Martin Tower: the developer’s presentation (14)

Ok, so you have taken the “Connecting Bethlehem” survey, but have you forced others?

(14th in a series on Martin Tower)

Martin Tower demolition May 19

Martin Tower Master Plan

Eaton Ave. north

1 – medical

2 – medical

3 – retail

4 – gas/convenience


8 – Offices

7 – Hotel (132 rooms)

6 – Restaurant

5 – Retail



9 –

528 apartments, 3 stories

1-2 bedroom

pocket park at bottom



Rt. 378 south

Gadfly’s going to work through the Martin Tower meeting at the Planning Commission April 11 in several posts

Beginning at the beginning.

Duane Wagner presented the developer Master Plan, taking about 1/2hr. We have the full audio of his presentation below.

Gadfly thought his presentation was clear and thorough.

But Gadfly particularly noted how in his prefatory remarks Wagner was careful to frame the presentation of the Master Plan squarely in the 2015 debates.

Listen to the deference to concerns about a “3rd downtown” and specific injunctions from 2015 City Council in this pertinent interchange between Wagner and PC Commissioner Malozi:

Mr. Malozi: “What was driving how you came up with those mixes, what’s shown on the plan, the different uses there?”

Mr. Wagner: “The biggest thing that drove us was the direction from the zoning ordinance, the City Council, what we heard from them. It was important to create some residences that support the downtown and create a base, find office type uses that create employees, and also to provide some retail on site to support both the employees and the residents. . . . We tried to be cognizant of all the comments and all the direction we got. . . . not to put too much there to drain the downtown or put forth fuel to the concern that that could happen. . . . We feel it’s a good mix that accomplishes what the ordinance wanted as well as what we heard from City Council.”

Wagner clearly lists and discusses the take-aways from the 2015 debates that were considered in the formulation of the Master Plan:


And he also clearly addresses where the Master Plan stands in relation to the operative zoning ordinance:


In short, Gadfly felt that Wagner was “politic” in the way he approached his presentation. Gadfly felt a direct connection between his review of 2-3 dozen documents from the hot mess in 2015 in Wagner’s opening words.

The developers were roundly criticized in 2015 for their silence. Wagner here tries to show that they were “listening.”

So let’s get into the details of Wagner’s presentation, though, except for this example of what the apartments might look like, my pictures of his additional slides of the site are not useful.


Ok, now here’s the full audio of Wagner’s presentation with some pertinent time marks.

14:10: parking
19:30: access
21:41: walkability
23:10: sidewalks
24:28: the pocket park
25:23: sightlines
27:10: employment
28:06: tax revenue

Lots to chew on here. Comments welcome. But Gadfly will continue on especially to public commentary.

Ok, so you have taken the “Connecting Bethlehem” survey, but have you forced others?

2 thoughts on “Martin Tower: the developer’s presentation (14)

  1. Looks like a crappy suburban strip ma — ll. Way, way too much parking. Altogether, I think it’s a pretty silly design1970-style thinking in 2019!

  2. I think many people have no major objections to the overall real estate mix on the site. The major objection I see is the placement and design of the buildings. Monolithic blocks of three story residential units reminds me of some communist block city. The site has so much potential if only the developer will agree to move the pieces around the chess board to create something of intrinsic value.

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