Dennis Benner is now seeking approval to build a 12-story building at West Fourth and Vine streets. He received approval for the other project in April.

Benner’s plans include demolishing a second building to allow for the new project, which would include a restaurant or retail space on the first floor plus 11 stories of apartments.

“It’s a substantial change in the project,” said Alicia Karner, Bethlehem’s community and economic development director. “It’s several stories higher and the footprint is far larger.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/08/bethlehem_developer_now_seekin.html

Bethlehem Council Appoints Mark DiLuzio New Police Chief

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bethlehem police Lt. Mark DiLuzio is the city’s new top cop.

City council unanimously tapped DiLuzio to lead the department despite initial reservations from some council members.

Current cops, retirees, firefighters, lawyers and Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli packed Town Hall in support of DiLuzio tonight.

“I know a good cop and Mark is it,” said former Bethlehem Police Commissioner John Yerk, who spent 40 years in the department, four as commissioner.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/01/bethlehem_lt_mark_diluzio_city.html

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New Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez Takes Office

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bethlehem’s first new mayor in a decade took office this morning at a swearing-in ceremony in Town Hall.

Mayor Robert J. Donchez won election last November, following a hard-fought primary win against city Councilman J. William Reynolds.

Donchez had been a city councilman, first elected in 1995. Council has 16 candidates to choose from to appoint a successor to Donchez’s now-vacant seat. Applicant interviews are scheduled Jan. 27, with the appointment to be made at a special meeting Jan. 30.

Donchez, 63, succeeds former Mayor John Callahan, who was first elected to a mid-term seat as mayor in 2003.

Read more:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/01/bethlehem_mayor_robert_donchez.html

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Bethlehem Economic Development Zone Would Create $300 Million In New Construction, Officials Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Pennsylvania City Revitalization and Improvement Zone in Bethlehem would create at least $300 million of new development in the city, officials said today.

Bethlehem’s application for the new state program will consist almost exclusively of private development, including a proposed convention center at the former Bethlehem Steel Corp. site, officials said.

The emphasis on private development should give Bethlehem a distinct advantage over the eight other cities expected to apply for the special economic development tax incentive, the officials said at an announcement this afternoon in Town Hall.

Only two applicants will be granted the incentive in the next couple of months, and many of them will likely have major public projects, which make them riskier and less fruitful for the state, said state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton/Lehigh/Monroe.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2013/10/bethlehem_criz_economic_develo.html

Bethlehem City Council Passes $71 Million Budget With 7 Percent Tax Hike

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a budget where rising pension costs framed the debate, Bethlehem City Council on Thursday adopted a $71 million budget that includes a 7 percent property tax hike and other revenue including a tax on certain concert tickets.

But what it doesn’t include is $500,000 from a citywide trash hauler, a proposal by Mayor John Callahan that drew public backlash.

Instead, council cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from the budget and accepted Callahan’s suggestions on refinancing the landfill debt.  Council also accepted the administration’s updated revenue projections that show the earned income tax and casino fees as bringing in more money than when Callahan first released his budget proposal last month.

Councilman Robert Donchez acknowledged the budget isn’t perfect but a lot of work was put into it.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-bethlehem-council-passes-budget-20121221,0,6831964.story