14th in a series of posts about 11 and 15 W. Garrison St.
So this particular case for rezoning is dead.
But there will be new construction of the entire 700 block of N. New St.
Keep in mind the rendering pictured above presented to Council for the rezoning considerations.
Is that or something like it what we would like to see there on the 700 block of N. New St.?
There can be a couple ways to approach answering that question.
First of all, Councilwoman Crampsie Smith’s comments that we talked about last time invite us to ask if apartments are the most desirable way to go.
A good question.
Several days ago, for instance, Dana Grubb made this apropos comment on a post here on Gadfly: “We certainly don’t need more rental units in Bethlehem at the moment with everything proposed. . . . A row of townhouses/condos that offer home ownership opportunities is much more preferable for this location in my opinion. It maintains and adds to the existing residential streetscape.”
And remember that Councilman Reynolds seemed to say that whatever we get there from this owner, it will mean more feet on the street.
So, how about a row of townhouses on the 700 N. New block.?
Gadfly wonders how many there could be in that space.
And is there a Green Eye-Shade follower savvy enough to provide even ballpark figures on the difference to the owner in income and to the City in taxes if townhouses were constructed instead of a mixed use retail/residential building with 70 apartment units?
Gadfly is channeling Councilwoman Van Wirt — He needs data!!!!
Second, if we are to have something close to the mixed use retail/residential building with 70 apartment units as proposed and rendered above, does it have to look like THAT!
Another good question, Gadfly thinks.
Gadfly wants to go back and revisit the 4-part series of posts on thoughtful planning by Kim Carrell-Smith (beginning here) and think about architecture that is blended in rather than stuck in.
And that would be for the Townhouses and/or the retail/residential building.
Gadfly listens to the public voices — and absorbs them.
Here he’s channeling Mr. Vergilio at the September 17 meeting.
How does the building proposed in the rendering fit in the neighborhood?
To Gadfly, it doesn’t.
To Gadfly it looks rather conventional, something that would be functional almost anywhere, but not special, not unique to Bethlehem.
He’s also haunted by this comment by Dan Church from a month ago as well:
“Yet my distress is construction of an apartment block that seems more likely to mirror a mini cruise ship than iconic architecture: entirely inappropriate for such impact. (But the city has no jurisdiction over architectural style.)”
The city has no jurisdiction over architectural style.
A while back Gadfly asked, “Who’s in charge of beauty in Bethlehem?”
Are we dependent on the kindness of strangers?