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Bethlehem Projects Receive $1.25 Million in Enterprise Zone Tax Credits

By Colin McEvoy on November 24, 2021

Bowery Farming, Inc., the largest vertical farming company in the country, will be receiving $250,000 in Enterprise Zone Tax Credits for its Bethlehem facility. (courtesy photo)

Five Bethlehem projects have been awarded a combined total of $1.25 million in Enterprise Zone Tax Credits through the city’s Neighborhood Assistance Program.

Five projects have received $250,000 each, including Bowery Farming, a Cigars International facility, renovations to the Goodman Building, a mixed use project on East 3rd Street, and renovations to a deteriorating property on Broad Street.

The city of Bethlehem’s Enterprise Zone helps to facilitate economic development and renovate blighted properties. There have been 16 Enterprise Zone Tax Credit awards granted over the past seven years to projects in the city, totaling $4.8 million in tax credits.

This program has proven to provide value to the City, development community, and businesses looking to expand or relocate to the City, said Alicia Miller Karner, Director of the Bethlehem Department of Community and Economic Development.

“The Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Program has been key to driving investment in our city,” Miller Karner said. “These are critical projects for the continued revitalization of Bethlehem, creating jobs, opportunities for small businesses to operate and places to live for countless residents of the city. Without the Enterprise Zone tax credit program, we couldn’t make these projects work.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced the awards this month as part of nearly $36 million in funding being distributed to 220 community revitalization projects across the commonwealth.

“Communities from every corner of Pennsylvania will benefit from this funding – the result of public-private partnerships and cooperation,” Wolf said. “We are pleased to continue supporting Neighborhood Assistance Program applicants who are committed to advancing and improving communities by making thoughtful plans to address the issues impacting their neighborhoods. These projects make the state stronger as a whole and keep it the best place to live, work, and play.”

Cigars International, an online and catalog-based retailer of quality cigars, is expanding its headquarters at 1911 Spillman Drive by an additional 113,500 square-feet, nearly doubling its existing space in the Lehigh Valley. The move will allow the company to retain 200 employees.

Sarah Santos, President of Cigars International, discussed the expansion and other topics during her interview with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) as part of the organization’s executive video interview series.

Bowery Farming, the largest vertical farming company in the country, is investing $30 million to fit out a 150,000 square-foot facility at 1025 Feather Way, creating 70 new jobs. It will be only the fourth vertical farm operation in the United States, and the first in Pennsylvania.

“Adding our newest, most sophisticated smart indoor farm in Bethlehem to our network is a critical next chapter in our growth,” Bowery Farming CEO Irving Fain previously said. “We’re proud to transform a former industrial site into productive, modern farmland, which will create year-round sustainable farming jobs for the community and expand access to a reliable source of traceable pesticide-free produce across the region.”

Mechanic Street Development Associates, LP is investing over $2.4 million in the 15,000 square-foot retail/commercial portion of the mixed use project at 404 East 3rd Street. The entire project is slated to be around $15 million.

Collaboration 3, LLC is investing around $10 million to renovate the Goodman Building at 30-32 East 3rd Street. This blighted structure, totaling over 18,000 square feet, will be renovated into a mixed-use building.

601 Broad Development Group, LP is investing over $35 million to renovate the deteriorating property at 601 East Broad Street. Over 70,000 square feet of commercial space will be renovated and the rest of the building will be residential.

Any property owner, developer, or company interested in learning more about the Enterprise Zone and other economic development programs are encouraged to contact the City of Bethlehem’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

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