Local entrepreneur to bring 14 stories of luxury to the Boyd Theatre site

Latest in a series of posts about Northside

Selections from Jon Harris, “Bethlehem’s Boyd Theatre is sold, and new owners plan 14-story apartment building in its place.” Morning Call, February 3, 2020.

Nearly a decade ago, the single screen at Bethlehem’s Boyd Theatre faded to black. Ever since, several ideas have been pitched for the property, aimed at injecting life into a sleepy block around the corner from busy Main Street.

Now, the property’s new owner wants the city to picture this: a luxury apartment building that stretches 14 stories into the air, with a restaurant atop what would be one of downtown Bethlehem’s tallest structures. Inside, the building would have a pool, fitness center and a private movie theater for residents, who would park in an underground garage. Those walking past on West Broad Street would see ground-floor retail shops.

[The last we heard Charles Jefferson was developing the Boyd site: Nicole Radzievich, “Bethlehem’s Boyd Theatre may face its final curtain call.” Morning Call, February 12, 2019.]

That’s the vision of DLP Real Estate Capital and developer Monocacy General Contracting, a partnership that acquired the long-shuttered Boyd Theatre property late last week, the companies announced Wednesday.

“The Boyd Theatre had been a staple to the city of Bethlehem for so many years, but unfortunately sat vacant and unlivable for a long time,” DLP founder and CEO Don Wenner said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming individuals and families to their new apartment homes in addition to an increase in businesses and commerce downtown.”

Monocacy CEO Rocco Ayvazov said the company plans to incorporate elements of the old theater into the development, including the original Boyd sign.

“Imagine modern luxury with a dash of nostalgia,” he said.

Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez said he has a meeting scheduled with the new owners Monday and looks forward to learning more.

“I’m very excited about meeting the new owners,” he said. “I’m excited about the things I’ve been hearing. I think it’s great that a developer wants to invest in downtown.”

The project could help meet apartment demand and infuse excitement into an underutilized block, Donchez said. It also would, he noted, boost foot traffic for the downtown’s assortment of restaurants and retailers, still facing challenges amid a nearly year-long pandemic.

If the name DLP sounds familiar, it’s likely because you’ve heard the company’s radio ads echoing through your car.

Founded in 2009 by Wenner, a 2003 Nazareth Area High School graduate, DLP Real Estate Capital has more than 400 employees and is now a multifaceted real estate empire, . . . For the eighth consecutive year, DLP in August made the Inc. 5000, the annual list of the fastest-growing privately held U.S. companies. Days later, DLP announced that it surpassed $1 billion in assets under management after it acquired a 400-unit apartment community in South Carolina for $54 million. It now owns dozens of apartment communities across at least 19 U.S. states.

3 thoughts on “Local entrepreneur to bring 14 stories of luxury to the Boyd Theatre site

  1. Is anyone keeping track of what the ‘real’ housing demand is? Is it really for more ‘luxury’ apartments? Or is this the way the developer can finance/profit from these buildings?

  2. the real sore thumb is what already exists. We need to embrace the change in this city, bring it!

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