Lehigh Valley Health Network Looking To Almost Double Muhlenberg Hospital

Lehigh Valley Health Network is looking to almost double its Muhlenberg hospital in Bethlehem, according to new plans submitted to the city.

LVHN has proposed a six-story, 155-bed addition to its current 188-bed Schoenersville Road hospital. The plans have been submitted to Bethlehem but haven’t yet been scheduled for consideration, Bethlehem Assistant Director of Planning and Zoning Tracy Samuelson said.

LVHN spokesman Brian Downs declined Monday to discuss the plans, calling them preliminary.

“We’re considering things all the time,” he said.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2015/05/lehigh_valley_health_network_l.html

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Bethlehem Businesses Being Recruited For Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone

Many Bethlehem businesses are being recruited to move to Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which at least one Bethlehem official finds distressing.

NIZ developers — chiefly City Center Lehigh Valley — have approached at least a half-dozen Bethlehem businesses in recent months, the merchants said. Lynn Collins Cunningham, the senior vice president for Bethlehem initiatives for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, said she’s disappointed by the recruitment effort — arguing it runs contrary to the stated goals of the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority.

“I remember ANIZDA Board Chairman Sy Traub saying that the purpose of the NIZ was to redevelop Allentown, not to hurt other communities. With the outreach to so many of Bethlehem’s downtown businesses, it doesn’t seem like that philosophy is being followed,” Cunningham said. “I have been and continue to be a big proponent of the NIZ, but not at the expense of Bethlehem.”

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2015/04/bethlehem_businesses_being_rec.html

Dennis Benner Proceeding With Plans For 7-Story Building In South Bethlehem

Developer Dennis Benner is proceeding with his long-held plans for a 7-story building at Third and New streets in Bethlehem.

Benner originally intended six floors of offices with first-floor retail on the corner but his new plans submitted to the city show one floor of retail, four floors of offices and two floors of apartments.

His plans will go before the South Bethlehem Historic Conservation District for review at 7 p.m. Monday at Town Hall.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2015/04/dennis_benner_proceeding_with.html

Bethlehem’s CRIZ Not Living Up To ‘Shovel-Ready’ Billing; Officials Explain Why

Bethlehem received a coveted City Revitalization and Improvement Zone because its application for the state economic development tool was chock-full of shovel-ready projects.

The incentive was expected to allow for plans for a Bass Pro Shops, convention center and second hotel at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to be approved by the middle of last year. Plans for the long-stalled redevelopment of Martin Tower also were supposed to be completed by mid-2014.

But now 16 months after Bethlehem’z CRIZ designation was awarded, most of the projects the incentive was supposed to springboard are still stalled.

Officials say anticipated redevelopment has been slowed by having to start a new city authority, getting answers from the state and by the fact that the CRIZ economic development benefits pale compared to Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2015/04/bethlehems_criz_so_far_not_liv.html

Bethlehem Moving Forward With South Side Garage Despite Stalled Development

The Bethlehem Parking Authority is moving forward with a study for a new South Side parking garage despite any concrete plans for the major buildings for which the garage is supposed to be needed.

Authority Executive Director Kevin Livingston said the authority can’t wait for developer Dennis Benner to have signed tenants for his planned South Side buildings because the authority could lose the state grant funding set aside for the garage.

Bethlehem has filed for an extension for the $5.2 million in state grant funding but isn’t sure if the extension will be approved, Livingston said.

“We’re obviously afraid of losing it,” he said.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2015/03/bethlehem_moving_forward_with.html

10-Story Bethlehem Building Better Suited For Apartments, Developer Says

When Borko Milosev bought a 10-story office building in Bethlehem in December, he had new plans in mind.

Instead of offices, Milosev thought the upper floors of the Santander building on the corner of Elizabeth Avenue and Center Street were better suited for apartments.

“You have an unobstructed views all around it,” he said. “The views are absolutely gorgeous.”

Milosev and a business partner have submitted plans to the Bethlehem Zoning Hearing Board to turn the building’s six upper floors into 48 apartments. The four lower floors would remain offices.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2015/03/10-story_bethlehem_building_be.html

South Bethlehem Historic Board Approves 9-Story Building After Previously Panning It

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

After voicing strong opposition last month to a proposed 9-story building on West Fourth Street, the South Bethlehem Historic Conservation District voted 5-2 Monday to support the building’s design.

District board Chairwoman Beth Starbuck said she had been very troubled by the building’s height until she realized Hotel Bethlehem also was nine stories and doesn’t stick out badly on Main Street.

“I’m not happy with the scale of this, either, but I’m less freaked out about it — it just never occurred to me that the Hotel Bethlehem is that tall,” she said.

The board makes recommendations to Bethlehem City Council, and board Historic Officer Christine Ussler said there’s a fear if the board is often overruled by council “this developer and other developers will get the sense we don’t count.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/10/south_bethlehem_historic_board.html

Officials Further Hopeful About International Rail Port In Bethlehem

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials were in Bethlehem last week to further discuss opening a local international rail port and local officials left the meeting feeling very hopeful.

“They’re very interested in the site, they’re very interested in the Lehigh Valley,” said Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez, who attended the Sept. 12 meeting with Port Authority officials at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.

Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Don Cunningham also said the Port Authority is very interested in opening an inland port in Bethlehem. He said the main unknown is whether the owner of the Bethlehem Intermodal rail yard can get funding to expand.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/09/officials_further_hopeful_abou.html

Online Retailer Zulily To Open Hub In Bethlehem That Employs 1,200

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Online retailer zulily plans to establish a distribution center in Bethlehem that will create 1,200 full-time jobs over the next three years, Gov. Tom Corbett announced today.

The hub is targeted for 10 Emery St., an 800,000-square-foot warehouse owned by Liberty Property Trust in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII — former Bethlehem Steel Corp. land off Route 412.

Corbett said in a news release that the building will serve as zulily’s Northeast fulfillment center and the company is making a multimillion-dollar investment there.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/09/online_retailer_zulily_to_open.html

Bethlehem To Reverse Back-In Angled Parking On Main Street

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Editor’s note:  Come on Pottstown, follow suit!

The back-in angled parking on Bethlehem‘s Main Street is going to be reversed.

Mayor Bob Donchez said merchants on that end of Main Street have long been asking for the parking to be switched to head-in and he’s complying with their requests.

“It was clear the back-in angle parking was a negative to bringing people to lower Main Street,” Donchez said. “It’s the right thing to do to help the merchants.”

Donchez is hopeful the switch could occur in time for the Celtic Classic Highland Games & Festival scheduled Sept. 26-28 or shortly thereafter.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/08/bethlehem_to_reverse_back-in_a.html

ArtsQuest Plans Yearlong Effort Of Events To Support Bethlehem South Side

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

ArtsQuest is organizing a yearlong effort to bring multiple art events to Bethlehem’s South Side business district.

The effort, called Artists Among Us, would include an Urban Arts Festival on the South Bethlehem Greenway, artists-in-residence working with city youth and a cast-iron block installation on the greenway highlighting the neighborhood’s many ethnic groups.

ArtsQuest is hoping to get a $300,000 grant from ArtPlace America, a nationwide arts foundation, to help fund the $500,000 initiative, ArtsQuest President Jeff Parks said today. ArtsQuest is one of 97 finalists for $20 million in available funding, Parks said.

ArtsPlace America officials encouraged ArtsQuest to publicize its grant application and will visit the city next week, so local officials are hopeful that they’ll receive money from the organization, said Patrick Brogan, ArtsQuest’s senior vice president of programming. ArtsQuest would still put on the Artists Among Us effort without the grant but it would include far fewer events, he said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/03/artsquest_planning_yearlong_ef.html#incart_river

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