S. New St. developer offers affordable housing while maintaining height

Latest in a series of posts on 319-327 S. New St.

HISTORIC CONSERVATION COMMISSION
MONDAY, APRIL26, 2021 AT 6:00 PM

Members of the public may enter the meeting via GoToMeeting at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/434977885

or via the phone at:+1 (224) 5013412Access Code:434977885

ref: Another developer thinking big . . . er, tall
ref: The HCC discusses the proposal for 319-327 S. New
ref: “The current proposal for a 12-story structure is inappropriate”
ref: “What we have in front of us is going to be a big stretch for us”
ref: “Going to 5-6 stories definitely wouldn’t work”
ref: Southside developer blows some smoke
ref: The developer plays hard ball
ref: Establishing Community-Centered Principles for Responsible Southside Development
ref: Testing the principles for responsible development on the S. New St. project, part 1
ref: Testing the principles for responsible development on the S, New St. project, part 2

ref: The Mayor enters Southside historic district proceedings

Ok, Gadfly’s got it right this time.

The S. New St. project is on the table again this evening.

See the developer’s new narrative letter here.

Remember that height, as elsewhere on the Southside, is the so-called elephant in the room: the developer has come down from 13 stories to 10, though district guidelines call for a height limit substantially shorter.

A major new development is the entrance of the Mayor on the side of the developer.

See the Mayor’s substantial letter of support here.

Note especially how heavily the way the developer’s commitment to providing 10% “affordable housing” weighs in the Mayor’s support.

Tricky.

Plays one important issue for many residents off against another.

Followers will remember the strong voices against a tall building at the last HCC meeting.

3 thoughts on “S. New St. developer offers affordable housing while maintaining height

  1. Remember that ‘affordable housing’ usually means market rate housing — which would not be affordable for many residents. I think the HCC should adopt a general policy of refusing to discuss proposals that don’t meet the guidelines or simply rejecting them out of hand.

  2. Reminds me of my struggle with a real estate agent (supposedly “my” agent) who continued patiently to bring me a prospective buyer’s long, long sequence of frivolous demands for changes to the property. This developer continues to sound like that agent — like a cracked (old fashioned vinyl) record on the turntable. Can the HCC at last, at long last, MOVE ON?

  3. from Dana Grubb

    Gadfly,

    So let me get this straight; the current Mayor, who served on the Board of the South Bethlehem Historical Society and who supported the creation of the Southside’s Historic Conservation District with his vote as a Councilman, is now advocating for development that contradicts both the ordinance and the spirit of the ordinance?

    I wonder how he reconciles that? Even more importantly, what should residents take away from this kind of advocacy against a city ordinance by the top elected official in Bethlehem?

    Dana

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